“Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur” is a Feast For The Eyes

Jayden Klaus, Staff Writer

Back in January, Disney Channel released a video on their YouTube channel to promote their new programming for 2023. One that really caught my eye was Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur. It seemed interesting so I decided to check it out to see what it would be about.

The show’s premise is that 13-year-old genius Lunella Lafayette accidentally opens a portal that brings a Tyrannosaurus into her home. She decides to team up with the dinosaur to become superheroes. With the help of her friend Casey, Lunella becomes Moon Girl to fight crime in the Lower East Side.

Something that intrigued me about the show is that it’s based on a comic series made by Marvel. I love Marvel properties and this one seemed fresh and exciting with stellar animation. I watched the premiere when it came out and was blown away by how amazing it was. Soon, I was tuning in every weekend to watch the next episode of Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur.

One of the many things I enjoy about this show is the characters. Lunella is a fun protagonist who tries to solve her problems with her intellect and by inventing things. Sometimes it goes well for her, but often it doesn’t. Lunella sometimes ends up creating more problems for her to solve, but she always does her best to resolve things and set things right with everyone around her. It’s fun to see Lunella grow as a young person but still able to be a great superhero at the same time.

And then there’s Devil. Devil has a lot of appeal as a goofy, bright red T-rex, but he’s got a sweet and earnest side to him. He became attached to Lunella very quickly after she brought him to the present and wants to do his best to help her out with everything. Devil and Lunella’s bond is very sweet, and the pair complement each other perfectly and work well together when fighting crime.

Another fun aspect of the show is how easy it is to enter. The show may be based off of Marvel comics, but you don’t need to know much about the comics or anything Marvel related to understand it. The show works on its own and is enjoyable for all. The Beyonder is a prime example of this. He appears in the episode “The Beyonder” and challenges Lunella to convince him not to wipe out humanity. To those who don’t know The Beyonder, he’s a wacky, super-powerful antagonist and to those who do know him, it’s a fun interpretation of a wacky, super-powerful character. It’s great how anyone can just watch this show because even without the Marvel aspects, it’s a fun animated superhero show.

The animation is easily one of the best parts of the entire show. It looks like a graphic novel or a comic book brought to life in animation, like Into the Spider-Verse. The animation often utilizes comic effects and emojis to convey emotions and actions, which I found to be very fun. They really pop out to you and make it feel even more like a comic story with an added anime feel. It’s vibrant and colorful, with stylization that shines in the fight scenes. It’s a visual feast for the eyes.

One thing that I found interesting was the use of tweening in the animation. “Inbetweening” or “tweening” as it’s often called, is a process of animation to create the illusion of movement by using intermediate frames in between key ones. This causes an animated image to glide across the screen, rather than move naturally. While this is often seen as a lazy form of animation, tweening can be very beautiful and it certainly is in Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur. The tweening adds to the comic aesthetic of the whole show in a great way.

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur’s music is also fantastic. The show mostly uses hip-hop and rap tracks that fit well with the vibe of the NYC setting. But they go all out in the action sequences. My favorite was in the episode “Run the Rink,” where during a fight with the gravity-controlling villain, Gravitas, “Sweatpants” by Childish Gambino plays. The song is used perfectly to accentuate Lunella dodging all of Gravitas’ attacks in brilliant, neon animation.

As of now, the plots of each episode of Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur are episodic. I usually don’t watch episodic shows because I like seeing overarching narratives and don’t like the wiped-slate feeling episodic shows tend to give off, but Moon Girl is keeping me engaged with its fun characters and enjoyable plots. I want to see what will happen next with Lunella and Devil and what problems they will encounter and solve.

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur is a dynamic and fantastic show. It’s witty and has so much energy and potential. I can’t wait to see what will happen next with Lunella, Devil and Casey and what is going to come their way. I hope that this show will become the next big hit Disney show of its time.

The first half of season one is currently available on Disney+ and new episodes air every Saturday on Disney Channel.