animation, movie, movie review, sci-fi

April 26th, 2018 Movie – Voltron: Fleet Of Doom

voltron fleet of doom

Ahh, the memories that this brings up. I know that every generation of kids will say that the cartoons from when they grew up were the best but honestly, I loved the 80’s cartoons. One of my favorites of that batch was Voltron, as I remember my dad setting the VCR to record it so my brother and I could watch it on the weekends when we were with him. I remember when this special first aired, I was super excited as it would be a chance to see both Voltrons at the same time. So let’s relive some childhood memories with today’s movie, Voltron: Fleet Of Doom.

The plot: In the far reaches of the galaxy, King Zarkon forms an alliance with Viceroy Throk of the Drule Empire. The two rulers create a massive armada, known as the Fleet of Doom, which they plan to use to conquer the galaxy. When one of Zarkon’s scouting parties locates the secret base that supplies all of the power for the Galaxy Alliance, Zarkon and Throk send out the fleet to destroy the base, though each ruler plans to turn on his ally once the defeat the Galaxy Alliance. The Galaxy Alliance contacts Coran on Planet Arus and Commander James Hawkins of the Exploration Fleet to explain the situation and both men agree to send their respective Voltron’s to assist in defending the base. The Castle of Lions takes off from Planet Arus on it’s way to meet with Commander Hawkins’ ship and as they are flying through space, Keith and the others remember some of the fun times they had with their friends during the academy before Coran suggests they sleep in shifts, telling Keith and Princess Allura to get some rest first. On Planet Doom, Zarkon’s witch Haggar offers her help in dealing with the Voltron Force but when Zarkon refuses, she changes his lead scientist into a monster, then disappears. Haggar heads to a land beyond space and time, which is the source of her magic powers, and calls upon the spirits to increase her magic powers. Haggar then makes her way to the Castle of Lions, and uses her powers to look in on Keith and Allura’s dreams. However, Haggar’s presence is detected by the space mice, who alert Pidge, Hunk, and Lance and they rush off to stop her. They reach Haggar as she enters Allura’s room but Haggar uses her magic to immobolize them, and Keith after he is woken by the commotion and enters the room, then steals Allura’s spirit and disappears. When Coran enters the room, Keith explains what happens and as they try to figure out how to save Allura, the ghost of her father, King Alfor, appears. Keith asks Alfor what they can do to save Allura and when he says it involves a dangerous journey, Keith agrees to undertake it for Allura. Alfor transports Keith to the lad beyond time and space, warning him that in this land dreams become real, and Keith heads out to rescue Allura. Elsewhere, Haggar transfers Allura’s spirit to a spherical prison and Allura tries to plead with her ti turn against Zarkon and stop being evil but Haggar refuses. Back in the real world, Some of Zarkon’s ships attack the castle to try and delay their reaching the secret base and Lance, Hunk, and Pidge take their lions out to stop them, destroying several of the ships before they end up caught in a force field. Back in the dream world, Keith is confronted by creatures from his childhood nightmares and runs from them but when he finds himself surrounded, Alfor speaks to him and reminds him that they are created from his dreams and Keith is able to defeat them. Back in the real world, Commander Cossak attempts to capture the lions but once they are removed from the force field, the lions are able to break free from their bonds and renew their attack, destroying some more ships and damaging Cossak’s flagship, causing him to flee. Lance wants to go after him to finish the job but Coran calls him back, saying that the Fleet of Doom has reached the base and they must stop them from destroying it. Meanwhile, Hawkins pilots his ship through an asteroid field, as it is the only way to reach the base in time, and tells Jeff and the others to get their vehicles ready to launch in case they can’t make it through. Back in the dream world, Keith reaches Haggar, who tries to trick him with multiple copies of Allura but when he is able to pick out the right one, Haggar grabs Allura and flees. Allura continues trying to reach Haggar’s goodness and eventually does so, causing Haggar’s goodness to split from her evil self and fight for control. The fight results in the destruction of the evil world Haggar had created and as Keith rejoins Allura, the two Haggars say that they are free to go. Allura asks Haggar to come with them but she refuses, using her magic to send them back to their bodies. Back in the real world, Lotor and Throk have destroyed most of the base and are preparing to finish it off when the Castle of Lions appears. Coran tries making contact with Hawkins but when he receives no answer, he fears that they have been destroyed by the asteroid field. Lance and the others head out and Lotor decides to send a rhino ro-beast to stop them. Keith and Allura return and head out to help their friends, just as Coran receives word from Hawkins that they made it through the asteroid field. With Keith and Allura joining them, the lions quickly form Voltron and work to beat the ro-beast. Throk sends out two more ro-beasts, a scorpion beast and a beetle beast, and the three ro-beasts are able to knock down Voltron. Lotor launches a 4th ro-beast, the armor beast, but the Vehicle Voltron appears and is able to help free the Lion Voltron. As the two Voltrons prepare to face off against the ro-beasts, Lotor reveals that the ro-beasts are able to combine into a giant robot, with Lotor piloting a special skull ship that forms the head. Lotor begins attacking the two Voltrons, but the Voltrons are able to combine their powers and destroy to robot, while Coran and Hawkins use the Castle of Lions’ defenses and the Exploration Fleets’ forces to defeat the Fleet of Doom. Seeing Zarkon’s defeat, Haggar reabsorbs her good self, using it to change her appearance, then appears before Zarkon as he is yelling at Cossak and Lotor for failing. Meanwhile, the two Voltron Forces, as well as the Castle security and the Exploration Force, congratulate each other on defeating the Fleet of Doom, renewing their vows to defeat Zarkon and the Drule Empire and bring peace to the galaxy.

This is such a dose of nostalgic goodness to watch, you can almost forget about some of the silly plot lines. The voice acting was good, with all of the acotrs doing a good job reprising their various characters, though I think Peter Cullen made Hawkins sound too much like Optimus Prime. The story was a fun way to try and bring the two different shows together, but I felt like it really focused more on the Lion Voltron, which was the more popular of the two shows in the U.S. I would have much rather had it where the various vehicle teams would have partnered with some of the lions to do separate missions, then have them unite at the end for the final battle. I have to admit, the whole side quest bit with Haggar stealing Allura’s spirit was a bit much and really felt stupid. The animation was pretty good, though some scenes were basically just some of the animated cells reused from the show. Some aspects didn’t exactly age well but it is still fun to watch, especially if you are an 80’s kid or a fan of the show.

Rating: 3 out of 5