|Based on||Beast King GoLion|
by Toei Animation
by World Events Productions
|Voices of||Josh Keaton|
A. J. Locascio
|Opening theme||Alex Geringas|
|Country of origin||United States (production)|
South Korea (animation)
|No. of seasons||8|
|No. of episodes||78 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producers||Joaquim Dos Santos|
Yoo Jae Myung
|Producers||Ki Hyun Ryu (supervising)|
Choi Go Un
Kim Seul Ki
Lee Soo Kyung
Kim Young Hyun (season 1−6)
Han Seong Ho (season 7−8)
Park Sang Ah (season 7−8)
|Running time||23 minutes |
69 minutes (The Rise of Voltron)
|Production companies||DreamWorks Animation Television|
World Events Productions
NBCUniversal Television Distribution
|Picture format||1080p (16:9 HDTV)|
|Audio format||Dolby Digital 5.1|
|Original release||June 10, 2016 –|
December 14, 2018
|Preceded by||Voltron Force|
Voltron: Legendary Defender is an animated mecha streaming television series produced by American companies DreamWorks Animation Television and World Events Productions and animated by South Korean studio Mir. It is a reboot of the Voltron franchise and the Japanese anime series Beast King GoLion, and its animation is a mix of anime-influenced traditional animation for characters and background and CGI for Voltron action sequences. Voltron: Legendary Defender is set in a science fiction universe where planetary energy called "quintessence" can be used to power vehicles and magic. The series follows the adventures of the Paladins of Voltron who must learn to work together to form the giant robot Voltron and use it to defeat the evil Galra Empire.
The first season premiered on Netflix on June 10, 2016, and consisted of 11 episodes. The series had a 76-episode commitment from Netflix. It has been released globally in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Scandinavia, Benelux, Latin America, Slovenia, South Africa, Italy and Finland. The second season premiered on Netflix on January 20, 2017, and consisted of 13 episodes. The third season premiered on Netflix on August 4, 2017, and consisted of 7 episodes while the fourth season premiered on October 13, 2017, and consisted of 6 episodes. The fifth season premiered on March 2, 2018, and consists of six episodes. The sixth season premiered on June 15, 2018 and consists of seven episodes. A seventh season premiered on August 10, 2018 and consists of thirteen episodes. The series' success has spawned several comics, action figures, and other toys from Playmates Toys. The eighth and final season premiered on December 14, 2018, and consists of thirteen episodes.
For millennia, the Galra Empire has plagued the universe by destroying other civilizations and enslaving various races. The only known threat strong enough against the empire's power and plans is the legendary "Defender of the Universe" Voltron, a 328-foot tall robot warrior composed of five lion robots whose pilots are known as the Paladins or the Voltron Force. At the crux of the war that ended with the destruction of planet Altea, King Alfor of Altea separated Voltron to protect it from falling into the evil Galran Emperor Zarkon's possession. King Alfor bonded the five lions' energies to his daughter Allura's life force and sent them across the universe to different locations until the time for the next generation of Paladins to appear and pilot Voltron arrived. Princess Allura, her royal adviser Coran, and the Altean Castle of Lions were hidden on planet Arus along with the Black Lion.
In the present, the Galra Empire's path of conquest and search for Voltron has led them to Earth's solar system. A group of space pilots – Shiro, Keith, Lance, Pidge, and Hunk — discover the Blue Lion and immediately get swept up into the Galran War. They meet Princess Allura, become the new Paladins, and reunite the five lions to form Voltron, beginning their fight to liberate the universe from the Galra Empire.
