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WondLa Season 1 series review: This one’s strictly for the young ones

The first season of Apple TV+ kids series WondLa, based on a novel trilogy, is now available to stream

3/5rating
WondLa Season 1 series review: This one’s strictly for the young ones
A still from WondLa

Last Updated: 11.32 AM, Jul 05, 2024

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WondLa Season 1 series story: 16-year-old Eva (Jeanine Mason), has lived all her life in an underground bunker, cared for by a robot, Muthr, a multi-utility task help robot (voiced by Teri Hatcher). Eva is supposed to be one of many who are being raised in the hopes of repopulating earth some day in the not-so-distant future. But before she can complete her final test and head up to the surface, there’s a breach and she is forced out into the world, which, as it turns out, is now nothing like what she’d been told about in training.

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Amid a plethora of alien lifeform around her, Eva wonders if she really is on earth. Turns out, she is, and, she may just be the last human being walking the planet. Earth is now Orbona, which the Orbonians colonized after mankind all but destroyed it. But is Eva really the last one standing?

WondLa Season 1 series review: Apple TV+ animated series for children follows a very familiar setting. Humans living in an underground settlement because the surface is no longer fit for them. The streamer’s own Silo falls in that territory, as does the more recent Fallout – an apocalyptic world and the struggle for survival of the last remnants of humanity is a done-to-death trope.

A still from WondLa, the first season of which drops on June 28
A still from WondLa, the first season of which drops on June 28

The show, the first season of which with 7 episodes is now on Apple TV+, is based on the novel The Search for WondLa, which in turn is the first of three books by Tony DiTerlizzi. Here, audiences are introduced to the central character Eva, who is, strangely, the only resident of sanctuary 573, where she is mothered by a robot, Muthr, programmed to train her for life on the surface, while also protecting her, as she gears up to attaining that goal.

Apart from Muthr, Eva is joined by a giant water bear/bug called Otto (Brad Garrett) who can converse with her telepathically, and a cerulean wanderer Rovender Kitt (Gary Anthony Williams), on her quest. But with the hunter Besteel (Chiké Okonkwo) hot on her heels, to capture the ‘dangerous’ human, and present her to the advisors of Queen Ojo, getting to her final destination is arduous.

Eva and Rovender Kitt in WondLa
Eva and Rovender Kitt in WondLa

WondLa’s way too familiar basic premise apart, what also fails it is that the entire narrative and every character has a been-there-done-that feel to it. Right from Eva, the rebellious 16-year-old and her conflict with Muthr, who is just being protective, to Rovender being a hesitant ally, who later becomes like family and the adorable sidekick Otto, it’s all part of tales as old as time.

At 7 episodes, each of around 30-minute run time, the feeling one gets at the end is that the makers should have either chopped it down to a decent sized feature film length or given it more to chew on in terms of the characters. Like, for instance, Muthr, and the other kids she’s reared, Rovender’s family, etc.

Eva, Rovender, Muthr and Otto navigate their way across a treacherous bridge in WondLa
Eva, Rovender, Muthr and Otto navigate their way across a treacherous bridge in WondLa

Adults are unlikely to feel invested in the show, even though the animation isn’t bad and the voice cast includes the likes of Alan Tudyk and Shohreh Aghdashloo, DC Douglas. This one’s strictly for the young ones, although, waiting for the rest of the seasons to also become available might be a good choice.

WondLa Season 1 series verdict: The animated feature is familiar, but pleasant; has good animation and voice talent on board. It’s not groundbreaking, but it’s not bad either. Leave it to the kids; they may like it.

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