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Why I Love Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CAU chapter.

Just like any other kid, when I was growing up I loved watching animated shows. There were endless amounts of cool tricks cartoon characters could do, and being a kid it captivates your mind. Something I never noticed when I was a kid was the lack of Black characters. The shows I watched always had multiple White characters, and maybe one Black character on the side. And that’s a problem. Even today there are few animated series that have representation for young viewers of color. There are some, but nowhere near enough and that is why I was excited when I stumbled upon Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts on Netflix.  

cottonbro via Pexels

“Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts” takes place in a world where people are forced to live underground, while mutes roam the world. There are some brave enough to live above the ground like Wolf and Benson. But, the protagonist, Kipo, has never been topside before she lost her dad and burrow. While searching for her people she comes across others that are willing to help her, Wolf, Benson, Dave, and Mandu. Along their journey, they fight and befriend mutes, develop connections with one another, and learn the lessons life has to teach them. And to add to all this, they’re only kids. 


In this animated series, all the main characters are Black. Yes, Black! And the voice actors for Wolf, Benson, and Dave are Black as well. To some, it’s an easy overlook but it is huge. “Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeats” is taking the initiative to give Black children protagonists that look like them. In this, we are the heroes and saving ourselves. There are no White saviors that swoop in and saves the day. And with a character like Wolf, that “savior” would be a sidekick. It’s also important to note that most of these characters stay human. I would explain why this is important, but if you don’t get why let me ask you this. When was the last time you saw a cartoon, either in film or a show, where the main characters are Black, and stay in human form its entirety or at least more than half of the show or movie? Now compare that number to the films and shows with White main characters that stay in human form for a film or show’s entirety. Think about that and why. Don’t Black children deserve representation too? Or is it exclusive for those who run this society, purposely putting down others to remain the focus? 

Black characters are not where the representation stops, but reps LGBTQIA+ love as well. This is a spoiler, I’ll tell you now. As much as I shipped Benson and Kipo, I can’t say I was disappointed when Benson told Kipo he is gay. And I love how it was done. Too many people push these characteristics on to gay people and build these false narratives about them and how they act. People label certain things feminine and masculine and if you display any of the two, which is not assigned to your gender, you “must” be attracted to the same sex. Not true. I don’t think anyone thought Benson was gay until he announced it. I, sure enough, didn’t. But how could anyone know because it is not something that is stamped on you to separate you from others. Everyone has their own personality and mannerisms, and no one can possibly know someone’s sexuality unless they ask. Benson shows this and I have to add, that he and Troy better end up together in season 3. It’s too much chemistry there and I am rooting for them. 

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Toni Reed / Unsplash

Now that I have talked about what makes the show so special, representation wise, let’s get into this soundtrack and fighting scenes. The two complement each other so well, and the soundtrack is different from others that are meant for fight scenes. Yes, it is upbeat, but I can listen to these songs on replay. It makes me feel like a badass. They’re more than action songs, but songs that a person can listen to while getting ready, hyping yourself up. And the fighting will have you bobbing and weaving like you’re in the fight. It is so entertaining that there is no way you can look away for a second, and if you do I can guarantee you’ll be rewinding it. 


“Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts” is wonderful and it’s for me. It’s for Black people, Black youth, those who are attracted to the same sex. It feels good to be thought of and have shows like this. The stories it is bringing to life are stories most of us have only seen in Black Panther. Not to mention they gave us two seasons in the same year and a third is on its way. It’s up to you if you want to watch, but season 3 comes out October 12 and I will be binging.


My name is Destiny Brooks and I am from Atlantic City, New Jersey. I attend Clark Atlanta University, majoring in mass media arts, with a concentration in radio,tv, film and a minor in theatre. My interests lie in the entertainment industry and and all aspects of Black life. In 2019 I wrote a review on the movie Black Panther, which was published in the Stockton Argo, my previous school’s newspaper.