Arts & Culture

Dreamworks’ “Kipo” is a Wonder to Watch

Michael Olderr, staff writer

Dreamworks’ “Kipo and the Age of the Wonderbeast” is a Netflix original animated series based on the webcomic by the same name. The story follows the titular character as she gets trapped in mutated wasteland trying to survive and make peace with the dangerous world she lives in. Her colorful saga is one of the most engaging pieces of animation to have come out in a long time. 

Kipo herself stands among the shoulder of giants in terms of animated protagonists. While she embodies the old cliche of an energetic, extroverted, wants-to-be-your-friend archetype that is common in most animated series these days, it all comes in her favor. Her attitude is always welcome. For a fictional character, she is very genuine, and the rest of the cast of characters play off her very well, having hilarious banter as well as heartwarming character interactions, with Sydney Mikayla’s Wolf and Jake Green’s Jamack being standouts among dozens.

Watching Kipo on the screen can only be described as a feast for the eyes and ears. Kipo lives and breathes in color. Kipo herself is purple, but she fits right in with the other creatures that inhabit her world. Each group is fun and unique, but we never get over the overall fear that they are supposed to project. The dystopian wasteland, as well as the mutated character, are just so cool to watch and explore.

Furthermore, the music takes the show to another plane of existence. When the music starts, it is fast-paced and explosive and it reflects the show perfectly. It makes the viewer think that no matter what danger that Kipo is in, she can get through it. 

It is impossible to talk about “Kipo” without talking about its representation, and its colorful and diverse cast speaks for itself. Coy Stuart Benson’s character is upfront about his sexuality which is a breath of fresh air. There is no beating around the bush and no queerbaiting; he is a gay person of color, and he is presented as a whole person and a wonderful part of the cast. It is all a part of this grand, epic, well-thought-out journey. 

“Kipo” is a fun show, and while it falls into some narrative problems at the series end, that doesn’t affect the show’s overall sense of wonder. It is the most engaging animated series of the year, in my opinion, and a great start to the next decade of animation. Kipo and her world are a fun and wild ride, all the while flowing seamlessly through episodes. Sit back and watch, and before you know it, you are halfway through the season- and that is a testament to how the show carries itself. It is absolutely worth the watch.