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"Hyper Force" Is a Barrel of Bananas!

by on February 13, 2006

Super Robot Monkey Team Hyper Force Go! (yes, that’s quite the mouthful!) is the brainchild of Teen Titans director Ciro Neili. The show airs on the action/adventure Jetix block on Toon Disney. Monday, February 13th and 20th will show the airings of the two-part “Wormhole” and “Belly of the Beast.”

Fans already know what to expect from this show, but those who might just be tuning in this week (for whatever reason) might be rather surprised. While the first episode is always a good starting point, there’s really not too much lost when coming in late to the game in with show. The origin is explained in the intro and you get a grasp of what’s going on fairly quickly. In what I would consider a cross between Power Rangers, Pokemon and Teen Titans; Super Robot Monkey Team Hyper Force Go! pleases on the animation, story telling and character front and only stumbles on the pacing and music. Considering that of the aforementioned shows I can only stomach Teen Titans, Hyper Force is a strong testament to the reworking of past formulas into a good show.

Set out to destroy the Skeleton King’s Worm, the Hyper Force finds itself lost in space in “Wormhole.” They lose track of the Worm when it transforms them into microscopic beings and knocks off Hyper Force member Nova into oblivion. While the team deals with the loss of Nova, they try to get out of their “small” plight. Making the jump wasn’t easy, but the team eventually went from the microverse to the macroverse, causing them to be bigger than galaxies. The Hyper Force converse with what is essentially God (voiced by Jim Cummings), who sends them back to the normal universe so they can stop the Worm.

“Belly of the Beast” picks up right where “Wormhole” leaves off, with the Hyper Force attempting to stop the Worm. An old adversary shows up to face off against Chiro and Nova returns as a macroversion of herself—now full of knowledge of the creation of the universe, thanks to good ol’ God bringing her back. The Hyper Force of course kicks butt and in the end saves the day, only to be called back to their home planet by Jinmay, one of Chiro’s friends.

Fans will no doubt be impressed and greatly enjoy “Wormhole” and “Belly of the Beast.” They wrap up into a nice two-part package and the ending to “Belly of the Beast” shows that even after great trials and tribulations, the Hyper Force will prevail on.

I was thoroughly impressed by the animation in this show. When I found out it was Jetix/Toon Disney show, my expectations dropped. My interest was held only by the robust cast of voice actors I’ve come to know about over time via the animated DC Comics shows, but once I popped in an episode I was treated to quite the visual display. A sharp, varied color palette always comes off beautifully on digitally animated shows and the animation reminds me of something out of Samurai Jack. Lots of anime influenced traits are peppered throughout the show, but like Teen Titans, they never seems to go too over the top.

As mentioned, the voice cast is very familiar to those who have been watching cartoons for the past few years. Greg Cipes, Clancy Brown, Tom Kenny, Kevin Michael Richardson, Corey Feldman, Kari Wahlgren and Mark Hamill round out the main cast and they all pull off voices that don’t immediately sound like themselves (as any good voice actor should be able to do). I only recognized Cipes and Richardson, but was surprised to find Kenny and Hamill in the mix as well. In any case, the voice actors are a glove fit for their characters and fit the personalities extremely well.

Perhaps the only gripe I can muster is the music. I didn’t notice it at all during the scenes and upon a repeat viewing I realized…it just wasn’t there. There is very little music in this show during the non-actiony scenes where you really don’t pay attention to it. Perhaps it is because there’s not much drama in the show, but when Nova was gone and everyone stood around talking about what to do, there was simply no music there to help the scene along.

Considering the tripe that passes for cartoons on the airwaves these days, I was very much happy to see that this show didn’t fall into that trap. With a great cast, beautiful animation and a so-so score, the show will certainly pass for those looking to watch a quick and entertaining thirty minutes.

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