Cartoons

Kipo and the Age of the Wonderbeasts Series Review [Spoiler Free]

This series is over, and   it makes me so sad.  I was recommended this series by a friend, and it’s quirky humor won me over instantly.  From episode 1, it was such a refreshing treat to see so many diverse characters, a really rich world and main characters that were just so lovable and hilarious that I couldn’t wait to see what adventures they’d get into next.  That, paired with the weightiness of the topics touched in this series, and how subtly and well done they were launched Kipo up to the top of my favorite cartoons list. 

So, it’s with a heavy heart that I watched season 3, realizing that it was the final entry in Kipo and the Age of the Wonderbeasts.  Is this for better, or for worse?  I honestly don’t know.  There was a clear narrative structure set in place from day 1 as to what Kipo’s plot, and the characters ultimate goals were and I think the shorter series length really nailed those themes.  So while I would have liked to see more of the show from a fan point of view, I also respect that the show runners had a story they wanted to tell, kept it stream lined, and executed their story with such wonderful tact, grace, and a ton of heart.  Every plot point was wrapped up perfectly, every character arc fully portrayed, and while bittersweet, I’m so happy that Kipo got the ending it deserved, no matter how much I’d like to see more content from this universe.

If you haven’t watched this show, you’re really missing out.  Like I can’t drill home how well Kipo addresses topics like betrayal, familial values, dealing with death and hard choices, and making choices in your life that you know are right for yourself.  It doesn’t paint the decisions you make lightly, as everything done has consequences, but at the same time the core of the characters still stay intact and it never feels like they’ve gone out of character.  It’s such a hard hitting show with both lighter and darker themes, and honestly I think it does a far better job than Steven Universe when it comes to the topic of using your words to solve a problem instead of fighting.  It also has one of the best redemption arcs I’ve ever seen in a cartoon, just a really well done show that ends satisfactorily.

While it’s easy to telegraph the plot of Kipo, and it’s conclusion, that doesn’t really matter.  Kipo is ground breaking in how it portrays it’s themes and characters.  A vast world full of normalized diversity, emotional weight, and goofy quirky moments, I can’t recommend this series enough to any animation fan.  It’s my new favorite modern cartoon, and it’s run time, while a bit upsetting we won’t get more, is part of why the show works.  Because the show runners knew the story they wanted to tell, and told it with such tact and wonderful writing.  I’m going to miss you Kipo, can’t wait to rewatch.

Have you seen Kipo and the Age of the Wonderbeasts?  Let me know what you thought about it in the comments if you have!

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