As part of its ongoing campaign to become a media creator as well as distributor, Netflix has announced the name of its upcoming collaboration with DreamWorks Animation: Voltron: Legendary Defender.
Voltron, of course, is the legendary giant robot of the 80’s who was formed out of a group of giant robotic lions. Or vehicles. For those who didn’t grow up with the original Voltron series, it may be a little confusing. This is because the original show–or rather shows–was actually a splice-and-dice reworking of two separate Japanese series.
The “original” Voltron (known as Voltron III in series continuity) was created by taking Beast King GoLion, editing out the more violent parts, making up a new English language script (no one involved spoke Japanese), and remixing the whole thing in stereo. This is the voltron most people know–five robot lions that combined into the title character–four for the limbs and one for the body/head.
The second series (officially Voltron I), taken from Armored Fleet Dairugger XV, consisted of three “fleets” of five vehicles each covering land, sea, and air. Each fleet could combine into a larger meta-vehicle of their own, and all fifteen could combine into Voltron if the need arose, as it did on approximately a weekly basis.
There was also a Voltron II in the works at one point, but due to the considerable popularity of the GoLion version over the Armored Fleet one, it never went to series, and the GoLion version has been more or less the definitive Voltron since.
As we reported a month ago, the upcoming Voltron is part of a renewal of Netflix’s 2003 deal with Dreamworks to create original content for the video streaming site. Also in the works is a new Guillermo Del Toro production named Trollhunters.
So far Netflix & Dreamworks are being tight-lipped about the upcoming production. They’ve only released the title today, as well as the banner art and some intriguing art showing the new Voltron in silhouette. It looks to be the classic GoLion form, which makes sense, and it is reasonable to assume it will follow the usual formula: five teenagers in matching outfits fight the villain of the week in robotic lions, get their tails kicked, form Voltron, and save the day. It’s just possible a variation on the theme might be found.
In any case, plans are tentative to see the new “re-imagining” (as they are calling it) sometime this year. Will the new series capture the imagination of kids as the original did three decades ago? Or will it be another Voltron Force, doomed to die after only one season? Weigh in and let us know what you think.
(Kelly Luck hates always having to be the pink lion. Her writings can be reached here at http://scifi4me.com/author/justkelly)