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Kid Cosmic
Kid Cosmic.jpeg
Promotional poster
Genre
  • Superhero
  • Comic science fiction
  • Action-adventure
Created by Craig McCracken
Developed by
Directed by Justin Nichols (supervising)
Voices of
Composer(s) Andy Bean
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 10 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Craig McCracken
  • Rob Renzetti
  • Melissa Cobb
Producer(s) Dave Thomas
Animator(s) Mercury Filmworks
Editor(s)
  • Nico Colaleo
  • Jay Wade Edwards
Running time 14-23 minutes
Production company(s)
Release
Original network Netflix
Picture format HDTV 1080p
Audio format Stereo 5.1 surround sound
Original release February 2, 2021 (2021-02-02) – present
Chronology
Related shows

Kid Cosmic is an American animated superhero streaming television series. Created by Craig McCracken and in-house produced by Netflix Animation, it was released on February 2, 2021 on Netflix. The show is the first of McCracken's creations to have a serialized format and his second foray into the superhero genre since having previously created The Powerpuff Girls.

Illustrated in a "retro 2D" style inspired by classic comics such as Dennis the Menace and The Adventures of Tintin, it follows Kid, a young boy who gets the chance to become a superhero and fight evil aliens alongside other characters with different abilities.

A second season is currently in the works.

Plot

Kid Cosmic follows Kid, a young boy who naively fantasizes about becoming a superhero, living in a junkyard in a thinly populated stretch of desert in the Southwestern United States. When a spaceship crashes in the area, he discovers it had onboard 5 "Cosmic Stones of Power" that give him the chance of fulfilling his dream. Upon learning the stones will attract alien invasions, he forms a motley team of superheroes to defend the Earth from them. This team, with a stone bestowed upon each member that gives them their power, consist of Kid's grandpa, Papa G (Old Man Many Men), who can create multiple clones of himself; the leader Jo (Portal Girl), who has the ability to teleport; Rosa (Niña Gigantica), a four-year-old girl who can become a 40-foot giant; and Tuna Sandwich (The Precognitive Cat), a cat that can predict the future with a third eye on his forehead. They are accompanied by Stuck Chuck, an alien invader stranded on Earth after the destruction of his ship. Stuck Chuck's mission is to steal the Cosmic Stones for his Great Leader.

Voice cast

Main

  • Jack Fisher as Kid, an excitable 9-year-old child who finds the Stones of Power and uses them to fulfill his dream of leading his own superhero team. His real name is never revealed, and is just referred to as "Kid" or "The Kid" by the other characters. His hero name is Kid Cosmic and he wears the green Stone of Power, which grants him telekinetic powers he uses through most of the first season for flight. He lost his parents to a car collision with a semi-truck one night, and now lives in a junkyard owned by his grandpa, Papa G. Being a poor kid, he collects all sorts of old stuff his grandpa has recollected, including video games, comics and records.
  • Amanda C. Miller as Jo, a waitress at her mom's diner who dreams of seeing the world, and is granted the power of portal creation by the purple Stone of Power. Her hero name is Portal Girl and also leader of the team.
  • Lily Rose Silver as Rosa Flores, a Mexican 4-year-old girl who is granted the power to enlarge herself to gigantic proportions by the blue Stone of Power. Her hero name is La Niña Gigantica, which is Spanish for "The Gigantic Girl". She is the daughter of Ramona and Carlos Flores.
  • Tom Kenny as Stuck Chuck, an alien who is among the first to try and steal the Stones of Power from Kid, and who ends up stuck with Kid's group when, as a result, he loses both his ship and legs. His name is a nickname thought up by Jo, with his real name never revealed, and he also was the one who caused the spaceship with the stones to crash on Earth. Initially seeking any opportunity to get the stones for his Great Leader, he reforms near the end of the first season.
  • Fred Tatasciore as Tuna Sandwich, a cat who resides at Mo's Oasis and to whom Kid gives the red Stone of Power, granting him the power to see glimpses of the future. His hero name is The Precognitive Cat. Tuna wears a high-tech collar that translates his speech into English, given to him by Chuck as of "Kid Cosmic and the Invaders from Earth".
  • Keith Ferguson as:
    • George "Papa G", Kid's hippie grandfather who encourages Kid to find nonviolent solutions to his problems, and who is granted the power to clone himself by the yellow Stone of Power. His hero name is Old Man Many Men.
    • Carl, a trucker and regular at Mo's Oasis.

