Voltron: Legendary Defender facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsVoltron:
|Voices of||Josh Keaton
A. J. Locascio
|Opening theme||Alex Geringas|
|Country of origin||United States (production)
South Korea (animation)
|No. of seasons||8|
|No. of episodes||78 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Joaquim Dos Santos
Yoo Jae Myung
|Producer(s)||Ki Hyun Ryu (supervising)
Choi Go Un
Kim Seul Ki
Lee Soo Kyung
Kim Young Hyun (season 1−6)
Han Seong Ho (season 7−8)
Park Sang Ah (season 7−8)
|Running time||23 minutes
69 minutes (The Rise of Voltron)
|Production company(s)||DreamWorks Animation Television
World Events Productions
NBCUniversal Television Distribution
|Picture format||1080p (16:9 HDTV)|
|Audio format||Dolby Digital 5.1|
|Original release||June 10, 2016– December 14, 2018|
Voltron: Fleet of Doom
Voltron: The Third Dimension
Voltron: Legendary Defender is an animated mecha streaming television series produced by American companies DreamWorks Animation Television and World Events Productions and animated by South Korean studio Mir. It is a reboot of the Voltron franchise and the Japanese anime series Beast King GoLion, and its animation is a mix of anime-influenced traditional animation for characters and background and CGI for Voltron action sequences. Voltron: Legendary Defender is set in a science fiction universe where planetary energy called "quintessence" can be used to power vehicles and magic. The series follows the adventures of the Paladins of Voltron who must learn to work together to form the giant robot Voltron and use it to defeat the evil Galra Empire.
The first season premiered on Netflix on June 10, 2016, and consisted of 11 episodes. The series had a 76-episode commitment from Netflix. It has been released globally in United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, France, Germany, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Scandinavia, Benelux, Latin America, Slovenia, South Africa, Italy and Finland. The second season premiered on Netflix on January 20, 2017, and consisted of 13 episodes. The third season premiered on Netflix on August 4, 2017, and consisted of 7 episodes while the fourth season premiered on October 13, 2017, and consisted of 6 episodes. The fifth season premiered on March 2, 2018, and consists of six episodes. The sixth season premiered on June 15, 2018 and consists of seven episodes. A seventh season premiered on August 10, 2018 and consists of thirteen episodes. The series' success has spawned several comics, action figures, and other toys from Playmates Toys. The eighth and final season premiered on December 14, 2018, and consists of thirteen episodes.
For millennia, the Galra Empire has plagued the universe by destroying other civilizations and enslaving various races. The only known threat strong enough against the empire's power and plans is the legendary "Defender of the Universe" Voltron, a 328-foot tall robot warrior composed of five lion robots whose pilots are known as the Paladins. At the crux of the war that ended with the destruction of planet Altea, King Alfor of Altea separated Voltron to protect it from falling into the evil Galran King Zarkon's possession. King Alfor bonded the five lions' energies to his daughter Allura's life force and sent them across the universe to different locations until the time for the next generation of Paladins to appear and pilot Voltron arrived. Princess Allura, her royal adviser Coran, and the Altean Castle of Lions were hidden on planet Arus along with the Black Lion.
In the present, the Galra Empire's path of conquest and search for Voltron has led them to Earth's solar system. A group of space pilots – Shiro, Keith, Lance, Pidge, and Hunk — discover the Blue Lion and immediately get swept up into the Galran War. They meet Princess Allura, become the new Paladins, and reunite the five lions to form Voltron, beginning their fight to liberate the universe from the Galra Empire.
Cast and characters
- Josh Keaton as Lieutenant / Commander Takashi "Shiro" Shirogane:
The Black Paladin and the pilot of the Black Lion. The leader of the Defenders of the Universe, Shiro was captured by the Galra Empire a year before the start of the series while on a scientific expedition, during which he was given a weaponized prosthetic right arm. A natural, decisive leader, Shiro is calm and always in control. At the end of the second season, Shiro reclaims his personal bayard weapon from Zarkon that enables them to defeat him, but Shiro mysteriously vanishes afterwards. In season three, it is revealed he was teleported to a Galra ship, as he ended up on one before escaping and was eventually found by the team. After finding that the Black Lion no longer accepts him as its true paladin, he continues to aid the team by providing guidance and support to them from the Castle of Lions. At the start of season four, Shiro manages to re-establish his bond with the Black Lion when Keith was absent during an intense battle. In season five, he was revealed of being an unwitting mole of Haggar, who can see through his eyes to keep an eye on Lotor. After Keith and Romelle revealed Lotor's true intentions, Haggar takes full control over Shiro, and Keith discovers that the Shiro with them is a clone, while the true Shiro died during the fight at the end of season two, and his soul lies inside the Black Lion. Afterwards, Shiro is revived when Allura uses her powers to transfer his soul from the Black Lion to the clone's body. In season 7, following his return to Earth, he becomes the captain of the Atlas, a Galaxy Garrison battleship, during the fight against Sendak. The first episode introduces the character "Adam W." who was shown as a "significant other" to Shiro, a description confirmed by Lauren Montgomery that revealed Shiro as an LGBT character. At the end of season 8, he married Curtis, a fellow crewmember on the Atlas.
