There’s a good chance that the Friday, July 21st debut of Amazon Original series Niko and the Sword of Light will get lost in all the trappings of Comic-Con. That would be a shame. This gorgeously animated and wondrously magical series deserves to be seen, especially by families with little ones who are looking for a fun fantasy adventure. Based originally on the motion comic by Imaginism Studios, Inc., Niko‘s 2015 pilot episode won an Emmy before the full series was even ordered. And now that the full first season is coming to Amazon, it might just become the favorite childhood cartoon for a new generation.
To get an idea of the quality of Niko and the Sword of Light, you can simply look at the stellar cast, assembled by casting/voice director Andrea Romano. Veterans Kari Wahlgren, Tom Kenny, Steve Blum, Jim Cummings, Dee Bradley Baker, and Kevin Michael Richardson anchor the impressive list of actors with more big names from the voice-acting industry appearing throughout the series. Wahlgren leads the series as Princess Lyra alongside relative newcomer Andre Robinson (Doc McStuffins) in the title role. Robinson’s delivery as the adventurous, ever-positive, and enthusiastic Niko brings a unique and charming voice to the character, one that’s bolstered by the polished performances that surround him.
And yet the story of Niko is a recognizable one. If you’re a fan of the Legend of Zelda mythology or the award-winning Avatar: The Last Airbender, you’ll find yourself in some familiar territory. The dark magic of the volcano-dwelling sorcerer Nar Est (Blum) has all but destroyed the world, except for the council of elders and Princess Lyra, who have used their dwindling magic to cast a protective shell around their castle. However, the entirety of humanity is now trapped within this snow globe-sized domain, one that’s literally held in the clutches of Nar Est. The elders have created a number of champions endowed with a unique weapon of light powered by a crystal shard, yet so far all of their hopeful heroes have failed to defeat Nar Est … and only one remains.