The Age of the Skeletons Has Begun!

It’s always a bad sign when a show is named for its villains.

Skeleton Warriors is the story of a royal sibling trio whose rivalry is put to the test when the youngest brother’s betrayal places their kingdom in ruin and they find themselves rebels on their own planet. Following the death of his parents, Prince Justin is left to run Planet Luminaire. But younger brother Joshua wants to rule, so he unwittingly enlists the help of Baron Dark who secretly wants to rule the kingdom as well. Of course, only Joshua’s betrayal can make that happen, so it comes as no surprise when all parties involved fight over the Lightstar Crystal, the source of all power for the planet.

Imagine their surprise when the Lightstar Crystal splits in two and imbues them all with powers. The bad guy becomes a skeleton warrior who can turn those with evil hearts into fellow skeleton warriors, thus creating an invincible army. The good guys gain the power of flight and the ability to discharge energy bolts. And caught in the middle is the would-be usurper Joshua who becomes a half-skeleton warrior with the power to walk through shadows.

The series’ 13 episodes play out with both sides trying to reunite the crystal in order to rule the planet.

I’ll start with the good and that’s the pacing. Within the first ten minutes you know who all the major players are, their motivations, and what the ultimate outcome of the series should be. That’s how most of the show goes: we’re in, we immediately know the plot of the episode, and it gets going. And, at the behest of series creator Gary Goddard, near-flawless CGI narration bookends each episode, showcasing what he hoped the entire series would look like.

The bad news is there are more than a few problems with VSC’s standard definition full frame transfer. It’s not the best picture to begin with, but during the episode “Zara” the image became so pixelated and out of focus it was beyond annoying. I wish that were the only episode where lack of focus was an issue, but sadly that wasn’t the case. And while the Dolby 2.0 stereo audio is serviceable, the levels aren’t balanced, forcing me to have my hand on the volume button for each episode.

In terms of bonus features, Goddard gives an interesting commentary on the pilot episode (although he does repeat himself a bit) and goes the extra mile by revealing what his future plans for the series were; a rare gem. A behind-the-scenes documentary features interviews and series’ footage, but also goes into more detail than you’d expect with regards to the show’s failure to go beyond a single season. All-in-all it was really intriguing, more so than the disposable EPK featurette one usually finds on these releases.

I’m torn on what to tell you. If you’re a fan of Skeleton Warriors, telling you to buy it is redundant. If you’re on the fence, you’ll only be disappointed when it ends all too soon. I would only recommend seeking this out, if a) a live-action movie goes into development, or b) we get a reboot rendered completely in CGI and you want to compare it to the original.

THE VERDICT

Like the half-skeleton Prince Joshua, this is half-guilty.

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