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Here’s Your First Look at DreamWorks’ ‘Voltron: Legendary Defender’

Yesterday at Wondercon, DreamWorks Animation unveiled a sneak peek of its ’80s reboot for Netflix, Voltron: Legendary Defender. Here’s a look at the teaser they’ve posted online:

The key talent involved with the show should intrigue fans of Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra. Joaquim Dos Santos, a director and storyboard artist on Avatar and Korra, is the exec producer and showrunner of Voltron. Dos Santos’ other directing/storyboarding credits include Justice League, Teen Titans, and G.I. Joe: Resolute, as well as a series of animated shorts based on DC comic book characters The Spectre, Jonah Hex, Green Arrow, and Shazam.

Dos Santos is joined on Voltron by co-exec producer Lauren Montgomery, who was most recently a supervising producer on Korra, and prior to that, worked as a board artist and director on a variety of projects including Ben 10, Justice League, Avatar, Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated, Green Lantern: First Flight, and Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths.

Voltron’s head writer is another Avatar and Korra alum, Tim Hedrick.

DreamWorks’ show is based on a mid-’80s syndicated American TV series called Voltron: Defender of the Universe, in which five pilots command robotic lions that can be combined into a single super-robot called Voltron. The show was an early example of remix culture; it was composed of chopped-up versions of multiple Japanese animated series that were re-edited and re-written with completely new plots and characters for American viewers. The unusual tale of how the series came to be can be read on the website Birth. Movies. Death.

“As children of the 80s who grew up with Voltron what was there not to love?” said Dos Santos in a press statement. “You had 5 awesome lions, piloted by 5 awesome heroes who combined to form a giant, sword wielding Titan! It unapologetically married sci-fi and fantasy in one incredibly over the top, bombastic package.” Dos Santos has said that he will retain all those elements from the original series in the new “comedic action-packed” reboot, but will flesh out the universe with “a rich backstory and characters who will evolve over the course of the series.”

Lauren Montgomery and Joaquim Dos Santos.
Lauren Montgomery and Joaquim Dos Santos.

DreamWorks also identified today the lead voice cast for the show:

  • Princess Allura – Kimberly Brooks (Ben 10: Omniverse, Justice League: War)
  • Coran – Rhys Darby (What We Do in the Shadows, Flight of the Concords)
  • Shiro, Black Lion – Josh Keaton (Green Lantern: The Animated Series, Transformers Prime)
  • Hunk, Yellow Lion – Tyler Labine (Reaper, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil)
  • Lance, Blue Lion – Jeremy Shada (Finn in Adventure Time, Batman: The Brave and the Bold)
  • Pidge, Green Lion – Bex Taylor-Klaus (Arrow, Scream: The Series, iZombie)
  • Keith, Red Lion – Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead, The Legend of Korra)

Thirteen episodes of the Netflix Original series will launch on June 10, 2016.

  • Seeing which creators are involved has just tripled my interest in this show.

  • Patrice Jean-Baptiste

    ehh I’ll bite. Looks interesting. Besides, would like animated action shows to come back strong and I think Netflix is probably the way to go (and yes I know Samurai Jack is back on Adult Swim but still)

    • GOATmaybe

      Completely Agree. There needs to be a balance not everything HAS to be a comedy.

  • Mahana

    Wow those look like the most generic “how to draw anime” based character designs I’ve seen in a long time. The faces are pretty bland but the clothing is worse. It looks dated already.

    Of course this entire comment feels ironic coming from me with this icon.

  • mastergodai

    I would have preferred a hand drawn voltron robot instead of 3D but other than that it does look interesting

    • SomeCallMeKash

      Having such complex things, like a detailed robot, Hand drawn would be super expensive and time constraining.

  • JamScoBal

    At least it doesn’t look cheap.

  • StephaneDumas

    It’s very cool and very promising. Thanks for sharing this trailer. :-)

    It could be interesting to see if some voice actors of the original Voltron series who are still with us, to do some cameos voice appearances just like Sylvia Anderson, who sadly left us recently, who did the voice of Lady Penelope’s Great Aunt Sylvia in the 2015 Thunderbirds reboot after she did the voice of Lady Penelope in the original series.

    Now, let’s wish for a reboot or Saber Rider & the Stars Sheriffs, who was brought in North America by the same folks who bring us Voltron here.

    • Abbey Sur Daress

      This is also promising… if they still have the rights to Sei Jyuushi Bismark. Then, this would be a great dynamic to bring back and modernize with their creative team.

  • To have Lauren Montgomery on the team, that is an added bonus for the series. She has really done great stuff in her career, and I know her expertise of action will help this project.

  • D.A.V.E.

    I wonder how long will Shiro last.

    • Honest_Miss

      Man, I hope we can skip that trope.

      Retirement and transfers are still a thing! Not everyone has to die tragically in a fire in order for a guy to get a promotion, ya know! HELLO? WRITERS? ANIMATORS? ANYONE?

      I’m screaming into the void, aren’t I :(

  • Paul M

    Voltron was hardly an ‘original’ series, ever. Oh well, at least some rich people in the plastic toy business will be happy, me I’m still waiting for a story as good as Samurai Jack or Avatar or Gargoyles or Reboot.

  • CHOO5D

    I think they are showing the robots first to capture the kids audiences. It looks okay but I want to see more of the characters.

  • Orionsangel

    OMG! Voltron 30Th Anniversary Collector’s Set! Take My Money!