Some thoughts on giant robots that aren’t Transformers

voltronforceGrowing up I was as much a Voltron fan as I was a Transformers fan. I had the die cast lions and the larger plastic ones that you could fit the pilots into. I also had the Castle of Lions, which probably beat out my Castle Grayskull in terms of coolness. I recently binged on the Voltron Force series that came out a couple years ago. I remember trying the first episode when it aired and I must not have been in the right mindset for it because I never watched it again until I caught it on Netflix recently. Now that I’ve given it another chance with an open mind, I found that I really enjoyed the series. I enjoyed the background that it added to the Voltron mythos with the fact that multiple planets contributed to the creation of the giant robot. That makes more sense for a robot that is described as “The Defender of the Universe.” I also enjoyed the modification to allow Voltron form with any lion as the center. It’s too bad this series didn’t have a toyline. It would be interesting to see how that feature would have been engineered. The addition of the three cadets got off to a slow start, but turned out to be an interesting aspect of the series.

Unfortunately the series wasn’t nearly as strong visually. The backgrounds were strong, and the CG graphics mixed in with the traditional art was sufficient, but the art used for the character models looked crude in comparison. Many times it looked like the characters were animated using Flash. Other than that little quibble, I did enjoy the series. A nice touch was when the Voltron formation sequence changed from some new generic music to the classic music from the original series. I wasn’t expecting it and it was a welcome surprise. After watching the end of the series, I really hate that it wasn’t continued past the first season. I feel that Voltron is a property that could be really popular again given the right story and marketing. Hopefully the long rumored live action movie can one day happen. After seeing what is possible with Pacific Rim and the Transformers franchise, a live action Voltron film would be visually amazing.

If you wish to watch Voltron Force it’s The first 5 episodes are on the Voltron YouTube channel and the entire series is currently available on Netflix Instant Streaming. The original Lion Force Voltron series is on Amazon, with season 1 available on Prime Instant Streaming. The classic Vehicle Voltron series is available on the Voltron YouTube channel for free along with some of the Lion Force series and some Voltron: The Third Dimension episodes.

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