Star vs. the Forces of Evil had its official premiere on Disney X D last night, and even though I’m still squealing, I attempted to pull together and give you guys a cohesive review of the show, or rather, why you should be watching this show right now.
The Flawless Intro
This show first won me over when the introduction was previewed months ago. It was shaky cam footage, but despite that, it conveyed exactly how amazing and adorable the show was. The theme song (which I’m embedding below for your viewing enjoyment) conveys what the show is about: it’s weird, it’s adorable, our main character (Star Butterfly) is a princess from another dimension (and uses a magic wand as a weapon), while our other main character (Marco Diaz) is a karate master. (Or rather, a green belt with one stripe.)
It also lets us know that the main characters have the ability to hop dimensions. We get to see a little bit of this in the first two episodes, and the various scenes we get to see during the intro hint at more dimensions to explore. Pirates! Caverns with light-up bugs! A cloud dance club! A demon’s house! Each world we’re shown is as quirky and fun as Star and Marco are, and gives the viewer something to look forward to in the future. It’ll be interesting seeing how the intro ties into the rest of the show.
The animation is wonderful.
The animation on this show is fluid and bright. The characters are animated very expressively, and their body movements and facial expressions tell us a lot about who they are as people. Each world also has its own little flair, from the darker world that Ludo the antagonist inhabits, to Star’s bright colored home, to Earth and how the creatures from other dimensions stand out against it when they interact with it. There’s a lot of pretty, dynamic animation. I couldn’t even take notes for this review because I was too glued to the screen for most of the two episodes to focus on my laptop. But I mean, so pretty! So bright! So quirky! See?
I think it’s really important to mention that this show’s main characters are a female warrior princess and her not-white sidekick, and that the show has a female creator.
We don’t get enough cartoons created by awesome women, and the fact that Daron Nefcy is only the second animated show creator for Disney Television Animated (the first was Sue Rose, who created Pepper Ann, if you were wondering) is pretty sad.
I mean, it’s awesome that she created this show. But it’s sad that she’s only the second woman to do this. I think it’s really important to have more women in animation, and it’s also important to have more diversity. Star Butterfly and Marco Diaz add some uniqueness to the Disney animated landscape, especially because of how complex and wonderful the characters are (which is kind of the best part of the show).
Star Butterfly and Marco Diaz: Quirky, Badass and Adorable
I’m going to admit now that I expected to come out of this show with Star as my favorite character, since she’s voiced by Eden Sher (who is amazing and whose voice acting gives so much life and quirkiness to Star). Also, she’s a princess with a wand that shoots rainbows and hearts out of it, which is awesome. But honestly, Marco really grew on me in the two episodes that premiered, so I have two favorite characters now. Clearly, they’re the best when they’re together though, which is evidenced by their adorable friendship.
Star Butterfly is a warrior princess who fights monsters, as evidenced by her introduction, when we see her attacking monsters before she rides a rogue unicorn into the castle. It’s always nice to get a female character that can be strong without sacrificing her femininity, and Star is exactly that. Her magical attacks usually involve typically “girly” things, like butterflies and hearts, and when she uses magic for non-battle uses, she enjoys conjuring up things like a room extension. And puppies!
Of course, if Star had perfect control of her magic, the show would be less interesting, so it’s established at the start that she’s not exactly adept at controlling them, despite her reassurances to her parents.
So it’s off to Earth, to figure out how her powers work. That’s where Marco comes into the picture.
Marco is a lot of fun as a character. He’s a self-proclaimed bad boy, but his actions say otherwise, like when he rants to Star about how he doesn’t understand why people think he always plays it safe, while steering Star out of danger in the hallways.
But while Marco is cautious, that doesn’t stop him from stepping into a fight if he needs to. He uses his karate to fight against Ludo and his forces, while Star uses her magic.
They both have different strengths: Marco keeps her out of trouble and guides her in this strange new dimension she’s not accustomed to, while Star gives him the excitement he’s looking for and uses her magic to protect him and help him out when she can. It’s a nice symbiotic relationship, and these two are adorable together. Just look at them!
The show also plays around with gender roles. Marco cooks. Star is a brutal fighter.
It’s nice having a show with dual main characters where the characters aren’t fully feminine or masculine: they’re fully fleshed out people with varying traits and interests. In my opinion, the best characters come when gender stereotypes are challenged and interesting people like Star and Marco emerge on-screen.
Ludo and his interactions with Star are hilarious.
Ludo is initially set up as a tough, menacing antagonist. We’re introduced to him facing away from the audience, on a large chair, with his eyes glowing in the darkness. Then he turns around, and the illusion is ruined by the stack of pillows he’s sitting on, and how tiny he looks. Granted, he does look creepy, but he’s not exactly as tough as we imagined he’d be.
Like most cartoon antagonists and heroes, Ludo and Star share some great banter between them. There’s actually this great moment in the premiere when Ludo shows up to attack Star and she asks how he knew where she was:
Like most cartoon villains, Ludo also has a really weak group of henchmen, which he often grumbles about. Watching them trudge away as Ludo berates them about they “even retreat like losers” made me chuckle quite a bit. And then there was this great moment:
From how he’s been set up, Ludo seems like he’ll end up being a fun Chuckles-like antagonist and I can’t wait to see where the show goes with him.
One last thing before I wrap this up: one of the minor things I enjoyed was that way that the show poked fun at technology.
Even Star’s other dimensions have technology in some form, and the show takes great pleasure in poking fun at technological things in our pop culture. One great example is the game Marco plays against Pony Head is called Joust Joust Revolution, a play off Dance Dance Revolution.
The show also pokes fun at apps like Snapchat, and voice recognition when trying to call someone and your phone (or magic mirror, in Star’s case) just can’t get their name right. I await to see what else they’re going to tackle in the future.
Conclusion: You Should Go Watch This Show, Because It’s Adorable and Promising
While there were a few aspects I wasn’t quite as fond of (such as Marco’s friends), I think Star vs. the Forces of Evil had a strong promising premiere. Its strong characters, gorgeous animation and diversity give it an edge, and I’ll definitely be tuning in to see where this goes next.
Star vs. the Forces of Evil airs Monday nights at 8/7 central on Disney X D.
For those of you who’ve seen the show, what did you think? For those of you who haven’t, did my review inspire you to check it out? Let us know in the comments!