- Kimberly Brooks as Princess Allura:
The crown Princess of Altea, the daughter of King Alfor, Allura was the last known female Altean. Pilot and keeper of the Castle of Lions, a structure that is both a castle and a spaceship, Allura granted the new group of Defenders their titles and leads them in their mission to defeat Zarkon and liberate the universe from Galra rule. Allura wishes more than anything to finish her father's work in stopping Zarkon. In season three, she becomes the new pilot of the Blue Lion as the Pink Paladin. As an Altean, Allura's abilities include the chameleon-like ability to blend in with other species and magical abilities related to quintessence. She has a telepathic bond with some Altean mice that had ended up in the same cryo-pod that she was hibernating inside of. During season 8, Allura and Lance engage in a romantic relationship, and Lance starts to be more protective and caring towards her. At the end of season 8, she and Honerva give their lives to restore all realities after they were destroyed in the final battle.
- Steven Yeun as Keith:
The Red Paladin and the pilot of the Red Lion. Formerly a cadet at Galaxy Garrison academy before being expelled, Keith is an orphan and a lone wolf as a result. Sullen and temperamental, Keith spends his free time honing his skills for battle, but he also gradually learns the necessary skills to work with a team. In season two, Keith discovers he has Galra blood, apparently from his maternal side of the family. The revelation comes from a knife that associated him with a secret rebel group of the Galra called the "Blade of Marmora", but also ends up straining Allura's trust in him for a while. Due to Shiro's absence, Keith takes over as the head of Voltron as the new pilot of the Black Lion in season three. At the start of season four, Keith steps down from this position and hands it back to Shiro so that he can continue to work with the Blade of Marmora. At the end of season five, Keith is reunited with his Galra mother, Krolia. He rejoins the Paladins in the end of season six, re-assuming command of the Black Lion. At the end of season 8, he dissolves the Galra Empire and transitions the Blades of Marmora into a humanitarian organization.
- Jeremy Shada as Lance:
The Blue Paladin and the pilot of the Blue Lion. Lance was the fighter pilot of his team at Galaxy Garrison academy. Initially cocky and confident, Lance is nicknamed the sharpshooter and ladies' man of the Defenders. Lance occasionally has doubts of fulfilling his role on the team. Lance also maintained a one-sided rivalry with Keith from when the two were at the Galaxy Garrison together, but the two have shown to be an effective team. Lance becomes the new pilot of the Red Lion and right-hand man of Voltron from season three onward. Lance presumably died for a brief moment in season 6. He and Allura begin a romance at the beginning of season 8. After the final battle with Honerva, Lance returns to live on his family's farm, spreading Allura's message and has gained Altean markings.
- Bex Taylor-Klaus as Katie "Pidge Gunderson" Holt:
The Green Paladin and the pilot of the Green Lion. Katie disguised herself as a boy named Pidge Gunderson to get into Galaxy Garrison academy to find out what happened to her father and brother who disappeared whilst on the same scientific mission that Shiro was captured on. A technical genius, Pidge is the smartest member of the team, able to create specialist modifications for the Green Lion such as a cloaking device. She also re-purposed a Galran drone to work for her, naming it Rover, who later sacrificed itself to protect her. During her time as a Paladin, she eventually rescued her brother, and then her father. Her brother, Matt, kept fighting for a rebel group, and her father, Samuel, returned to Earth to warn the Galaxy Garrison about the impending war against the Galra. After the final battle in Season 8, she and her family help establish and lead the next generation of Legendary Defenders (the nature of whom can be seen to be a nod to Vehicle Voltron).
- Tyler Labine as Hunk:
The Yellow Paladin and the pilot of the Yellow Lion. Hunk was the engineer of his team at Galaxy Garrison academy. A gentle giant with an equally large appetite, Hunk is the heart of the team, lifting them up and making peace between them. After witnessing first hand the devastation and misery that Zarkon's conquest of the universe has brought upon the people of various worlds, Hunk is determined to free those enslaved. Following the final battle with Honerva, he starts up a culinary empire to bring worlds together, one meal at a time.
