Voltron Force

 
Cartoon violence, toy marketing leave little to recommend.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Pure entertainment; not educational.

Positive messages

Only when the characters join together are they strong enough to defeat their enemies -- reinforcing the benefits of working together for a common good. Loyalty and bravery in the face of overwhelming odds and freedom from the control of evil powers are all strongly advocated by characters and situations.

Positive role models

The show depicts a government that has used deception to discredit the key heroes. As such, the heroes must engage in deception themselves to restore their name and fight for positive ideals. There's a mixed message in that sense, although even young children should be able to distinguish between the actions of the heroes and those of the villains. 

Violence & scariness

The violence depicted (and there's lots of it) is purely fantasy and sci-fi in nature. Characters use laser swords and pilot giant robots that engage in hand-to-hand combat. No clear deaths or obvious injuries are seen.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The show's brand has been used to sell toys for decades; the launch of this series is accompanied by the release of an additional line of action figures and vehicles.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this animated adventure series depicts lots of sci-fi violence, with giant robots facing off in the streets of futuristic cities. There are a few jokes that might be considered mild toilet humor, but nothing approaching inappropriate for younger viewers. Expect major toy tie-ins to show up in stores everywhere. Despite some general messages about the benefits of working together, there aren't many explicitly positive messages or much else to recommend this series as a worthwhile show for kids.

What's the story?

VOLTRON FORCE is an animated series based on Voltron: Defender of the Universe, which aired in syndication during the mid-'80s. In this iteration, the original pilots of the Voltron lions -- who have become outcasts from society -- recruit a group of young, rebellious military cadets to help them stop the oppressive regime of a new government. Daniel (voiced by Vincent Tong), Vince (Doron Bell), and Larmina (Shannon Chan-Kent) are the newest additions to the Voltron Force, and they bring some young energy to the now-mature originals (Lance, Allura, Pidge, and Hunk). There are also otherworldly threats to deal with ... and perhaps the return of old villains as well.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

There's a massive market these days in kids' television that plays on parents' nostalgic feelings. Heck, the Hub network is constructed almost solely around nostalgia and kids, from Jem and the Holograms reruns to new series based on Pound Puppies, Transformers, and Strawberry Shortcake.

Voltron Force only seems to exist to sell Voltron toys to wistful parents who remember their own weekday afternoons spent longing for five robot lions that miraculously combined to create one spectacular robot. There are occasionally clever moments in the storytelling and dialogue of Voltron Force, but most of it might as well have been drawn from the template of countless other half-hour "advertainment" series for large toy lines from major manufacturers like Mattel and Hasbro. The computer graphics effectively showcase the classic designs of Voltron and his component parts, but beyond the visceral thrills of watching giant robots beat each other up, there's little to recommend here.

Families can talk about...

TV details

This review of Voltron Force was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 17 years old Written byibarncat June 8, 2012
age 7+
 

Robot violence, filler only leaves so much to recommend

The first three episodes and last three episodes of the season are absolutely superb. The premiere draws you in regardless of whether or not you know the original Voltron by introducing the viewer to three relatable and fully developed characters who are training under the direction of the original characters to eventually become pilots of Voltron lions. One can see quite a lot of character development in them, and most importantly, in Daniel, who sometimes seems like a Percy Jackson figure, but is really a slightly irresponsible figure who gets a little more mature as the series progresses. At the end of the season, in the last two minutes, is a surprise that is the only reason why the show could possibly deserve a second season. Overall, this show has a good storyline, but it is knocked around by loads of filler episodes. Most are entertaining, but some are a little bit too much. Sometimes the show also gets a little too sappy. It has weaknesses, but if you liked the original, you'll be surprised to see that this version at least surpassed the original despite having more pointless filler.

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