Supporting

  • Kim Yarbrough as Flo, Jo's mother and proprietor of Mo's Oasis.
  • Christian Lanz as Carlos Flores, Rosa's father and a regular at Mo's Oasis and Romona's husband. He and his wife run a successful floral business.
  • Grey Griffin as:
    • Carla, a biker and regular at Mo's Oasis.
    • Ramona Flores, Rosa's mother and a regular at Mo's Oasis and the wife of Carlos.
  • Rich Fulcher as Zarkon, a small green alien and an adversary of Kid and his friends.
  • Jason Hightower as Biker in Black, the leader of Earth Force Enforcement Force who believes all aliens who come to Earth are hostile.
    • Earth Force Enforcement Force consists of Lanz as Crimson Vision, Griffin as Violet Vanish, Eric Bauza as Emerald Wing, Phil LaMarr as Golden Swarm, and Michaela Dietz as Blue Behemoth. Their colors correspond to the powers granted by the Stones of Power. They follow Biker in Black's orders to dispose of all aliens on Earth, but when their suits are destroyed at the end of the first season, they reform themselves.
  • Cree Summer as Queen Xhan, a purple jellyfish-like alien who is the former bearer of the purple Stone of Power. She ends up being the only survivor of her group of friends at the end because of Erodius the Planet Killer.
  • Tatasciore as:
    • Great Leader, the evil, cowardly ruler of Stuck Chuck's people.
    • Gortho the Gargarian, a yellow goblin-like creature who was the former bearer of the yellow Stone of Power. He was killed by Erodius the Planet Killer off-screen at the end of the first season.
    • Meep, a small light blue insect-like alien who was the former bearer of the blue Stone of Power. He was killed by Erodius the Planet Killer off-screen at the end of the first season.
  • Bauza as Mstr Wlkzn, a green humanoid alien with an enormous head and swirly eyes who was the former bearer of the green Stone of Power. He was killed by Erodius the Planet Killer off-screen at the end of the first season.
  • Sam Riegel as PT-SB, a black and red robot who was the former bearer of the red Stone of Power. He was killed by Erodius the Planet Killer off-screen at the end of the first season.

Minor

  • Mo, Flo's mother and Jo's grandmother who was the founder of Mo's Oasis Cafe. She passed away before the events of the series.
  • Kid's unnamed, deceased mother and father who were killed in a car collision with a semi-truck before the events of the series. Their deaths were so horrible that Kid was traumatized after that incident and said lethal accident was what caused Kid to dream of being a superhero.

