|Created by||Christy Hui|
|Developed by||Brandon Sawyer|
|Theme music composer|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||52 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer||Sander Schwartz|
|Running time||21–22 minutes|
|Production company||Warner Bros. Animation|
|Original network||The WB (Kids' WB)|
|Original release||November 1, 2003 –|
May 13, 2006
Xiaolin Showdown is an American animated television series that aired on Kids' WB and was created by Christy Hui. Set in a world where martial arts battles and Eastern magic are commonplace, the series follows Omi, Raimundo, Kimiko, and Clay, four young Xiaolin warriors in training who, alongside their dragon companion Dojo, battle the Heylin forces of evil, especially series antagonists Jack Spicer, Wuya, and Chase Young. The Xiaolin warriors set to accomplish this by protecting Shen Gong Wu, a set of ancient artifacts that have great magical powers, from villains who could use them to conquer the world. Typical episodes revolve around a specific Shen Gong Wu and the resulting race on both sides to find it. Episodes often climax with one good and one evil character challenging one another to a magical duel called a Xiaolin Showdown for possession of the artifact.
Originally premiering on the Kids' WB block of programming on The WB on November 1, 2003, the series ran for 3 seasons with 52 episodes before its conclusion on May 13, 2006. Reruns aired on Cartoon Network from 2006 to 2007 and on Boomerang from 2015 to 2018. Xiaolin Showdown was a ratings hit for Kids' WB and led to the licensing of spin-off media including DVD releases, a trading card game, and a video game. The series won a Daytime Emmy Award in 2005 and was nominated for three additional Daytime Emmy Awards, one Annie Award, and one Golden Reel Award.
Follow-up series Xiaolin Chronicles previewed on August 26, 2013, on Disney XD and began its long-term run on September 14 the same year. The show aired for twenty episodes from August 26, 2013 to March 6, 2014 on Disney XD, leaving the last six episodes unaired in the United States until July 1, 2015, when Chronicles was made available to watch on Netflix.
Xiaolin Showdown was created by Christy Hui and co-produced by executive producer Sander Schwartz, supervising producer Eric Radomski and producers Bill Motz and Bob Roth and composed by Kevin Manthei, it was additionally developed by Warner Bros. Animation. The first episode of Xiaolin Showdown was developed over three years following its conception, and premiered November 1, 2003.
Series creator Christy Hui has stated that despite the growing popularity of anime in the United States, she preferred to create a show that was a "fusion of Eastern and Western culture". Xiaolin Showdown shows subtle influences of Eastern art, action, and philosophy, but also includes very Western characters and humor. Dong Yang Animation Co., LTD, Digital eMation, and Lotto Animation contributed some of the animation for this series.
Following the success of its first season, a 26-episode season 2 was ordered. A third season would follow, resulting in 3 seasons and 52 episodes. The series received promotion in other media, including Postopia, a trading card game, and a video game.
The series was followed by Xiaolin Chronicles, which premiered on August 26, 2013. Actress Tara Strong strongly hinted via Twitter that episodes were being produced, which was confirmed by fellow series star Grey DeLisle when she appeared on the March 9, 2012, episode of actor Rob Paulsen's podcast, and by series creator Christy Hui in her Facebook account.
Four young monks – Omi, Kimiko, Raimundo, and Clay – are forced into cooperation at the Xiaolin Temple after learning they are chosen to become Xiaolin Dragons. They become friends and work together traveling the world in search for Shen Gong Wu, mystical objects with powers that balance the forces of good and evil. Along the way, they must battle wannabe evil boy genius Jack Spicer, and the evil Heylin sorceress Wuya, whom Jack inadvertently frees from a 1500-year imprisonment in a puzzle box by Grand Master Dashi. Through thievery, Spicer ultimately possesses enough Shen Gong Wu to form Mala Mala Jong, an ancient monster that Wuya uses to help her gain control of the world. Raimundo defies orders and fights the monster, causing the remaining monks to fight and defend the remaining Shen Gong Wu in the Temple's possession. All the monks, except for Raimundo, are promoted to Xiaolin Apprentices. Angered, Raimundo joins the Heylin side and helps Wuya regain her human form.