Main article: List of Voltron characters
On January 5, 2016, Netflix and DreamWorks Animation announced a new original animated Voltron series to debut in 2016 as a reboot similar to that of Disney's Ducktales reboot, the expansion of their existing multi-year agreement. Voltron was one of several series planned for initial development and debut in 2016, including Guillermo del Toro's animated Trollhunters. Lauren Montgomery and Joaquim Dos Santos, both known for their work on the Avatar: The Last Airbender and its sequel The Legend of Korra, served as showrunners, while fellow crew member Tim Hedrick served as head writer. On March 25, 2016, at WonderCon, it was announced that the voice cast would consist of Steven Yeun as Keith, Jeremy Shada as Lance, Bex Taylor-Klaus as Pidge, Josh Keaton as Shiro, Tyler Labine as Hunk, Kimberly Brooks as Princess Allura, Rhys Darby as Coran, and Neil Kaplan as Emperor Zarkon. Cree Summer later confirmed that she would be voicing Witch Haggar. The first season premiered on June 10, 2016, and consisted of 13 episodes.
It was announced at San Diego Comic-Con that season two will premiere on Netflix in late 2016. A few months later, at New York Comic Con, it was announced that the second season will premiere on January 20, 2017. The second season saw a special premiere at the New York Comic Con on October 7, 2016, where an episode was shown at the Voltron panel. The second season premiered on Netflix on January 20, 2017, and consisted of 13 episodes.
The third season premiered on Netflix on August 4, 2017, and consisted of 7 episodes. The fourth season premiered in October 2017, and consisted of 6 episodes. The series was revealed at WonderCon 2017 to have a 78-episode commitment from Netflix.
The fifth season premiered on March 2, 2018, and consisted of 6 episodes.
The sixth season premiered on June 15, 2018, and consisted of 7 episodes.
The seventh season premiered on August 10, 2018, and consisted of 13 episodes.
The eighth and final season premiered on December 14, 2018, and consisted of 13 episodes.
Main article: List of Voltron: Legendary Defender episodes
|North America||South Korea|
|1||13||June 10, 2016||February 2, 2019(as Season 1)|
|2||13||January 20, 2017|
|3||7||August 4, 2017||December 21, 2019(as Season 2)|
|4||6||October 13, 2017|
|5||6||March 2, 2018|
|6||7||June 15, 2018|
|7||13||August 10, 2018||December 3, 2020(as Season 3)|
|8||13||December 14, 2018|
Voltron: Legendary Defender has received widespread critical acclaim throughout its eight-season run. Reviewers and a number of fans have lauded the series’ plot and story arc. Some critics and fans criticized the series for its handling of its LGBT representation. Additionally for most of its run, the series was plagued by poor behavior by a subset of its fans, with a number of fans issuing death threats to both the cast and crew, including Dos Santos and Montgomery, over decisions and reactions related to representation and "shipping" interests.
The review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 100% approval with an average rating of 8.15 for the first season, based on 11 reviews, with Critic Consensus being that "Voltron: Legendary Defender honors its source material with beautifully expressive animation and impactful action."
In reviewing the first season, Max Nicholson of IGN wrote, "DreamWork’s Voltron: Legendary Defender delivers exactly the kind of show you’ve come to expect from the amazing creative team behind The Legend of Korra." He rated the series an 8.9 out of 10. Sarah Moran of ScreenRant similarly gave the series a positive review, writing, "It isn’t trying to reinvent or really improve on the original conceit of Voltron, but Legendary Defender is certainly a welcomed take on a classic cartoon; one that should appeal to fans both new and old." Shamus Kelly from Den of Geek gave the series a perfect score, writing, "Seriously, you won’t be disappointed. It’s something special that doesn’t come around often in television."
On Rotten Tomatoes season 2 has a 100% approval with an average rating of 9.6 based on 5 reviews.
On Rotten Tomatoes season 3 has an 100% approval with an average rating of 9.33 based on 5 reviews.
On Rotten Tomatoes season 4 has a 80% approval with an average rating of 8.77 based on 5 reviews.
On Rotten Tomatoes season 5 has a 100% approval with an average rating of 10 based on 5 reviews.
On Rotten Tomatoes season 6 has a 100% approval with an average rating of 9.87 based on 5 reviews.