- Rhys Darby as Coran Hieronymus Wimbleton Smythe:
The Royal advisor to Princess Allura's family, Coran was the last known male Altean. Energetic and excitable, Coran serves Allura dutifully whilst being fiercely protective of her. He tends to ramble on and on about his past, particularly about his supposedly daring feats or past experiences. Despite his odd and quirky character, he is a reliable and steadfast ally to his princess and the Paladins.
- Neil Kaplan as Emperor Zarkon:
The Emperor of the ruthless Galra Empire, and the ruler of most of the known universe after spending the last ten thousand years conquering it. He desires the Lions of Voltron, whom he is powerful to contend against, due to both the threat they pose to his conquest, along with the revelation that he was the former Black Paladin that motivates his claim of the Lions as his own property. During the season two finale, Zarkon faces Voltron and the Paladins in a powerful, experimental mecha armor and is defeated by the Paladins, but left in a coma for most of season three until he was revived by Haggar and begins a manhunt for Lotor. In season five, Lotor fights him in a duel to the death and is slain by Lotor's hand, and he is declared dead by the empire. In season 8, Zarkon last appears as a corrupted spirit inside of Honerva's mind to protect her secrets. When the original and present Paladins fight and defeat him, they purified his soul and returns to normal after millennia. Then when Allura shows him all the suffering he has caused in all that time, Zarkon becomes repentant. The old and new Paladins convince him to help them escape her mind using the combined shared bond of all ten Paladins to Voltron.
- Cree Summer as Witch Haggar / Honerva:
Zarkon's primary advisor and leader of the Druids, dark mystics who fanatically serve the Galra Empire. Haggar is both a dangerous sorceress and a mad scientist. She combines her dark magic with abominable science to arm soldiers with powerful weapons, create giant robotic monsters dubbed "Robeasts" to fight Voltron, and drain the mystical life energy known as quintessence from all living things, including whole planets, for the Galra to use in their universal conquest. In battle, her magical abilities allow for her to teleport, cast illusions, and wield dark magic energy. Haggar is eventually revealed to be an Altean alchemist named Honerva, Zarkon's wife who played a role in Voltron's origins ten millennia ago. She was afflicted by the same corruption that had transformed Zarkon, in the process losing all the memories of her former life, and gradually recovered them when she traveled to the mystical realm of Oriande where Altean alchemy originated. The trip allowed Haggar to restore herself to her original state as Honerva. While she was mysteriously absent during season 7, Honerva returns as the main antagonist of season 8. She has deceived a colony of Alteans Lotor had kept hidden from the Galra into becoming her willing followers, promising them they will be reunited with Lotor and Altea. Her plan is to summon Lotor's mech and merge it with a personal one of her own, creating a mech that can open up rips to alternate realities. With it, she could then find and travel to the perfect reality to live in peace with, but at the cost of all other realities being destroyed by these created rips. It gets worse when the reality she thinks is the perfect one causes her more of the pain she hates: outraged, she nearly succeeds in ending all of existence during the final battle, but gets convinced by the Paladins and Allura to stop, though she becomes disheartened that there is now only one reality left because of her actions. She and Allura work together to use all their Altean magic to save all of existence, sacrificing their lives to do this.
- A. J. Locascio as Prince Lotor:
The son of Zarkon and Honerva, making him a Galra-Altean hybrid. He assumed control of the Galra Empire following his father's inability to lead while in critical condition. Possessing a Messianic complex, Lotor's ideology that strength comes from worthy followers from conquered worlds, rather than resource expansion and subjugation, is reflected in his personal all-female strike team who are half-Galra like himself. While acting as ruler, ignoring matters he deems a waste of time, Lotor has been working on his own plans to obtain Quintessence which results with him branded an outlaw by Zarkon once he returns to power. Forming an alliance with the Paladins after saving them from Haggar's ambush, Lotor manages to win back the Galra throne after defeating his father in a battle to the death and subsequently dealing with insurgents. However, Lotor's alliance with the Paladins falls apart once it is revealed that he secretly saved many Alteans during the past war, hiding them away and allowing them to thrive, only to sacrifice a majority of them so he can use their harvested quintessence for his plans, as revealed by Keith and an Altean from his colony, Romelle. It is eventually revealed that Lotor's goal is to establish a new Altean Empire, one that will even span across other realities, and he will dispose of anything, even his own forces if need be, to achieve it, as he fights Voltron using his own giant robot formed from his Sincline ships, which has the ability to enter the Quintessence field at will. As the fight enters the Quintessence field itself, the direct exposure to all the quintessence within it drives Lotor mad with power, just like Zarkon, but Lotor is defeated when Allura has Voltron use all of its power, both from itself and the constant power it gets from Quintessence field, against him. As the power makes Voltron increasingly difficult to keep together, they are forced to abandon Lotor in the Quintessence field to die due to Quintessence poisoning.
