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God that was a miserable time.
The show leaned heavily on the "Po as an arrogant manchild, the Furious Five (and Shifu) as beleaguered babysitters who are mostly there to lose their dignity" set up that Jack Black specifically fought to get rid of when he signed up to play Po in the first place (the show, and Paws of Destiny, use a sound alike). The result was total crap.
And imagine, it ran for 80 freaking episodes.
Even worse - one could assume "well, that was just the state of Dreamworks' TV animation at the time," but Legends of Awesomeness ran mostly concurrently with Dragons: Riders of Berk, which was pretty great even at first, got increasingly amazing over time, and is what Legends Of Awesomeness should have been pretty much from the gate.
Edited by KnownUnknown on Nov 6th 2019 at 7:35:17 AM
Movie Po: Forgave the one who murdered his mother and most of his species.
TV Po: Swore vengeance on a clam for making him look bad.
That's about the easiest comparison I can make between the two.
Yeesh and to think that Monster vs Aliens show was also running.
This is why I appreciated Paws of Destiny having a better written Po that felt more true to how the movies characterized him. He has struggles and insecurities when it comes to being a mentor, but he generally means well and is more mature than how Lo A portrayed him.
Edited by GamerSlyRatchet on Nov 6th 2019 at 8:05:14 AM
Literally the only thing wrong with Paws of Destiny is that Shifu and the Five aren't in it.
Legends of Awesomeness is easily the franchise's low point.
You can tell when somethings a low-budget show when the villain designs aren't all that stellar.
There was a dragon once but he had a really basic Eastern dragon look, nothing really distinctive or with personality.
At least the rogues gallery kept Legends of Awesomeness from being an absolute pain in the ass.
x4 Yeah. Granted, considering the premise and the story arcs, it would be hard to fit them in without being blatant fanservice, but I would've picked a different premise altogether.
I'm pretty sure Nu Hai's fangirling over Tigress is hinting we'll eventually see her, assuming the show is getting more than 26 episodes.
Yeah, the villains were really the only consistently good thing about Legends of Awesomeness. I can't offhand think of a single major villain from that show I didn't like (granted, some of the minor villains sucked). And Fenghuang has one of my favorite character designs in the whole series.
Edited by KnownUnknown on Nov 6th 2019 at 10:06:08 AM
Was that the owl?
Cause the owl chick was pretty cool.
Some interesting lore there.
Apparently the strongest of the 5 always go evil for whatever reason.
And yet they all assumed it was gonna be Po despite him not actually being a member of the 5. Hell he remarked on that on the end of the episode.
More like crappy lore.
Everyone knows it's OOC for Tigress or Po to go rogue.
Well I did say it was just interesting, not good.
Though now that I think about it, it is pretty fan-fic-ish.
Edited by slimcoder on Nov 6th 2019 at 10:34:43 AM
@Redmess "It makes you wonder what will happen once they run out of species."
Apparently there were at least two Master Rhinos over the history of kung fu, Master Flying Rhino and Master Thundering Rhino. The Master Rhino in KFP 2 is the latter, and the armor Po and his dad fool around with in KFP 3 belonged to the former. And I think Secrets of the Masters confirms them as father and son. So... they just add adjectives if there are two masters of the same species.
That does make more sense.
I didn't feel the dragon in 3 was all that distinct, either, tbh. It doesn't help that he is made out of neon lines, rather than being somewhat solid. Add the acting, and all I could think was "neon Mushu".
And of course when Po wasn't depicted as an ass for once, the show would have the Furious Five act moronic or nasty instead (or sometimes ALL of them). Episodes like "Forsaken and Furious" are just laughably bad characterisation wise. Maybe it was because most of it was made after the first film, which definitely had a meaner edge with the cast.
The sad thing is with a writing team that half understood the cast, Legends of Awesomeness could have been good. I mean not amazing, but a cute Saturday Morning series that gave extra limelight to the whole universe the films made, sort of like Disney's shows of their movies. I could have watched something that was just trimmed down versions of the movies.
Odd episodes like "Chain Reaction" and "Mama Told Me Not To Kung Fu" weren't gonna win awards, but they were pretty charming and shown the potential this had.
Most of the recurring villains were pretty good though, I also liked how the last season actually bothered to close most of their arcs in a way. Also appreciate how Po's soundalike VA can do a near perfect Jack Black.
Edited by Psi001 on Nov 7th 2019 at 8:14:17 PM
I think there is some Franchise Original Sin going on with some of these complaints. The Furious Five being defeated by the villain so Po can save the day is very much present in 1 and 3, and to a lesser extent in 2 as well. And 3 sure likes beating up on Shifu for being passed over as ultimate kung fu master, what with Po learning moves that took him (and Oogway) decades to learn in a matter of days or even hours.
Also, being a TV series, it ended up being a way more blatant formula a lot of the time, with the Furious Five only getting to show their stuff in sporadic limelight episodes.
There are some things from the show I can see making sense from when it was made, it actually kept some characteristics you'd have expected the later movies to keep, like Shifu still being a curmudgeon to Po and Tigress being a "Well Done, Daughter!" Girl (actually episodes like Chain Reaction and Kung Fu Day Care make a smoother transition between her first and second movie portrayal if you ignore how weirdly goofy she is sometimes).
Edited by Psi001 on Nov 7th 2019 at 8:28:48 PM
It does seem to be a common feature of adaptations of movies (be it comics or cartoons) to play either during the events of the movie (creating numerous continuity problems), or in a sort of ambiguous in-between mode, where the original threat of the movie seems to be gone, but certain elements remain from before the ending of that movie.
Dunno if we can say that being TV was the reason.
Like I said before, at almost exactly the same time Dreamworks also made a tv show for How To Train Your Dragon aimed at the same target audience that had a lot of good character spotlights, plots that explored the characters and the world even if they were episodic, and a better grasp of what the themes of the movies (well, movie singular when it was first made) were.
I don't blame the medium, I blame the writing. Writers, especially in the 2000's/ early '10s had a problem with defaulting to these jerkish, comically manchild-y and abrasive personality types, because that's what everyone else was doing. Po's character in the show isn't surprising (remember that Jack Black is literally the reason he isn't like that in the movies), but it is awful.
I recall Alex Hirsch noting that on Gravity Falls he actively had to fight his writers (and/or Executive Meddling) not to depict Dipper and Mabel this way - specifically as the "obnoxious, bratty siblings who instead of having an actual relationship just get a Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other moment once an episode" character types that always hit siblings in animation at the time - and all for the better on that show.
Edited by KnownUnknown on Nov 7th 2019 at 6:15:20 AM
Dreamworks probably had a lot to do with that. There's a reason there is a trope for Dreamwork Face.
Another mention of the Monsters vs Aliens show, the entire cast was pretty much a multitude of TV Po clones.
Yeah that was not a good time for TV.
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