WondLa Season 1 Review – Thoughtful storytelling elevates this children’s adventure series

Season 1



Episode Guide

Episode 1 -| Review Score – 3/5
Episode 2 -| Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 3 -| Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 4 -| Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 5 -| Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 6 -| Review Score – 2.5/5
Episode 7 -| Review Score – 3/5

Based on the books by Tony DiTerlizzi, this new animated series, a collaboration between Apple TV+ and Skydance Animation (Luck), tells the story of Eva, a curious and spirited young teenager who, on her 16th birthday, leaves the bunker she grew up in to go in search of other humans.

Upon reaching the planet’s surface, she finds herself in a strange new world, quite unlike the Earth of decades past due to an extinction-level event that has something to do with humankind’s destruction of the environment (very topical). The planet is now covered with otherworldly fauna and populated by a gallery of weird and wonderful aliens who made their home on Earth after the human population was depleted. 

As Eva searches for more of her kind, she is joined by a state-of-the-art robot named Muthr –  her caretaker while she grew up underground – and a drifter named Rovender, a hat-wearing alien whose blue skin would make him a perfect fit for an Avatar movie. Also along for the ride (literally, Eva uses him as transport) is Otto, a giant water bear who is as dedicated as Eva’s other travelling companions in helping her on her mission.

These characters are wonderfully drawn and very well-animated, as are the various other inhabitants on the planet who wouldn’t look out of place in a Star Wars movie due to their goofy alien designs. But as good-looking as they are, the world they inhabit isn’t as visually impressive, due to the painted backdrops that don’t always sit well with the 3D models at the forefront of the screen. This is most apparent in the early episodes of the series when Eva and her friends explore jungle environments that look more like images from a picture book than a living and breathing world. 

But while the background visuals are sometimes disappointingly flat, the characters themselves are interesting to look at, thanks to their expressive faces and fantastical features. They’re brought to life by a talented voice cast, including Teri Hatcher (Desperate Housewives) as Muthr and Jeanine Mason (Roswell) as Eva. Their performances are top-notch, ensuring the characters they voice are believable and relatable, so it’s easy to become attached to Eva and her travelling companions during their quest. 

In terms of story, WondLa isn’t particularly original but it still manages to engage thanks to a few thrilling action sequences, a sprinkling of scary moments, and instances of quiet reflection as Eva comes to terms with her identity and the possibility that she might be the only human left in the world. In the final episode, there are also scenes of heartbreak, so you might want to have handkerchiefs at the ready for yourself or tearful members of your family. 

Within WondLa’s story are a few heartfelt messages about friendships and how we can find family with people that we aren’t directly related to. There are a few pointed observations about mankind’s destruction of the environment too, which may be picked up on by parents wanting to stress the importance of looking after the planet to their kids. Such themes make the series a meaningful and thought-provoking watch, so it’s more intelligent than certain other animated children’s shows that serve no other purpose than to keep kids quiet for half an hour while parents busy themselves elsewhere. 

WondLa is let down by inconsistent animation and occasional instances of rushed storytelling as Eva goes from one setpiece to another in quick succession. But despite these quibbles, the series provides a fun and and occasionally quite emotional viewing experience that is worthwhile watching for young and old alike.

The series ends on a cliffhanger, so don’t expect a neat resolution. But as Season 2 is presumably incoming (we have no release date yet), we hopefully won’t have too long to wait to see the proper conclusion to Eva’s adventures. 


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  • Verdict - 6.5/10