On Rotten Tomatoes season 7 has a 100% approval with an average rating of 8.75 based on 5 reviews.
On Rotten Tomatoes season 8 has a 86% approval with an average rating of 8.78 based on 7 reviews.
In reviewing the final season, Jesse Schedeen of IGN wrote, "Minor storytelling quibbles aside, the final season of Voltron: Legendary Defender captures pretty much everything that has made this series great. The action scenes are fantastic. The story combines humor and character drama better than any season before it. These 13 episodes tie up nearly every loose end on a satisfying note and raise the stakes of the show higher than ever." He rated the season 9.1 out of 10, though he admits, "That said, it would be far more effective to see one of these animated shows acknowledge their LGBT heroes from the very beginning and not save moments like these for the literal last minute; with that rushed reveal (after spending no time establishing Shiro's new relationship or even hinting at it), Voltron relies too much on the audience's affection for Shiro to give the moment resonance, rather than earning an emotional response from its storytelling."
Dave Trumbore of Collider gave the season a perfect score, writing, "The final season of Voltron: Legendary Defender rarely stumbles; the same can be said of the series’ story overall. Honestly the only shortcoming in the storytelling has to do with the way the narrative has handled romantic relationships; that trend continues here. Overall, Season 8 manages to do the seemingly impossible by ramping up the stakes to the utmost, delivering the most powerful emotional resonance between our heroes and villains yet, and wrapping everything up in a tearful, bittersweet, and fully satisfying way. It's not perfect, but it's as close to perfection as we’re going to get in this reality." Shamus Kelly from Den of Geek gave the season a 4 out 5 stars, writing, "The biggest strength of the season is how nearly everyone comes back to play some part in the final season."
Palmer Haasch of Polygon had praised the series, though she criticized the series' LGBT representation. She noted, "The final sequence of the series, like any button on a series finale, was a mixed bag. It was a relief to see Lance reunited with his family; Hunk’s establishing a diplomatic culinary empire is nothing short of a perfect arc" concluding, "Ultimately, Voltron, the vision and artistic pursuit of its creators, was never going to quell the concerns of its fanbase. But taken on its own storytelling merits, the final season remained true to the ideas of found family, collective spirit, and empathetic connection. Voltron: Legendary Defender was an honor to follow, and it’s certain that the series will be remembered both for its compelling narrative and spirited fandom for years to come."
In reviewing the series as a whole, Jacob Oller of Paste Magazine wrote, “Empathy is Voltron’s quintessence, its driving fuel and its prime directive. And now that it’s over, those moving on can list the series alongside Korra and Avatar as one of the most impressive of its time.”
There were a number of negative reviews, mostly revolving around Shiro's wedding scene and for killing off Allura. The Geekiary's Jamie Sugah stated in her official series finale, "On the whole, though, this is a lackluster ending for what had up until now been a well-written show with strong, well-developed characters. Voltron season 8 felt very rushed and out of character, with a poorly thought out and clearly tacked on ending."
The Official Voltron Podcast, Let's Voltron, stated, "Allura's death, as I saw it for a long time, really, really bothered me. I've got to be frank about it. As a father of a seven year daughter, for a TV-Y7/FV show, to kill off one of the few female prominent characters? I mean we've got a lot of strong secondary characters, but among the paladins it's Allura and Pidge and that's it, it bothered me a lot. To me it's a difficult pill to swallow. To me it came entirely out of left field. I kept me trap shut on social media, but I was bothered by it a lot." When speaking of Lotor's death, "I think it was little rough for children. I literally rechecked the ratings of the series when I saw that happen, and it's TV-Y7/FV... but seeing his body there—it's just. We didn't have to see it there, did we?" In regards to Shiro's wedding, "We were told that any kind of relationship developed, it was gonna happen naturally and stuff like that, and obviously this didn't really happen naturally."