Omi travels back in time and receives a second puzzle box from Grand Master Dashi, who trapped Wuya in the puzzle box 1500 years ago. But with no way back to the future, he freezes himself using the Orb of Tornami. In the present time, Omi breaks free of the ice with the puzzle box in hand. Raimundo decides that his rightful place belongs in the Xiaolin Temple with his friends and traps Wuya in the new puzzle box. After returning to the Temple, the monks continue their search for the Shen Gong Wu. Eventually, Raimundo is promoted to Xiaolin Apprentice.
Afterwards, the monks are introduced to Xiaolin monk-turned-evil villain Chase Young. Chase takes an interest in Omi and becomes determined to manipulate his mind into joining the Heylin side. When Master Fung becomes trapped in the Ying-Yang World, Omi asks for help from Chase. He succeeds in rescuing Master Fung; however, upon leaving the Ying-Yang world, his bad chi takes over and he joins the Heylin side. Chase succeeds in restoring Wuya to her human form, though he takes her powers. The remaining monks soon learn that Chase had sent Master Fung into the Ying-Yang World knowing the events that would unfold afterwards, including Omi joining his side.
Raimundo, Kimiko and Clay travel to the Ying-Yang World to retrieve Omi's good chi and return him to the Xiaolin side. After gaining Omi back, the monks are promoted to Wudai Warriors. They are then introduced to Hannibal Bean, an evil villain from the Ying-Yang World who is responsible for turning Chase Young to the Heylin side.
Toward the end of their journey, Master Fung tells the monks that they have one final quest before the team's leader, the Shoku Warrior, will be revealed. Omi decides that he will stop Hannibal Bean from turning Chase to the Heylin side. He ends up freezing himself in order to travel to the future to find the Sands of Time. Through time travel, he succeeds by switching the Lao Mang Long Soup with pea soup. However, when he returns to his present time, he learns that his actions have made things worse: instead of Chase joining the Heylin side, it is Chase's former friend, Master Monk Guan, whom Hannibal Bean turns evil. The monks and Chase are captured by Hannibal Bean, Wuya, and the evil Guan; Chase sacrifices his good self to save the monks and give them the opportunity to fight and return everything to the way it was. The monks succeed, and the timeline is fixed.
In the end, Raimundo is revealed as the Shoku Warrior. The series concludes with every villain attacking the temple, and the Wudai Warriors led by Raimundo proceeding to counterattack.
Xiaolin Showdown features a large cast, many of whom only appear in one episode and occasionally return for cameos or for single episodes later in the series. While the supporting characters are often one-dimensional and serve an immediate purpose in the episode in which they appear, the main characters are often well-developed with strengths and minor flaws that become present as the series progresses.
The focus of the series is on collecting the fictional Shen Gong Wu (聖功武), mystical artifacts that have magical powers, activated by saying the artifact's name aloud. Wuya's release caused Shen Gong Wu to reveal themselves. They are primarily used in Xiaolin Showdowns. The first Xiaolin Showdown was between Grand Master Dashi and Wuya. It was a great battle, in which Dashi used the Shen Gong Wu against Wuya's Heylin magic. Eventually, Grand Master Dashi was the victor, and Wuya was trapped within a mystical puzzle box. Determined to ensure that Wuya would not be able to get her hands on the Shen Gong Wu and rule the world with them, Grand Master Dashi and the dragon Dojo hid them all over the world. Dashi then created the Xiaolin Temple and began a lineage of Xiaolin Warriors to prevent the Shen Gong Wu from falling into the wrong hands. Should Wuya ever be freed, the Xiaolin Warriors would rise up and fight the forces of the Heylin.
A Shen Gong Wu can only be located when it chooses to reveal itself, at that point both Wuya and Dojo can sense its activation and can find its general location. Wuya can tell what Shen Gong Wu has revealed itself, while the Xiaolin must defer to the Ancient Scroll of the Shen Gong Wu to find out which one has been revealed. Chase Young is also capable of anticipating when a new Shen Gong Wu is revealed.
There are two occasions during which astronomical events affect the Shen Gong Wu. When the planets align themselves, the Shen Gong Wu gather to form Mala Mala Jong. When the rare Heylin Comet flies over Earth, the Shen Gong Wu come alive and take over their user. Raimundo was subject to the Heylin Comet's magic in the episode "The Last Temptation of Raimundo", and he was taken over by the Golden Tiger Claws, Third Arm Sash, Helmet of Jong and many other Shen Gong Wu. He was mutated into a giant freakish brute until the comet had passed, and it was safe to take the Shen Gong Wu off.
