Where’s the Jam in Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur?

Even after giving Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur multiple watches, I can’t find too much that’s shows the love for the classic material.

Marvel's Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur PosterWhen Disney Animation is bringing even more Marvel Comics properties under its fold, not every title will take. It doesn’t offer everything I adored from the Devil Dinosaur comic book. Although the producers behind Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur have all the right intentions to give new life to this property for a modern audience, I miss the energy Jack Kirby put into that work. That is, this young woman is no Tarzan Boy (and yes, Baltimora’s song comes to mind in this comparison).

This take doesn’t truly recount where the reptile comes from. Nor does it refer to Moon Boy, whom the dinosaur previously partnered with before entering a wormhole to meet Lunella Lafayette (Diamond White). She’s an aspiring inventor who needs to cut back on her Red Bull consumption. While her home life is reasonably stable, sometimes her parents just don’t understand what she wants to do. Throughout the series, she says she’s ready to work for Tony Stark rather than be stuck in school.

As a result, this toon is more of a family situational comedy that simply matches everything Disney channel pumps out for tweens. That is, I don’t find this offering to be any different from K.C. Undercover.

What’s missed is in giving readers who loved the original comics that added a sense of jungle love. Devil Dinosaur doesn’t even have a full supporting role. He’s kind of like Hulk, appearing when needed. I’ve always loved this reptile and it made me yearn to pick up the old comics featuring him. Sadly, after checking my local comic book store, issue number one is valued at $100, putting getting these early titles out of reach for casuals and more of a collector’s item.

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur Partying It Up!

But to realise just how powerful Moon Girl is means following as many Disney/Marvel series to see how it all comes together. In this series, Casey Calderon (Libre Barer) is more than a sidekick. She manages Moon Girl’s social media accounts and as for Red (my nickname for Devil Dinosaur), what he represents is that of a strongman to back the girl up a la Stargirl. Instead of a robot being support, we have a giant reptile! Both series are similar enough where we find the heroine in over her head. Both protagonists have to learn how to deal with what being a heroine means.

An episode that’s gone overboard is “Beyonder.” Producer Laurence Fishburne gives a brilliant performance in this alternate universe interpretation of a cosmic entity who can reshape reality at a whim, but I can’t see him as a threat. I’m more used to the comics version where he’s a naïve child. Although this version is very hip hop and not meant to be MCU canon, I have to wonder why make Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur at all? Even after giving this series another full watch, I can’t find too much that’s worth speaking out on.

The only detail worth noting is that Lafayette may well be an Inhuman. To even suggest this fact makes no sense when even the producers confirm their idea is to not connect to the live-action films. As for giving long time fans a product to enjoy, I’m giving this series is a hard pass. I’d rather watch LEGO Jurassic Park instead.

2½ Roars out of 5

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur Promotional Trailer

Author: Ed Sum

I'm a freelance videographer and entertainment journalist (Absolute Underground Magazine, Two Hungry Blokes, and Otaku no Culture) with a wide range of interests. From archaeology to popular culture to paranormal studies, there's no stone unturned. Digging for the past and embracing "The Future" is my mantra.

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