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With Disney heading on another journey into the unknown of what they will be doing with their animation line-up for TV, their newest venture is them adventuring into the Marvel library. On a personal level, I haven’t really watched their animated offerings due to them not being my cup of tea. I have checked out their adult animated offerings, but they have been more mixed than positive. However, when the footage was finally being shown off for Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur by Laurence Fishburne and Helen Sugland, people got excited. With its vibrant comic book art style, expressive character animation, and a fun premise about a young girl who teams up with a giant dinosaur from another dimension to save the Lower East Side from crime and supervillains, this was going to be a standout show of 2023. Luckily, due to getting some screeners for the show, I am here to tell you all the scoop on my impressions of the show.
First off, the animation is on point. It’s produced by Flying Bark Productions, and if you have been a fan of animation for the past few years, then you will know their names as they were behind the incredible action on Rise of the TMNT, LEGO Monkie Kid, Marvel’s What If…?, and Glitchtechs, to name a few of their amazing work. They bring their vibrant and energized animation to this show, and if this is what pure joy and excitement look like in animated form, then I am all for it. The characters move in a snappy and expressive way, the action hits hard and is just full of thrilling and intense moments. Devil Dinosaur, while having no lines, is voiced by the incredible Fred Tatascore. He has so much personality oozing out of his scaly skin, and when the big action set pieces happen, the show’s visuals go to a whole other level of every definition and variation of amazing you can think of. It shouldn’t be shocking the art team and the animation team at Flying Bark Productions were going to put out what are essentially 31 flavors of cool and creative with its comic book art style, but the fact they were able to go this far and this hard on the look of the show is delightful. One of my favorite details is Moon Girl’s eyes when she’s wearing her costume. The little note to make her eyes the most expressive part of the costume was genius, and the multitude of emotes that come through those sweet goggles bring so much life into the designs.
Now, the animation is outstanding and probably one of the best-looking animated shows of the 2020s, but it wouldn’t be all killer and no filler if they didn’t have a wonderful cast to back all of that up. To no surprise, the cast is incredible. Diamond White is superb as the titular Lunelle Lafayette aka Moon Girl, and her friendship with Casey, voiced by Libe Barer, is splendid. The rest of the cast is also solid with Alfre Woodard, Sasheer Zamata, Jermaine Fowler, Gary Anthony Williams rounding out the main cast.
Of course, there will be others like super sweet guests and recurring actors. The amazing Craig Robinson, Allison Brie, Jennifer Hudson, Josh Keaton, Luis Guzman, Wesley Snipes, Daveed Diggs, Omid Abtahi, Utkarsh Ambubdkar, Michael Cimino, and Indya Moore are just a few of the stacked cast members they got for the show. By the way, wait until you all see Laurence Fishburne’s character. He’s probably playing what might be one of my favorite characters on the show and one of his best performances ever. The writing and storytelling don’t feel like they are relying on the colorful animation to carry it either, as some of the episodes tackle stuff like self-love, hair love, and gentrification to give y’all a nice tease of what will come from this show. Some episodes will have their sillier moments and gags, but it will take a moment to slow down and be serious with the stakes. The music was also part of the winning equation that is this show, with the composer being Raphael Saadiq. Its mix of hip-hop, techno, and rap, fused together into a wonderful soup for the soul.
Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur has it all. Some fantabulous visuals, an endearing cast of loveable characters, sweet tunes, and it results in an overall package that will delight everyone of all ages. You can tell the team behind this show put in so much love and joy. It’s a physical manifestation of joy, happiness, and positive representation that is needed for animation and art to thrive. It’s a show that stands out among not only its Marvel animated contemporaries, but Disney shows and media in general. It’s a truly whimsical and fantastical time, and everyone should watch this show when it airs on Disney on February 10th or stream it on Disney+ on February 15th. You will be blasting, skating, and rip/roaring through an entertaining experience unlike any other. Seriously, go check out this show when it airs, because it has made one of the best first impressions I have seen for a TV show.