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Western Animation / Spirit Rangers

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Spirit Rangers is a 2022 fantasy preschooler's show produced by Netflix Animation, Laughing Wild and Superprod Studio. A second season was released in May 2023.

The show is set in Xus National Park in southern California, a haven of nature and Native American spirits. Xus is a world where Coyote plays tricks, Spider weaves dreamcatcher webs, and Condor carries the sun across the sky. No less important are its human caretakers, the Skycedar family of park rangers. When spirits need their help, the young siblings Kodi, Summer and Eddy Skycedar transform into animals- a grizzly bear, a red-tailed hawk, and a turtle- to save the day.

The series is noteworthy because it's an almost unprecedented example of Native American representation in television. The writers and voice actors are all indigenous, as are most of the creative team; also, the producers consult with the Chumash and Cowlitz tribes to ensure accurate representation of Native culture.

This show contains the following tropes:

  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife:  Animal spirits are colorful, with decorative patterns on their bodies and glowing auras outside of Spirit Park. Some spirits like Condor are not as colorful (as his feathers turned black while holding up the sun), while the powerful Coyote is a vibrant purple. The Skycedars's animal forms share their theme colors of blue (for Cody), orange (for Summer) and green (for Eddie).
  • Amulet of Concentrated Awesome: The heroes enter the Spirit Park through beaded amulets made of abalone that summon the elements needed to transform into their animal forms. After the Trickster Trio steal their necklaces at the end of Season 2, Otter Woman creates three new amulets for the kids that grant them new ocean transformations. The old and new amulets fuse together, letting the kids access both of their forms at will.  
  • Animal Motifs: All over the place, in accordance with Chumash mythology.
    • Eddy, whose alternate self is a turtle, is cautious and empathic.
    • Summer, whose alternate self is a hawk, is confident and impulsive.
    • Kodi, whose alternate self is a bear, is hardworking and prone to anger.
  • Bubble Gun: In his turtle form, Eddy can breathe bubbles. Of course, they're bubbles of the kind that can stay solid, shield whoever's in them, and float- so they're more useful than you might expect.
  • Character Catchphrase:
    • Eddy has a habit of saying, "Aw, turtle toes" when something goes wrong. When he's excited, he says, "Eddie is ready!"
    • Qamash the fish monster often exclaims, "Fishy joy!" when he's happy.
  • Drop-In Character: Coyote and Lizard often appear unexpectedly in the Skycedar home and cause mischief.
  • Good Parents: The Skycedar parents are raising their kids to respect nature and be proud of their Chumash and Cowlitz cultures. They also make a point of educating their kids about other Indigenous cultures. They organize fun family activities like fishing, canoeing, and having "s'mores and storytime" around a campfire. And they're sympathetic and helpful when their kids have problems. They were also once Spirit Rangers.
  • Goo-Goo-Godlike: The Skycedar siblings are only kids, but their heroics are cosmic in scope. More than once they've literally put the moon back in the sky.
  • Immediate Self-Contradiction:
    Lizard: Sunka's not that cute. You'll never find me going gaga over that pup.
    Sunka: Hi. I'm Sunka.
    Lizard: (lapsing into Baby Talk and scratching Sunka's head) Oh, who is a good little puppy? Who's a good puppy? Who is the cutest puppy I ever saw in the whole wide world!?
  • Kissing the Ground: In "Rangers Blast Off", Coyote gets stuck on a star and the Rangers build a rocket to rescue him. After they land, he kisses the ground a couple of times, then grimaces because the ground doesn't taste good.
  • Magitech: The laws of physics are drastically loosened in Spirit Park, enabling spiderwebs as strong as steel cables, rockets powered by a volcanic eruption, and oil drills made of carrots.
  • The Masquerade: For some reason, the adult Skycedars cannot find out that spirits are real, although they love Native American mythology just as much as the kids do.
    • At the start of Season 3, the Skyceader kids finally let the adults in on the secret - and the parents reveal that they were once Spirit Rangers too! From that point on, the adults are more involved with the spirits, take up activities when the kids need to head into Spirit Park, and welcome Coyote, Lizard and Otter Woman in their home.
  • Nature Hero: As junior rangers of Xus Park, the Skycedar siblings protect nature by reintroducing salmon to a lake or helping geese migrate.
  • Noble Bird of Prey: Wind Eagle is an enormous bird spirit who creates wind by flapping her wings and plays beautiful music on a magic flute.
  • Not Me This Time: In "Tricksters Steal The Sun", the Rangers suspect that Coyote has stolen and hidden the sun because he's a trickster spirit whose pranks often involve hiding things. He's totally innocent; a trio of more malevolent tricksters actually did it.
  • Playful Otter: In "Belly Of The Beast," the Rangers clean up after a birthday party, but Summer is in a rush and doesn't close and lock the trash bins like she's supposed to. Later, DeeDee asks the Rangers if they have any idea why otters are running around the park wearing party hats.
  • Running Gag: Yvnnash the buffalo spirit keeps getting stuck in trees, between rocks, and in spiderwebs.
    Qsi: (at the Spirit Park relay race) Buffalo raced ahead, but she lost her lead when she got stuck in a tree.
    Kodi: Yep, sounds like Buffalo.
  • Shaped Like Itself: In "Rumble Mountain Rumble", Lizard is worried that an erupting volcano will cause chaos and exclaims, "We can't let chaos happen! It's so... chaotic!"
  • Signature Headgear: Mr. Skycedar often wears a handwoven cedar hat. It's a traditional craft of the Cowlitz people and a practical item for someone who spends a lot of time in the sun.
  • Thunderbird: A thunderbird couple and their baby bird, Sky, visit the Spirit Park occasionally.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Lizard loves bug'sagna. Rabbit of the Trickster Trio is very fond of carrots.