While the show had at least five confirmed LGBTQ characters, controversy swirled around its LGBTQ representation. Specifically, it featured three gay characters, Shiro and Adam, who broke up, with Adam dying several years later, but at the end of eighth and final season, Shiro is married to Curtis, a background character introduced in Season 7. The series was fraught with criticism for its LGBTQ representation. The show was criticized for killing off a gay character, with some saying the show was following a stereotype known as "burying that gay", leading showrunner Joaquim Dos Santos to apologize to fans. This was not a surprise as "not all queer presentation" was created equal as one scholar noted, with representation of bisexual and transgender characters lagging behind lesbians and gay men in some respects, with this representation important in the U.S. political climate while GLAAD called for Hollywood to produce more characters with LGBTQ+ characters. Renaldo Metadeen of CBR gave his own take, criticizing the marriage between Shiro and Curtis, calling it "cheap and tacked on," while stating that making a "five-second blip of the wedding...come[s] off as a publicity stunt."
Criticism of editing primarily regarded LGBT issues, though some were general observations. On October 22, 2018, a series of leaks of the final episode appeared online of the wedding, in which a different character was seen marrying Shiro. With the release of the final episode it is shown as true.
Further controversy followed with the release of the final season, where Shiro is married to Curtis. In the English audio description, Curtis is referred to as Adam though he is once mentioned to be Curtis in the closed captions of a different episode. The error has since been corrected, but a number of fans have noted this as "evidence" of the "tacked-on" nature of the epilogue.
The supervising producer, episode director, storyboard artist, and animator Kihyun Ryu posted on his Instagram on September 12 a piece of Shiro material, weeks before the season was sent to be dubbed into other languages. In the comments, the show runners tell him to "make it beautiful."
Controversy in Season 8 also swirled around Ezor, a female character who was confirmed to be in a same-sex relationship with fellow general Zethrid. The character's single line of dialogue was pulled from Kimberly Brooks in a previous season, No audio description ever mentions Ezor's survival within "The Grudge" or its following episode. The lack of movement of the character, only blinking and materializing out of thin air, suggests that the character was meant to remain dead and was added back in at the last minute to appease some negativity.
Carli Squitieri, the storyboard revisionist on "The Grudge", stated on social media after the release of Season 7, "Ezor should have lived, but that's another story I'm not under the authority to speak about."
Fans began a petition for the alleged original season (the version that supposedly existed prior to severe editing), to be released. The petition has garnered over 30,000 signatures.
Speaking in an interview with the "Let's Voltron" podcast Joaquim Dos Santos denied the existence of an alternate cut of season eight.
The poor behavior of a number of the show's fans was notable. In 2019, it was reported that death threats were issued to many within the Voltron cast and crew, particularly to the showrunners Dos Santos and Montgomery and voice actors Josh Keaton and Bex Taylor-Klaus. Almost all of the negative behavior centered on either LGBT representation or "shipping." In 2019, a fan attempted to blackmail the showrunners, threatening to publicly post private internal documents related to the show if the characters Keith and Lance were not written to be romantically involved with one another.
In defense of the executive producers, Tyler Labine, the voice actor for Hunk, stated on his personal Instagram account that "what is not real and what will all fall by the wayside in due time is all the unwarranted hate and vitriol that the dark side of this fandom has let seep into this precious world. THAT is all just noise and I refuse to listen." He also said, in regard to Shiro's epilogue in Season 8, that the "powers that be and people in control aren’t always free to do things the way they want. There is always someone more powerful with lore control keep the gates shut. Just remember that next time you decide that the creators of this show didn’t care about the fandom. I assure they cared more than anybody."
