Paw of the Jaguar
Goat Cheese Prophecy
Ballad of Brunchington Beach
Catch a Deathstalker
Fun Gus Part I
Fun Gus Part II
Benson & the Beast
Sympathy for the Mandrill
All That Glitters
Heroes On Fire
One of the bigger surprises last year in the world of animation came from Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts. Armed with an interesting world, some gorgeous hand-drawn animation and a really engrossing story, the first 10 episodes did an excellent job setting the mood and establishing this hostile world. With some solid foundations set, season 2 moves into far more emotionally-charged waters as Kipo and her gang set out to try and free her Father and stop Scarlemagne’s reign. What begins as a pretty simple story soon grows and evolves into something surprisingly touching and after the dramatic climax, all eyes now turn to season 3.
The story this time around picks up right where we left off from before. Kipo sets out on a crusade to stop Scarlemagne’s plan, which involves using her Father to create a seemingly never-ending supply of his mind-controlling pheromones to enslave all creatures to his bidding. At the same time, Kipo learns a secret about herself that threatens to undermine the whole operation and while trying to stop Scarlemagne, she has to grapple with the gravitas of this situation.
Across the season, this journey sees Kipo try to harness the hidden powers she has lurking within while teaming up with the group to find an “anchor” and items that will stop Scarlemagne’s dastardly plan from coming to fruition. More so than the first season, the 10 episodes here do a really good job diving into the heart of character relationships, with both Kipo and her Father Lio Oak given a good amount of screen-time to make this feel as natural as possible.
There are a lot of returning characters from the first season too which is nice, so expect the Timbercats, Mod Frogs and more to show up which adds to the consistency of the world-building. It’s not all familiar faces though and this season new characters join the fray too, including the brilliant blue bug Cappuccino who has past ties to Dave.
What’s particularly welcome in Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts Season 2 is just how much emphasis has been put on the idea of kindness and friendship. Without spoiling too much, the way the final conflict is handled is beautifully done and it’s something that helps solidify this as a solid choice for kids and adults alike. There are some genuinely touching moments and during the aforementioned finale, there’s a pretty emotional montage that feels well-earned after such an arduous journey.
If you’ve watched the first season, Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts takes everything that made that so good and cranks it up a notch, managing to inject both excitement and humour into its well worked story. Everything here feels like a step up from what we’ve seen before and with higher stakes comes a lot more character-driven drama too. Ultimately though, Kipo is a wonderful animated effort on Netflix and based on this high quality second season, I can’t wait to see what season 3 has in store for us!
Verdict - 8.5/10