While I didn’t get into the whole toys-come-to-life things until later in the Skylanders series, I was hooked and stayed there for quite a bit when I did finally succumb to its collectible toy goodness. It would’ve been nice to have had a cartoon series of it a few years ago when it was really taking the world by storm, but I guess it really is true when they say “better late than never” with the Skylanders Academy series on Netflix. Launching just in time to coincide with the new Skylanders: Imaginators game, this series contains twelve episodes of action packed fun with more to come next year that will have fans and newcomers wanting to enlist in this class of adventure.
Taking place all over the game franchise from before, during, and what’s to come of it, this series follows Spyro the Dragon (Justin Long), Stealth Elf (Ashley Tisdale), and Eruptor (Jonathan Banks aka Mike from Breaking Bad/Better Call Saul) being newcomers to the Skylanders Academy and learning under the tutelage of Master Eon (Chris Diamantopoulos) how to use their special abilities to keep Skylands safe from the evil Kaos (Richard Steven Horvitz who reprises his roles from the games), his lackey Glumshanks (Norm Macdonald), and any other evils that arise. This is made more difficult than it should be thanks to Spyro having a huge ego that often lands him in trouble, with Stealth Elf and Eruptor often bailing him out.
I had fun watching the episodes of this series play out, as it stays true to the game franchise while also playing around with the characters in zany new ways. Speaking of characters, expect to see all of your favorite ones from the game series and more in some shape or form as you watch. There’s even a cameo by a certain Bandicoot we all know and love that’s looking to make a comeback to the video game world and quite possibly to this series in the future as well.
The animation and artwork is surprisingly well done for a show that was quickly produced. The characters look as though they were taken from the in-game cutscenes and just placed into this series. Truth be told, I wouldn’t be surprised if the same people who handled the cutscenes are working on this show. The voice acting is as good as you’d expect from a kids show, with plenty of one-liners and quips throughout, and the theme song by Timbaland is sure to get kids pumped up before every adventurous episode takes place.
Netflix is really setting the pace for programs made for both adults and kids, and Skylanders Academy is one both will enjoy, especially if they play the games. Featuring fun stories, action, and a catchy theme song, anyone with Netflix will want to take a trip to this class and learn a thing or three with the Skylanders.