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Saturday, 3 June 2017

Superhero Animation Of The Week: Vixen (2015)


It may surprise readers of my drivel, but I'm generally not in favour of other media that spins  off from my favourite on-going TV show or movie sagas.

Not only is the quality quite often questionable, but largely it's because the events they chronicle never mentioned back in the main shows, and they can also never actually develop the main characters or tamper with the status quo.

However, the Vixen animation - and the Arrowverse it spins out of - handles all this rather well.

The 75-minute cartoon (a compilation of the two seasons of an online show with five-minute episodes) introduces us to wannabe fashion designer Mari McCabe (Megalyn Echikunwoke), whose family heirloom - a necklace dedicated to the African god Anansi - grants her access to the natural abilities of various animal spirits.

Mari is voiced by the actress who appeared as the character in Arrow season four (2016) episode Taken, when Oliver refered to their previous adventures as "animated", which I thought was a nice nod.

The character is also the granddaughter of the Vixen who appears in Legends of Tomorrow, Amaya Jiwe (played by Maisie Richardson-Sellers), and their history - and its connection to the razed African village of Zambesi - is heavily referenced in both the cartoon and Legends.

Stephen Amell (Oliver Queen aka Arrow) - and Grant Gustin (Barry Allen aka The Flash), along with other TV show regulars such as Emily Bett Rickards (Felicity), Carlos Valdes (Cisco), Katie Cassidy (Laurel Lance aka Black Canary) and Brandon Routh (Ray Palmer aka The Atom), lend their vocal stylings as their Arrowverse characters in this fast-paced animation.

Conflating the original short episodes into a single film means the narrative is occasionally choppy and repetitive, but not really enough to be irritating, just noticeable.

Vixen: The Movie is essentially three consecutive stories: in the first Mari is discovering her identity (both in Africa and her new home of Detroit), in the second she is learning to control her powers (while taking her a rare animal smuggling ring), and the third sees her confronting a Zambesi warlord who gets his hands on a 'fire totem' and uses his new-found superpowers to try and steal her 'spirit totem'.

Would I have preferred to see these adventures in live-action? Of course, but I fully accept that that's not always possible (for time and financial reasons) so I'm more than happy to have Vixen: The Movie instead.

I do hope, though, that this Vixen turns up again in the Arrowverse, a team-up with her grandmother on Legends would be very impressive!

2 comments:

  1. Cool. I will have to grab this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's an interesting addition to the canon - just hope it isn't forgotten in the rush to produce more eps of the main shows!

      Delete

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