Kipo and the Age of Wonder beasts boast a surprisingly atmospheric vision of destruction by the environment; an exuberant, colorful world, reconstructed from the ashes, yet still riddled with prejudice and conflict.
The two seasons (streaming on 12 June in Netflix) does not concentrate further on the internal conflicts among the characters we already know about the beautifully fascinating setting. We assume we do, at least. This is a journey that is slower and more reflective than the previous season, but which deepens our understanding of war between humans and “courage,” exposing several gray shades in what at first seemed a rather simple tale.
More Appealing than previous seasons
The pompous, powerful mandrill Scarlemagne often feels a pleasurable throwback to Disney villains of the old school, evil in its interests, but soon revealed to be just as complex as, and even more so, our heroes. The recent increase in child empathy is amazingly encouraging; Kipo attempts to speak to each antagonist through his feelings much like his friend Steven Universe. It is a risky approach, of course, but a new relationship is forged when it succeeds.
And anyway, in this environment of lumbering behemoths and hated human mutants, the core group of characters Kipo, Wolf, Benson, and Dave are still relatively helpless, but their ability to surf the friction-less way is to make some surprisingly inventive payouts.
The big questions raised by the first events are answered in Stage 2, Kipo, and the next is a fascinating new layer of conflict. While Kipo will be on an enjoyable journey of self-finding this season, she will soon discover some extremely disagreeable truths about humanity-but the endless optimism of this character provides hope for a new world, without the prejudices which define us.