Tonight, the new LEGO Legends of Chima TV series premiered on the Cartoon Network. The show is broken up to two 30 minute shows. Here is a recap of the first episode of the series and my initial impressions after. Do not read if you do not want to be spoiled.
The series begins with Eris being captured by the Crocodile, Wolf, and Raven tribes as they’re moving towards the Lion tribe’s city.
The show continues with Laval looking for his harness for his “Age of Becoming” ceremony. He arrives at the Chi pool and sees his father, Lagravis, waiting for him to start the ceremony. Just as Laval gets his Chi orb, the castle suddenly gets attacked and Laval drops the orb. A disguised Cragger rushes in and steals Laval’s Chi as well as a few of the Chi from the pool and speeds off on his Speedorz bike and Laval gives chase. When they get to the jungle, Laval catches up and is about to strike him down but realizes it was Cragger.
A flashback of not long ago shows Laval looking for Cragger while they were playing hide and seek. Their friends from the different tribes show up after: Gorzan from the Gorilla, Eris from the Eagle, Rhogan from the Rhino, Skinnet from the Skunk, and Worriz from the Wolf.
Laval and Cragger practice on their sword skills and finds one of the members from the Bear tribe. After that, Laval and Cragger reveal they were best friends and Cragger wants to try something awesome. Cragger wants to sneak in the Lion castle to see the pool of Chi. Laval is hesitant but agrees to go see it as well. The Chi pool is closely guarded but Cragger and Laval manages to get by the guards and reach the edge of the pool. Then, Cragger wants to feel what it’s like to harness the power of the Chi and grabs one of the orbs from the pool and inserts it into his chest. He unleashes his inner power and goes berserk and runs off. Laval chases him and after a struggle gets pinned down by Cragger. Laval is saved by Lagravis. The Lion King is furious at what Cragger has done and chains him up.
Crominus and Crunket, Cragger’s father and mother, confronts Lagravis and demands that Cragger is released from the chains. Crominus wants an apology from Lagravis for chaining up his son while Lagravis wants an apology from Crominus because Cragger stole a Chi orb. After a discussion, Lagravis sets Cragger free and the Crocodile tribe leaves.
At the next scene, Cragger describes to Worriz how he felt when he unleashed his power and shows Worriz where the pool is. Cragger goes to goes to grab another Chi but gets caught and Worriz scared, runs off. Lagravis threatens Cragger by calling his father and telling him what happened but Cragger attacks everyone and runs off. Laval chases him and Cragger accidentally shoots off the Crocodile flare which his tribe sees and comes for backup. The Lion tribe also sees the flare and Lagravis gathers his troops. There is a standoff between the Lion and Crocodile tribes while Cragger tries to reason with his father but suddenly a shot goes off and the battle begins. After much fighting, Cragger’s parents’ vehicle gets stuck near the canyon and is nearly falling off the edge. Cragger tries to save them while asking Laval for a Chi orb to get the strength to pull the vehicle up but Laval declines and the vehicles fall over. Cragger thinks his parents have died but he does not know that they have actually survived.
In the next scene, Cragger is depressed and Crooler, his sister, tries to encourage him to attack the Lion tribe because they caused their parents’ “death.” Crooler hands Cragger the crown mask and sprays him with a flower that changes his behavior. She cackles as she’s walking away and Cragger becomes the Crocodile tribe’s king.
The second part of the first episode is called The Great Story. The scene starts with a couple of the crocodiles trying to cheer up the depressed Cragger. Crooler again sprays him with the flower fragrance and his behavior changes and she convinces him to destroy the Lion tribe.
The scene shifts to the Lion tribe where Lagravis is telling Laval the story of how they became to what they are now. The lions used to walk on all four legs but one day, the sky blessed the land and Mount Kavora rose to the sky from the land of Chima. The animals who drank from the Chi water got smarter and got more complex. Some of the animals did not embrace this blessing and vanished to the outlands. They are now known as the “Legend Beasts” and will return when they are needed the most.
The Lions were the first to drink the Chi water and are the guardians of the Chi and every month, the distribute Chi to all the tribes in the land. There is also a golden Chi orb but that one is not given away but it is won from a competition and the course is different every month so no tribe would have an advantage on a single course. The course that is chosen this day is the Joust of Jungle Judgement. At the end, Laval and Worriz reach the finals. Worriz tries to cheat but Laval manages to win. As Laval is ready to accept the golden Chi, Cragger shows up and demands to enter the contest but Lagravis does not allow it. Cragger then goes after Eris but is saved by Laval. Cragger runs off to the Fallen Jungle and Laval chases him. After Laval gets knocked off his Speedorz, they fight on a tree limb. Cragger chops off the limb and Laval falls with the tree on top of him. Eris comes to save Laval and Cragger runs off to his headquarters.
Here, Cragger and Worriz come up with a plan to attack the Lion tribe during Laval’s “Age of Becoming” ceremony. The Raven tribe joins the Crocodile and the Wolf tribes by getting bribed with trinkets and treasure. Here, Cragger is seen gathering and rallying all three tribes for their imminent attack on the Lion tribe while getting his teeth cleaned.
Next, the scene shows their attack on the Lions with scenes from the first part of the episode. Lagravis roars for help and the Gorilla and the Eagle tribes join the battle. Now, it is back to present time where Laval is ready to strike Cragger with his sword but does not and walks away. He gets attacked from behind by Cragger and falls into the water. The danger now is that Laval can not swim and starts to drown but then is saved by someone, who’s arm is only shown.
Laval wakes up and sees that he was saved by the Legendary Lion. The scene shifts to where Crooler’s flower fragrance is starting to wear off Cragger and he is starting to realize that he’s making a big mistake. He get sprayed again by Crooler and starts thinking evil again. Laval arrives while riding on the Legendary Lion and everybody is stunned by the sight of it. Cragger sticks a stolen Chi orb into is chest and runs wildly at the Legendary Beast and gets slapped to the wall. During the impact, the Chi is dropped and Laval picks it up and he finally gets to unleash his power to become a true Lion warrior. He defeats Cragger and demands that every leave. The Crocodile, Wolf, and Raven tribes retreat. In the final scene, the Legendary Lion goes back into the forest until it is needed again.
Overall, I think the show has potential. The visuals are amazing and a little bit more polished than the Ninjago series. There’s also a lot of 3D details that make the visuals pop. The storyline is also well done although I wished that there was a bit more character depth, maybe showing the background of some of the main characters. Hopefully that will happen in later episodes. If you missed this episode, there will be some reruns throughout the week including Friday 8:30am/7:30am Central and Saturday 12:00p/11:00a Central.