Episodes

No. Title Directed by Written by Storyboard by Original release date
1 "Kid Cosmic and the Rings of Power!" Craig McCracken & Dave Thomas Francisco Angones, Craig McCracken & Kevin Seccia Craig McCracken, Justin Nichols & Dave Thomas February 2, 2021 (2021-02-02)
In the depths of space, a fleet of orange aliens attack a spacecraft carrying the 5 Stones of Power. Badly damaged, the spacecraft's pilot uses the purple Stone's power to evade all but one of the pursuing aliens, and crash-lands in an unspecified area of the American desert. The wreckage is discovered by superhero fanatic Kid, who recovers the Stones and makes them into rings, dubbing himself "Kid Cosmic". He takes the green Stone for himself, which gives him the power of flight. He shows off his power to his friend Jo, a teenager working at her mother's diner in town. Jo takes the purple Stone, granting the power to create portals. The two are ambushed by the orange alien from the fleet (later nicknamed "Stuck Chuck" by Jo), but manage to trap him in the floor of Kid's trailer. Chuck tells Jo and Kid that the Stones' presence on Earth will ignite a cosmic war that will destroy the planet itself, so Kid convinces Jo to help him form a superhero team to protect the town from the incoming alien threat.
2 "Kid Cosmic y la Niña Gigantica" Craig McCracken & Rob Renzetti Craig McCracken, Amy Higgins & Rob Renzetti Vaughn Tada February 2, 2021 (2021-02-02)
Kid's blue Stone is stolen by 4 year-old Rosa, granting her the power to turn into a 40-foot tall version of herself. Jo and Kid unsuccessfully try to remove the ring from Rosa's finger, with Kid vehemently opposed to Rosa joining his superhero team. Giant Rosa accidentally frees Chuck from the trailer and he uses the power of the yellow Ring to create copies of himself and take back the green and purple Stones. Chuck attempts to leave Earth, but Rosa uses the blue Stone's power to destroy his spaceship and takes the rings back. Kid recognizes Rosa's abilities and accepts her as a member of the team. He gives the yellow ring to his grandfather, Papa G, and hides the red Stone on the collar of Tuna Sandwich, granting the cat precognitive abilities.
3 "Kid Cosmic and the Precognitive Cat" Craig McCracken & Rob Renzetti Ben Joseph & Craig McCracken Justin Nichols February 2, 2021 (2021-02-02)
After a few less-than-successful attempts at superhero training, Chuck convinces Kid to go look for the Sacred Scroll of the Stones, which he claims will teach them how to control their powers. Kid takes Chuck, Rosa, and Papa G to find the spaceship's wreckage to find it, while Jo reluctantly tags along. Tuna Sandwich has a vision which appears to show Kid on the ship as it explodes, and follows after them. After finding the spaceship, Chuck admits to lying about the Scroll and attempts to contact his Great Leader through the ship's console, but is attacked by Tuna. In the ensuing chaos, the ship's self-destruct sequence is activated. Everyone manages to escape the explosion through one of Jo's portals, though Chuck loses the lower half of his body in the process. Kid christens his team with the name "Kid Cosmic and the Local Heroes" as one of Tuna's future premonitions shows a giant alien battle raging across the desert.
4 "Kid Cosmic and the Local Heroes" Craig McCracken, Rob Renzetti & Paul Watling Craig McCracken & Kevin Seccia Paul Watling February 2, 2021 (2021-02-02)
Waves of invading aliens start arriving on Earth to claim the Stones. The Local Heroes manage to hold onto the rings mainly though a combination of luck and Rosa's brute force, documenting their victories on tape. Kid starts a tradition of awarding the "Medal of Heroism" to the team member who saved the day, but starts to doubt himself when he becomes the only hero yet to receive one. Desperate to prove himself, Kid takes on and defeats an invading robot army alone, not knowing that it was actually Papa G trying to boost his confidence. After the team gives Kid his medal, Chuck steals the tape containing proof of Papa G's ruse.
5 "Kid Cosmic and the Big Win" Craig McCracken & Rob Renzetti Craig McCracken & Tim McKeon Justin Nichols, Vaughn Tada & Paul Watling February 2, 2021 (2021-02-02)
