I was invited as media to cover this press event. All opinions are my own.
One of the most popular fan-favorite shows of all time is returning! Dreamworks Voltron Legendary Defender series rolls out Friday, June 10th on Netflix. Talk about nostalgia – I’m an 80’s kid and grew up on shows like Voltron and TMNT. I was so excited when Dreamworks Animation reached out to invite me to their home base for a first look at the new series and meet with the talent and creators of the reboot.
Dreamworks Voltron Legendary Defender Series:
Five unsuspecting teenagers, transported from Earth into the middle of a sprawling intergalactic war, become pilots for five robotic lions in the battle to protect the universe from evil. Only through the true power of teamwork can they unite to form the mighty warrior known as Voltron.
Originally a Japanese series from the 70’s, this science fiction action-adventure is new to the Dreamworks Animation line-up. Executive producer Joaquim Dos Santos (The Legend of Korra, Avatar: The Last Airbender) and co-executive producer Lauren Montgomery (The Legend of Korra) took time out of their schedules to join us for a Q&A session following the screening of episodes 1-3. Here’s some of that coverage:
Growing up as Voltron fans themselves it was important to them to keep with the origination of the show. Joaquim mentioned many of the Japanese shows were being localized in the U.S. and that style of artistic drawing became part of their DNA.
When asked about deciding on what to keep relevant with the original series and what to change for a more contemporary audience, Lauren shared, “we have our own nostalgic needs. What will make us happy as fans? Beyond that it’s just a matter of whether a not what we’re keeping really benefits the story.” Joaquim adds, “there’s certain things that we’ll have gravitated towards through childhood, but if it’s not really servicing the story, then it’s probably not going to make it.”
Joaquim adds, “you’re not going to make everybody happy. I think if anybody has hesitations from looking at a press event, once they sit down and watch the series as a whole, I think they’ll see and understand that it’s being made with love and true appreciate for the show.”
Before meeting with the voice talents behind the new series, Dreamworks Animation invited us to step into the booth and read a few lines from Shiro’s character. That was so much fun, but nerve-wracking too! Trust me, it’s not as easy as you think. I later teased John, who voices Shiro, about giving him a run for his money. Seriously, what a fun job!
Q&A with Voltron Talent:
Next, we met with the voice talent including Tyler Labine (Hunk – Yellow Lion), Josh Keaton (Shiro – Black Lion), Kimberly Brooks (Princess Allura) and Rhys Darby (Coran) to talk about their roles on Voltron Legendary Defender.
When asked about the most enjoyable part of voice acting, Josh shared that the in between where the cast is cracking jokes and acting up is a lot of fun. Tyler added, “my favorite part of doing vocal work, especially for this show, is that there’s this real tradition and respect for what goes on in the booth.” Rhys joked, “showing up in your pajamas,” but then said he was kidding. He added the voice work, the action work like shooting laser beams, and then seeing the whole package come together is the best part for him. Kimberly added that she pinches herself everyday. She feels really lucky to be doing voice over work, especially on a show this iconic.
What is the biggest takeaway that you hope kids get from your character? Tyler said, “One of the things I love about Hunk is that he’s this big, loud, brash character, but also kind of scared and insecure, and through the process of becoming part of Voltron he learns to trust himself and who he’s supposed to be.” Adding, he hopes kids take away that you can be yourself and trust that you will find people in your life that will support who you are. Kimberly asked, “we all love a strong female character, right?” Then touched on the importance of a strong character and how beautiful Allura is – she’s the total package. Josh said, “I hope what they take away from Shiro is that you don’t have to boss people around to be a good leader. Also, keeping a calm head and approaching a problem with focus and relying on your team to reach your goals.”
Check out the official trailer for Voltron Legendary Defender below!
Before finishing up our day at Dreamworks Animation, we enjoyed a Voltron themed lunch with delicious eats and even better dessert options. Don’t those cupcakes look amazing? I even snagged a few candy bags to bring home to the boys, which they were so happy to receive.
As someone who remembers the original series, and has now had the opportunity to watch a few episodes from the reboot, I think fans will be pleasantly surprised.
Look for the 13-episode series on Netflix beginning June 10th!
Want to see me in my voice acting debut? Check out this 22 second clip below! 😉