×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Sym-Bionic Titan

This action-packed Cartoon Network entry should score a bull's-eye with boys and tweens.

With:
Lance - Kevin Thoms Ilana - Tara Strong Octus - Brian Posehn King and General Steel - John DiMaggio

Resembling a cross between “Gigantor” (for those old enough to remember that) and “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” — only with better animation than the former, and more brains than the latter — Genndy Tartakovsky’s “Sym-Bionic Titan” delivers a full-throttle, finely calibrated ride. Drawing from numerous sources, this action-packed, high-school-set Cartoon Network entry should score a bull’s-eye with boys and tweens, while providing a logical companion to the “Clone Wars” franchise. About all that’s missing is a pithy catchphrase and pronounceable title.

Aliens on the run, the Princess Ilana (voiced by Tara Strong), her protector Lance (Kevin Thoms) and robot Octus (Brian Posehn) have fled to Earth, where they hope to blend in as teenagers at high school. Octus rather awkwardly poses as a robot-shaped nerd but, on the plus side, he’s terrific at math.

Alas, the evil General Modula has seized control of their home planet and is in hot pursuit, dispatching enormous monsters to destroy them. Fortunately, Lance and Ilana can individually morph into metal-clad warriors and, with Octus’ help, join together into the gigantic Sym-Bionic Titan, a way-cool-looking construct who wields a power sword (whatever happened to Voltron, anyway?) he uses to cleave opponents in two.

Frankly, the plots are secondary, though the producers do have some fun with the aliens’ view of high school’s caste system, having derived their advance knowledge from what looks like a CW drama. The visual design and action sequences, however, are topnotch, befitting Tartakovsky’s work for Cartoon Network on “Samurai Jack” and the “Clone Wars” shorts he produced prior to the current series.

This is clearly traditional animation by and for those who love the form and embrace its ability to present grand imagery — without feeling compelled to dumb itself down for the kids.

“Titan” might not be titanic, but as for fighting the good fight for right against wrong? Bring it on.

Sym-Bionic Titan

Cartoon Network, Fri. Sept. 17, 8 p.m.

Production: Producer, Shareena Carlson; director, Genndy Tartakovsky; head writer, Darrick Bachman; storyboard supervisor, Bryan Andrews; art direction, Scott Wills. RUNNING TIME: 30 MIN.

Cast: Lance - Kevin Thoms Ilana - Tara Strong Octus - Brian Posehn King and General Steel - John DiMaggio

More TV

  • Hulu Picks Up Anna Friel Drama

    Hulu Picks Up Anna Friel Drama ‘Butterfly’

    Hulu has snagged U.S. rights to “Butterfly,” the family drama about separated parents who disagree over how to deal with their youngest child, Max, who was born a boy but identifies as a girl. The series was commissioned by ITV in the U.K. “Marcella” star Anna Friel plays Max’s mother, Vicky, and Emmett J. Scanlon [...]

  • Rupert Murdoch

    BBC Orders Documentary Series on Rupert Murdoch’s Print Empire

    The BBC has ordered “A Tabloid Empire,” a three-part documentary series on Rupert Murdoch’s influence over the British press. The series will air on BBC Two in the U.K. and examine in detail Britain’s popular press between 1997 and 2012, a period that covers phone hacking and corruption but that also saw Murdoch’s and other [...]

  • Supergirl -- "Elseworlds, Part 3" --

    'Elseworlds, Part 3' Recap: 2019 ‘Arrowverse’ Crossover Theme Revealed

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Elseworlds, Part 2,” the final part of the 2018 “Arrowverse” crossover, which aired Dec. 11. After John Deegan (Jeremy Davies) got another go at using the Book of Destiny to rewrite reality, the “Elseworlds” finale saw Barry (Grant Gustin) and Oliver (Stephan Amell) facing [...]

  • The Netflix logo is displayed at

    TV Roundup: Netflix Orders Ted Bundy Docu-Series

    In today’s TV roundup, Netflix has ordered a docu-series on serial killer Ted Bundy and “Love, Gilda” sets a premiere date on CNN FIRST LOOKS Variety has obtained an exclusive clip of “Into the Okavango,” the upcoming National Geographic film. Premiering Dec. 14 on Nat Geo, the film, six years in the making, follows a [...]

  • Amy Poehler Is Ready for a

    Amy Poehler Is Ready for a 'Parks and Rec' Reunion

    Is Amy Poehler just getting our hopes up? We hope not, because the funny lady tells Variety that she’s ready for a “Parks and Recreation” reunion. “I am technically available,” Poehler said on Monday at Smart Girls’ 10th anniversary celebration dinner. “I have like six of Leslie’s blazers in my closet, so anytime.” “Parks and Recreation” [...]

  • Liz Meriwether Lake Bell

    Lake Bell, Liz Meriwether Comedy 'Bless This Mess' Moves From Fox to ABC With Series Order

    “Bless This Mess,” the single-camera comedy co-created by Lake Bell and Elizabeth Meriwether, has been ordered to series at ABC, Variety has learned. The series had previously been in contention at Fox and is a co-production between 20th Century Fox Television and ABC Studios. Bell also stars in the series alongside Dax Shepard. In the series, a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content