"Demon Death Dogs" attack Mo's Diner, forcing The Local Heroes to reveal their powers to everyone inside, including Rosa's parents and Jo's mom, Flo. Still on a high after defeating Papa G's "robot army", Kid tries and continually fails to subdue the invaders. Papa G discovers that the dogs can be defeated by disabling their collars and the team quickly defeats them with Flo's help. The diner patrons learn to appreciate the team's powers and toast The Local Heroes, but Kid leaves the celebration early after being referred to as the comic relief of the team. Distraught, he returns to his trailer, where Chuck plays Kid the tape revealing the truth of his "victory" over the robots.
6 "Kid Cosmic and the Epic Fail" Craig McCracken & Rob Renzetti Todd Casey & Craig McCracken Bianca Siercke & Paul Watling February 2, 2021 (2021-02-02)
Using the footage of the faked robot invasion and a news clipping of his parents' fatal car accident, Chuck goads Kid into helping him contact his Great Leader. Aiming to defeat the Great Leader himself, Kid steals the Stones from the other Local Heroes and destroys three waves of arriving aliens. He tries to attack the Great Leader's ship with all 5 Stones at once, but the power overwhelms him and he collapses. The rings are collected by the Great Leader, but he quickly hands them over to an approaching pack of Demon Dogs and retreats, leaving Earth and Chuck behind. The dogs hand the Stones to a mysterious biker, a regular at Mo's Diner. The Biker in Black reveals himself to be an undercover government agent as soldiers and helicopters swarm into the town.
7 "Kid Cosmic and the Invaders from Earth" Craig McCracken & Rob Renzetti Rob Renzetti Vaughn Tada February 2, 2021 (2021-02-02)
A few days after the attack, the military has moved into town under the orders of the Biker in Black. Jo, Rosa, and Papa G are kept under strict surveillance, while Kid has gone missing. After briefing being captured by the Biker, Tuna Sandwich helps Chuck subdue a vengeful alien delivery driver, the owner of the wrecked spacecraft that brought the Stones to Earth. Chuck agrees to help find Kid and gives Tuna his chest translator. The two of them rescue Rosa from house arrest, sneak Jo out of the diner and meet at Papa G's house. The Biker in Black tells Papa G that the team were guinea pigs to test the Stones' power, and uses the Stones to create superpowered mech suits. Tuna Sandwich warns the team of a massive alien invasion on its way to Earth, and the Local Heroes conspire to take back the Stones.
8 "Earth Force Enforcement Force" Craig McCracken, Rob Renzetti & Paul Watling Kevin Seccia & Craig McCracken Paul Watling February 2, 2021 (2021-02-02)
Using the Stone-powered mech suits, the Biker in Black assembles a team of wisecracking heroes dubbed the Earth Force Enforcement Force to fight the alien invasion. The battle descends into chaos as opposing alien forces fight both the Earth Force and each other for the Stones. Watching dejected from a mountaintop, Kid notices that the arriving aliens have the same powers as the Stones. He realizes the aliens are trying to reclaim the Stones stolen from their home planet, not steal them, and rides his bike directly into the battlefield to tell the Earth Force to stop fighting.
9 "Kid Cosmic and the Bad Good Guys" Benjamin Balisteri, Craig McCracken, Rob Renzetti & Dave Thomas Craig McCracken & Rob Renzetti Benjamin Balisteri February 2, 2021 (2021-02-02)
Kid launches himself straight into danger, trying to get The attention of the Earth Force to tell them the aliens aren't evil. He fails to get through and is picked up by the rest of the Local Heroes. The team makes up and agree to help return the Stones to their rightful owners. The Local Heroes and Chuck repurpose an ice cream truck as the "Kid Cosmobile" and Papa G supplies them with superhero costumes. Driving directly into the battle, the gang repeatedly interrupts the fighting to convince the Earth Force to stand down. Papa G reprograms a Demon Dog to help the Local Heroes to sneak into the Biker in Black's bunker. Kid tells the Biker his plan to help the aliens, but learns that the Biker intends to capture them and use the Stones to make Earth the galaxy's number one superpower.
10 "Kid Cosmic and the Day is Saved!" Benjamin Balisteri, Craig McCracken, Rob Renzetti & Dave Thomas Craig McCracken & Rob Renzetti Benjamin Balisteri, Justin Nichols, Vaughn Tada & Dave Thomas February 2, 2021 (2021-02-02)

