Disney is famous for producing some of the best animated content in film history. Many grew up watching classics like Beauty & The Best and Fantasia. However Disney also has a history in television animation. Starting with live action productions, they later tapped into their animated roots with shows like Adventures of the Gummy Bears and the most famous example being Ducktales. They got so much success, Disney stared producing more animated shows over the years.
Recent efforts have shown a clear high quality benchmark, shown with shows like Gravity Falls, The Mickey Mouse Shorts and Wonder Over Yonder. One show that stands out among all of them is the series Star Vs. The Forces of Evil. On surface level, it shouldn’t be anything more then wacky antics with a princes hero character.
But through subverting expectations and not being afraid to be silly, Season One of The Forces of Evil establishes a foundation that Season Two blossoms from. Even then though, how does the first season hold up? Is it a fun time? Let’s travel across dimensions and find out!
The show opens up with one of our two main characters (Star Butterfly) having fun being a danger-prone Princess. She fights evil monsters, parties with her friends and is not afraid to cause destruction; a far cry from the princess characters under Disney’s umbrella. This simple character difference allows Star to stick out, but in a good way; she is a blast to see interact off of other people.
But her uncontrollable nature forces her parents to send her to a ‘safer’ dimension away from her home. Now our second lead character, named Marco, comes into play. He is a quiet fellow that is skilled with the art of karate. While just living his life, he is forced to help Star get around the school and soon offer her a home within his family.
In the middle of all this, Star’s long-time villain Ludo learns of Star coming to Earth and is after her Magical Wand (which she uses to unleash powerful spells). Through Star being able to put up a great fight and Marco being able to hold his own, both go on many adventures across the first season. This set up is very simple but works out well for engaging and fun stories.
The humor is on point with sharp writing and a large number of laugh-out-loud moments. Often in the first episode for example I laughed hard at how Marco interacts with Star, being shocked and afraid of how crazy she is as a character. Speaking of characters though, that is one of the best parts of the show.
Much of the cast works well off each other and while some characters are lacking (Marco’s human friends), most of the characters are great to watch. Another aspect to the show that is quite interesting is how it develops from a humor filled adventure into a more serous tale. The tone is still clearly light hearted, but after episode eight things begin to ramp up. This leads to a finale that was quite rewarding and sets up elements that play into the show’s second season.
But all of this doesn’t matter if our lead characters don’t work well with each other, as the dynamic of a princess and male best friend could go in generic fashion or horribly annoying. I’m quite happy to report that isn’t the case at all; both Star and Marco not only hold there own in combat but they have great chemistry with one another. You really feel that they are the best of friends and seeing them hang out with each other is just fun. That is a great quality for a pair main characters, something Disney has been on a roll with through shows like Gravity Falls and Phineas & Ferb.
Visuals of the show are strong using bright colors and detailed animation. Characters have this great squash and stretch to them while also having strong facial expressions. This helps the characters emote effectively and allows the viewer to get further invested in the characters. Music is something I am also impressed with, as key tracks throughout the season help set the tone/mood of a scene. It also helps that the show has a great opening theme song that is quite catchy.
Star Vs. The Forces of Evil Season One is a quality show that continues to push Disney XD into a quality network. It subverts the expectations of it’s premise, has a great sense of humor, strong characters and has high quality presentation. I highly recommend you buy or steam the first season; you will be in for a treat if you love action/adventure cartoons.