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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Wakfu is an action-adventure cartoon based on a video game of the same name. Some of the characters -- in particular, the villains -- are scary because of their size and appearance. Young kids could be particularly frightened by the idea that one of them drains life essence from plants -- and often attempts to do the same to Yugo and his friends -- to survive. There is a lot of fighting, and the concept of demonic possession is addressed as it relates to an object from which an evil spirit constantly attempts to escape. Marginal language such as "that sucks" and "shut up" is heard as well. But all of that pales in comparison to the show's sophisticated story line, wonderful visual presentation, and very appealing hero in Yugo.
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What's the story?
WAKFU is the story of Yugo (voiced by Jules de Jongh), a 12-year-old boy with mystical powers and an even more mysterious destiny. Adopted as a baby by kindly Alibert (Matthew Gèczy), Yugo grew up helping out in his father's inn, knowing nothing of his powers or of his true identity among legendary people called Eliatropes. But when a strange monster's arrival in their town awakens his magic and Alibert divulges the message that accompanied Yugo as a baby, the boy sets off to find his real family and learn of his destiny. He's joined by his faithful bird friend, Az; the feisty Adventurer-Princess Amalia (Jessica Bell); Amalia's bodyguard, Evangelyne (de Jongh again); Alibert's faithful friend, Ruel (Hugo Chandler); and devoted Percedal (Ross Grant) and his demon sword, Rubilax (Keir Stewart). Many dangers befall the intrepid travelers, but their greatest threat comes from ruthless Nox (Arthur Bostrom), who's dependent on the life essence Wakfu for survival. As an Eliatrope, Yugo's Wakfu is abundant, making him a prime target for the parasitic villain.
Is it any good?
The vibrant colors and striking soundtrack combine to make this really enjoyable to watch, and the very intricate story keeps you guessing about what comes next. There are some visual similarities between Wakfu and the gaming animation from which it takes its inspiration. As for the characters, whether villain or hero, each has a complex history that evolves as the story does, making for more thoughtful content than your average cartoon offers.
Violent exchanges mark the heroes' encounters with a variety of villains, but nothing about them should come as a surprise to grade-schoolers who watch any other action-adventure cartoons. What stands out instead is the unlikely hero in Yugo, who proves that qualities such as gentleness, compassion, and resourcefulness are just as heroic as size and strength. Even better, he welcomes the help of his friends and values their talents as highly as his own, the true mark of a leader.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the idea of destiny, both in general and in Wakfu. In what ways do we create our own futures? How do our choices today affect what happens tomorrow? Do you think there is such a thing as destiny that's unaffected by our own plans?
What qualities are important in a strong leader? Which of these qualities are apparent in Yugo? Do your kids like to be leaders? What responsibilities accompany that role?
Kids: Were you familiar with the Wakfu name before watching this show? Now that you've seen it and know the characters, are you inclined to want the video games? Do you think watching TV influences your desires? Is that necessarily a bad thing?
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