Review: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur

If you are a fan of late 90s or early 2000s era Cartoon Network, quality comic accurate adaptations, or just generally good animation, go watch Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur right now. Genuinely, it is just such a pure fun children’s cartoon that virtually anyone of any age will enjoy.

The series basic premise follows the comic of the same name, unsurprisingly, and tells the story of Lunella Lafayette, a thirteen year old super genius, who decides to use her prolific intelligence and roller skating skills to protect her neighborhood by fighting criminals and whatever other forces threaten her family and friends. She is joined by Devil Dinosaur, a red Tyrannosaurus Rex transported out of time to present day NYC by Lunella’s experiments, and Casey Calderon, her friend/business manager, on her crime fighting exploits.

There is also some interesting animation choices that really liven up the episodes.

Along the way, Lunella makes more allies, and enemies, while learning important life lessons, like confidence, acceptance, patience, from her friend and family. Basically, the general children’s media modus operandi with a superhero veneer. The only difference is that Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur is unapologetically Black in its presentation. Not unexpected considering the source material. Thus, some of the lessons, both personal and more general, for Lunella are centered on her being a young, Black girl in America and navigating that identity. This series is hardly the first to do this, and it should not be the last as these lessons and conversations are important for not only those being represented but for other children who are not aware of these cultural differences and their impact.

Beyond significant representation, the animation is top notch with dynamic and colorful choices that aid in the movement and differentiation of each character from the heroes to villains to civilians. Even from just the silhouette, audiences can easily tell who each character is. The animations and action sequences are further developed with just pitch perfect selection of music accompaniment. Somehow having Childish Gambino used in a fight sequence in a DisneyPlus cartoon is not jarring nor out of place. Frankly, it just slaps.

So, if you have a free afternoon or two, highly recommend streaming Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur. It is an enjoyable cartoon that children and adults can enjoy with plenty of story left to tell.

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