|2017||44th Annie Awards||Best/Animated TV Broadcast Production For Children's Audience||Episode: "Return of the Gladiator"||Nominated|||
|Kidscreen Awards||Best Animated Series, Teens and Tweens||Voltron: Legendary Defender||Nominated|||
|IGN's Best of 2016 Awards||Best Animated Series||Voltron: Legendary Defender||Nominated|||
|64th Annual Golden Reel Awards||Sound and Music Editing - TV Animation||Episode: "The Black Paladin"||Nominated|||
|Golden Trailer Awards 2017||Best Animation/Family (TV Spot / Trailer /Teaser for a Series)||Voltron: Legendary Defender||Nominated|||
|6th Annual BTVA Awards||Best Vocal Ensemble in a New Television Series||Voltron: Legendary Defender||Nominated|||
|BTVA People's Choice Award for Best Vocal Ensemble in a New Television Series||Voltron: Legendary Defender||Won|
|Best Male Lead Vocal Performance in a Television Series||Jeremy Shada (Lance)||Nominated|
|Best Female Lead Vocal Performance in a Television Series||Kimberly Brooks (Allura)||Won|
|Best Male Vocal Performance in a Television Series in a Supporting Role||Neil Kaplan (Emperor Zarkon)||Won|
|BTVA People's Choice Award for Best Male Vocal Performance in a Television Series in a Supporting Role||Neil Kaplan (Emperor Zarkon)||Won|
|IGN's Best of 2017 Awards||Best Animated Series||Voltron: Legendary Defender||Nominated|||
|2018||Kidscreen Awards||Best Animated Series, Teens and Tweens||Voltron: Legendary Defender||Nominated|||
|45th Daytime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Interactive Media - Enhancement to a Daytime Program or Series||DreamWorks Voltron VR Chronicles||Nominated|||
|7th Annual BTVA Awards||Best Vocal Ensemble in a Television Series||Voltron: Legendary Defender||Nominated|||
|BTVA People's Choice Award for Best Vocal Ensemble in a Television Series||Voltron: Legendary Defender||Won|
|Best Male Vocal Performance in a Television Series||Rhys Darby (Coran)||Nominated|
|BTVA People's Choice Award for Best Male Vocal Performance in a Television Series||Rhys Darby (Coran)||Won|
|Best Male Vocal Performance in a Television Series in a Supporting Role||AJ Locascio (Prince Lotor)||Won|
|BTVA People's Choice Award for Best Male Vocal Performance in a Television Series in a Supporting Role||AJ Locascio (Prince Lotor)||Won|
|Best Female Vocal Performance in a Television Series in a Guest Role||Alyson Stoner (Florona)||Nominated|
|BTVA People's Choice Award for Best Female Vocal Performance in a Television Series in a Guest Role||Alyson Stoner (Florona)||Won|
|The 2018 ComicBook.com Golden Issue Awards||Best Animated TV Series||Voltron: Legendary Defender||Won|||
|IGN's Best of 2018 Awards||Best Animated Series||Voltron: Legendary Defender||Nominated|||
|2019||Golden Trailer Awards 2019||Best Animation / Family TV Spot / Trailer / Teaser for a Series||Voltron: Legendary Defender||Nominated|||
Three comic series detailing events happening in between episodes were announced in January 2016. Taking story ideas that were deemed too outlandish and too epic to be contained in a 23-minute episode from the animated series, these comic series bridges the time lapse between seasons.
Despite original statements of continuing into Volume 4, LionForge opted to cancel its contract. Its only response in regards to the matter was a brief tweet of an article from Geekdad.
The first miniseries consisted of five issues, published by Lion Forge Comics. It was written by show head writer Tim Hedrick and Mitch Iverson, and illustrated by Digital Art Chefs. A special cover variant of issue #1 was available at San Diego Comic-Con in 2016, with a limited release of 250 copies. Issue #2 was released on August 2, 2016, followed by issue #3 on October 5, 2016, issue #4 on November 9, 2016, and issue #5 on November 20, 2016. The whole series will be collected in a graphic novel and was initially scheduled for a December 2016 release, but got pushed back to January 3, 2017, then was finally released January 25, 2017, according to Lion Forge. The second series will be announced after the release of the graphic novel. A motion comic of issue 1 with full voice acting by the series cast was released on June 15, 2017, at the DreamWorksTV YouTube channel. The story takes place in between the season 1 episodes "Rebirth" and "Crystal Venom."
