All Hail King Julien, one of the spin-offs from the Dreamworks movie franchise Madagascar, proves to be fun in its own right by fleshing out the titular character beyond his status as comic relief.
The show takes place before the Madagascar movies, with King Julien ruling the lemurs after his scheming uncle leaves him the throne. Now the party-loving lemur must take on the challenges of leading his kingdom while dealing with the predatory fossa and other challenges ahead.
From the first five episodes released so far on Netflix, this series is off to a good start. From the opening to the writing and the voice acting, the series possesses a great amount of genuine energy and excited that most animated spin-offs tend to miss.
The most impressive feature is the development of the protagonist. It would have been easier to just have him stuck as a selfish, party-loving ruler. But producer and writer Mitch Watson, from the excellent Scooby-Doo: Mystery Incorporated and the criminally underrated Beware the Batman, makes sure he has plenty of competence, character growth, and good intentions for his people.
Danny Jacobs takes over Sacha Baron Cohen’s role as King Julien and manages to imitate the role well while bringing his own flavor in, supported by Andy Richter and Kevin Michael Richardson. Newcomers to the franchise include India de Beaufort as Clover, the king’s bodyguard, and Henry Winkler as Uncle King Julien.
The animation and art-style are also pleasurable and detailed. It avoids many of the visual pitfalls that TV-budgeted CGI tends to have.
All Hail King Julien is a strong spin-off that should entertain both children and adults. It also sets a good example for the current partnership between Netflix and Dreamworks.
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