In Xiaolin Chronicles, many Shen Gong Wu are redesigned and even renamed, such as the Orb of Tornami, Sword of the Storm, Fist of Tebigong, and Monkey Staff.
In Xiaolin Showdown, when more than one person grabs a Shen Gong Wu at the same time, a Xiaolin Showdown occurs. In this namesake competition, each side wagers a Shen Gong Wu he/she already owns. In some cases, the competitors invoke a Shen Yi Bu Dare, where multiple (usually two) Shen Gong Wu are wagered. The winner obtains all the Shen Gong Wu fought for, totaling five Shen Gong Wu. In some cases, when more than two people touch a Shen Gong Wu at once, a different kind of Xiaolin Showdown occurs: the Showdown Trio is a two-on-one or three-person free-for-all, a Xiaolin Showdown Tsunami is either a two-on-two or a four-person free-for-all Showdown, and an Eight-Way Xiaolin Showdown is a four-on-four Showdown. One can also call for a Cosmic Clash Showdown, allowing the caller to bring more people into the Showdown, who did not touch the Shen Gong Wu (however, in this type of showdown, one of the competitors must be over one-half Shen Gong Wu and look kind of freakish). Generally, the competitors in a Xiaolin Showdown of any type use the Shen Gong Wu that they wagered to compete with. However, there have been instances where a Shen Gong Wu not wagered was used in the Xiaolin Showdown, as in "The Last Temptation of Raimundo" when Wuya used the Shroud of Shadows against the Xiaolin Warriors while she was possessing Raimundo. Another showdown was in "Enter The Dragon" when Omi uses the Reversing Mirror and Shroud of Shadows on Dojo.
The challenge in a Xiaolin Showdown can be anything, but most commonly is some sort of race to the Shen Gong Wu. When the Showdown is called, the world warps around the competitors and bystanders, and the terrain they are on becomes an extreme extent, such as a mountainside becoming a field of rock pillars, or a snowfield becoming a large snowboarding course. Some Showdowns have also affected those involved, such as gaining weight for a sumo wrestling showdown. Other contests have been games of tag, basketball, or combat. The challenge officially begins after the change, and when both (or all) combatants yell "Gong Yi Tanpai!" then the decided contest starts. When one is victorious, the terrain returns to normal, and the winner gains possession of all the wagered Shen Gong Wu.
"Gong Yi Tanpai!" is a pseudo-Chinese way of saying, "Ready, Set, Go!".
Omi inadvertently gave the competition its name when he traveled back in time in the episode "Days Past" to ask Grand Master Dashi to make another puzzle box to imprison Wuya.
Main article: List of Xiaolin Showdown episodes
Xiaolin Showdown was a huge hit for the Kids WB network and it ranked at the no.1 position against all other Saturday morning competition mainly between kids aged 6–14.
|2004||31st Annie Awards||Outstanding Character Design in an Animated Television Production||Matt Danner for Xiaolin Showdown||Nominated|||
|31st Daytime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Sound Editing — Live Action and Animation||Tom Syslo, Timothy J. Borquez, Eric Freeman, Mark A. Keatts, Mark Keefer, Kerry Brody|||
|2005||32nd Daytime Emmy Awards||Won|||
|52nd Annual Golden Reel Awards||Best Sound Editing in Television: Animated||Dreamscape||Nominated|||
|2006||33rd Daytime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Sound Editing — Live Action and Animation|||
|2007||34th Daytime Emmy Awards|||
Warner Bros. released a two-disc Season 1 DVD on February 20, 2007. On January 10, 2017, after Amazon acquired the rights to produce home media releases for the series, both a reprint of the Season 1 DVD and a complete Season 2 DVD were released in manufacture-on-demand format. On April 11, 2017, Season 3 was also given a manufacture-on-demand release.
All seasons of Xiaolin Showdown as well as the spin-off series Xiaolin Chronicles are available on Amazon Prime Video and iTunes in high definition.
Wizards of the Coast released a now out-of-print trading card game based on the series in 2005.
Konami developed a Xiaolin Showdown video game that was released on November 14, 2006, for PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable, Xbox, and Nintendo DS.
On September 14, 2013, a successor series, Xiaolin Chronicles, premiered. Chronicles features a new ally of the main characters named Ping Pong as they continue their fight against Wuya, Jack Spicer and Chase Young.