The aliens are captured by Earth Force as The Local Heroes are escorted away by armed soldiers. Chuck subdues his captor and uses their weapon to reclaim the green Stone. Kid reassembles his ring, the Earth Force unable to capture him with his unpredictable flying. The rest of the Local Heroes escape in the Kid Cosmobile and rescue the aliens. The Biker tries to run down the heroes with his truck, triggering Kid's memory of his parents' accident. In his moment of distress, Kid levitates everyone off the ground, revealing the green Stone's true power of telekinesis. He uses the power to take the rest of the Stones back from the Earth Force and offer them back to the aliens, learning the Stones are the remaining remnants of their worlds, destroyed by the Planet Killer, Erodius.

6 months later, life for the team has been mostly returned to normal when a battered Queen Xhan comes back to town with the 5 Stones, announcing that Erodius has returned, and they need to collect all 13 Stones to defeat him. She creates a portal that envelopes the diner and transports everyone inside into outer space.

Production

In 2009, Craig McCracken made a comic strip entitled Kid Cosmic, about a kid who fantasized about becoming a superhero. He was inspired by the idea of how different reality would be if the character actually got the chance to fulfill such an aspiration. The creator wanted to "tap into this naïve confidence that all kids have" of being a superhero, while also basing the concept on his early years of wanting to become a professional artist. He later realized that, in order to have the characters "learn, grow and change," he would have to tell the story with a serialized format. Knowing that "[no network] would want it at the time", he put the idea aside until 2015, when the industry of animation became more accepting of serialization within kids' animated series. Along with his wife Lauren Faust and friend Francisco Angones, he further expanded the idea of Kid Cosmic and ultimately produced an animatic for a 22-minute episode. Upon learning that Netflix was looking for new shows, he went to their studios on a Thursday and presented the animatic as a pilot. The executives supported the idea of a 22-minute family show, and greenlit the series the following Wednesday. "It was really quick and quite an incredible experience!", McCracken recalled in 2021.

McCracken and his old friend Rob Renzetti serve as executive producers for the show, marking the first time the two have collaborated on a project since Cartoon Network's Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends. With the use of the Toon Boom Harmony software, Mercury Filmworks provides animation services of the show in Ottawa, Canada with a staff of 110 employees. The company had done animation services previously for season one of Wander Over Yonder, one of McCraken's earlier productions. Netflix's animation division is leading production with a team of approximately 45 people. Having produced solely for television in the past, McCracken felt that he now had more creative freedom to pitch projects that had a darker tone or that could work as a movie, something that television channels "might shy away from". Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the series team had to continue working at home since March 2020, slowing down the production process. According to McCracken, completing a season takes a year and a half of hard work, from writing start to finish.

The main setting of the show, an arid landscape with a "generic rural southwest desert vibe", is presumed to be New Mexico. However, McCracken said in an interview for Den of Geek: "It could be New Mexico, it could be California [or] it could be Arizona. Basically it’s a remote enough place where a spaceship could crash and not a lot of people would know about it."

Stylistically, the show is meant to resemble the visual look of classic comics such as Hank Ketcham's Dennis the Menace and Hergé's The Adventures of Tintin, where every action is grounded in reality: "A lot of the choices that we made in Kid were based on the fact that these are real people in the real world [...] So with the animation we avoided overly smooth and flowy actions or lots of squash and stretch, things that you associate with cartoons," the creator said. Stuck Chuck's design is a nod to the aliens from the 1996 film Mars Attacks! and other science-fiction movies.

McCracken affirmed that some of the ideas explored within the show are also based on things that he personally experienced, such as the loss of his father at the age of 7, similar to the protagonist, who lost both of his parents. The dynamics between Kid and Jo are loosely based on McCracken's relationship with his older sister and are similar to those of Mac and Frankie in Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends. Rosa's "playful spirit" is also a reflection of the creator's young daughter.

Kid Cosmic also plays on the theme that "heroes help, not hurt", which means the characters often show a compassionate attitude toward their adversaries. This strays in tone from McCracken's first popular work, The Powerpuff Girls, which he described as a "campy parody of superheroes". He declared: "I really didn't want to tell a story to kids that said, 'Hey, if you get great powers, then you can go and beat up bad guys and be violent and win.' I didn't want that to be the message. So I asked myself what a real hero is".

Music

In late February 2021, Netflix released a soundtrack album titled Kid Cosmic and the Sonic Courage.

Release

Kid Cosmic was announced on November 6, 2018, along with other Netflix animated projects. A trailer was released on January 5, and the show debuted on February 2, 2021. Five companion shorts were released on the Netflix Futures YouTube channel on February 3, 2021.

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