|#1||July 13, 2016||Tim Hedrick
|Digital Art Chefs||Voltron: Legendary Defender
JANUARY 25, 2017
|#2||August 24, 2016|
|#3||October 5, 2016|
|#4||November 9, 2016|
|#5||November 30, 2016|
During the Voltron: Legendary Defender panel at WonderCon 2017, it was announced that the second series of five issues would debut in May 2017. The date was pushed back to late June due to production delays., however the date was pushed back on October 4, 2017 where was published where issue 2 and 3 was published on the same day, November 1, 2017 and issue 4 was published on November 15, 2017, issue 5 was published on December 13, 2017, the Vol. 2 Trade Paperback was published on January 31, 2018. The story takes place in between the season 2 episodes "Shiro's Escape" and "Greening the Cube."
|#1||October 4, 2017||Tim Hedrick
|Voltron: Legendary Defender
Volume 2: Pilgrimage
JANUARY 31, 2018
|#2||November 1, 2017||Rubine|
Jung Gwan Yoo
|#4||November 15, 2017||Rubine|
|#5||December 13, 2017||Rubine|
Volume 3 debuted on July 11, 2018. The story is set between season 4 and season 5.
|#1||July 11, 2018||Mitch Iverson||Gung Gwan Yoo
|Voltron: Legendary Defender
Volume 3: Absolution
January 9, 2019
|#2||August 8, 2018||Rubine|
|#3||September 12, 2018||Edwin Prasetya|
|#4||October 10, 2018||Rubine|
|#5||November 14, 2018|
The first two seasons were released on DVD in Region 1 by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment on June 12, 2018, The first two seasons were also released in Australia on October 17, 2018. The series was also releasesd on DVD in the UK, Italy, and Germany. A box set for seasons 3-6 has been released as of June 2019. Seasons 1-6 are available on iTunes, Google Play Amazon Video etc in the UK.
To promote the series in between the release of season 1 and 2, a Robeast fanart contest was announced via social media on October 18, 2016. The winner was announced on December 27, 2016 on social media under the username "Zilla B".
A virtual-reality video game based on the series, known as Voltron VR Chronicles, was released for Steam, Oculus and PlayStation 4 via PlayStation Network.
A real-time strategy video game based on the series, called Voltron: Cubes of Olkarion, created by indie developer Gbanga, was entered into and won the 2018 Universal GameDev Challenge. The game was released on Steam Early Access on 29 August 2019. On the 19th September 2019 NBCUniversal shutdown its game publishing division. Three months later on the 19th December Voltron: Cubes of Olkarion was briefly removed from the Steam store, but reactivated in June 2020. In the game, players compete in real-time player vs player (PvP) game battles by placing own and destroying opponent blocks with different features in a game board with a grid.
Season 7 kicks off with Shiro's recovery (and coming out, thanks to a flashback showing him and a significant other named Adam)
An episode screened for the crowd glimpsed a flashback scene involving Adam, Shiro’s former "flight partner" in the Galaxy Garrison who became something more. "He is Shiro’s significant other," Montgomery told the room. "They weren’t married yet, but that’s the road they were going down" — that is, until Shiro "made the unfortunate decision" to go to space.
During today's panel, showrunner Lauren Montgomery noted that viewers would meet Adam, Shiro's significant other, during the seventh season of the show. The two men were heading towards marriage, but Shiro broke things off to join the Kerebos mission instead.
((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)[dead link]
...My undying appreciation for @Voltron is REAL. What is not real and what will all fall by the wayside in due time is all the unwarranted hate and vitriol that the dark side of this fandom has let seep into this precious world. THAT is all just noise and I refuse to listen. What was done here was groundbreaking and special and so far beyond what I think any of us could have ever hoped for in the series.