On January 5, 2016, Netflix and DreamWorks Animation announced a new original animated Voltron series to debut in 2016 as a reboot similar to that of Disney's Ducktales reboot, the expansion of their existing multi-year agreement. Voltron was one of several series planned for initial development and debut in 2016, including Guillermo del Toro's animated Trollhunters. Lauren Montgomery and Joaquim Dos Santos, both known for their work on the Avatar: The Last Airbender and its sequel The Legend of Korra, served as showrunners, while fellow crew member Tim Hedrick served as head writer. On March 25, 2016, at WonderCon, it was announced that the voice cast would consist of Steven Yeun as Keith, Jeremy Shada as Lance, Bex Taylor-Klaus as Pidge, Josh Keaton as Shiro, Tyler Labine as Hunk, Kimberly Brooks as Princess Allura, Rhys Darby as Coran, and Neil Kaplan as Emperor Zarkon. Cree Summer later confirmed that she would be voicing Witch Haggar. The first season premiered on June 10, 2016, and consisted of 13 episodes.
It was announced at San Diego Comic-Con that season two will premiere on Netflix in late 2016. A few months later, at New York Comic Con, it was announced that the second season will premiere on January 20, 2017. The second season saw a special premiere at the New York Comic Con on October 7, 2016, where an episode was shown at the Voltron panel. The second season premiered on Netflix on January 20, 2017, and consisted of 13 episodes.
The third season premiered on Netflix on August 4, 2017, and consisted of 7 episodes. The fourth season premiered in October 2017, and consisted of 6 episodes. The series was revealed at WonderCon 2017 to have a 78-episode commitment from Netflix.
The fifth season premiered on March 2, 2018, and consisted of 6 episodes.
The sixth season premiered on June 15, 2018, and consisted of 7 episodes.
The seventh season premiered on August 10, 2018, and consisted of 13 episodes.
The eighth and final season premiered on December 14, 2018, and consisted of 13 episodes.
|1||13||June 10, 2016|
|2||13||January 20, 2017|
|3||7||August 4, 2017|
|4||6||October 13, 2017|
|5||6||March 2, 2018|
|6||7||June 15, 2018|
|7||13||August 10, 2018|
|8||13||December 14, 2018|
The series was marred by the extraordinarily poor behavior on the part of a number of its fans. Death threats were issued to many within the Voltron cast and crew, particularly to the showrunners Dos Santos and Montgomery and voice actors Josh Keaton and Bex Taylor-Klaus. Almost all of the negative behavior centered on either LGBT representation or "shipping."
A fan demanded that Keith and Lance be written to be romantically involved with one another and threatened to publicly post private internal documents related to the show until the two male characters became a couple.
In defense of the executive producers, Tyler Labine, the voice actor for Hunk, stated on his personal Instagram account that "what is not real and what will all fall by the wayside in due time is all the unwarranted hate and vitriol that the dark side of this fandom has let seep into this precious world. THAT is all just noise and I refuse to listen." He also said, in regard to Shiro's epilogue in Season 8, that the "powers that be and people in control aren’t always free to do things the way they want. There is always someone more powerful with lore control keep the gates shut. Just remember that next time you decide that the creators of this show didn’t care about the fandom. I assure they cared more than anybody. Fact."
Awards and nominations
|2017||44th Annie Awards||Best/Animated TV Broadcast Production For Children's Audience||Episode: "Return of the Gladiator"||Nominated|
|Kidscreen Awards||Best Animated Series, Teens and Tweens||Voltron: Legendary Defender||Nominated|
|IGN's Best of 2016 Awards||Best Animated Series||Voltron: Legendary Defender||Nominated|
|64th Annual Golden Reel Awards||Sound and Music Editing - TV Animation||Episode: "The Black Paladin"||Nominated|
|Golden Trailer Awards 2017||Best Animation/Family (TV Spot / Trailer /Teaser for a Series)||Voltron: Legendary Defender||Nominated|
|6th Annual BTVA Awards||Best Vocal Ensemble in a New Television Series||Voltron: Legendary Defender||Nominated|
|BTVA People's Choice Award for Best Vocal Ensemble in a New Television Series||Voltron: Legendary Defender||Won|
|Best Male Lead Vocal Performance in a Television Series||Jeremy Shada (Lance)||Nominated|
|Best Female Lead Vocal Performance in a Television Series||Kimberly Brooks (Allura)||Won|
|Best Male Vocal Performance in a Television Series in a Supporting Role||Neil Kaplan (Emperor Zarkon)||Won|
|BTVA People's Choice Award for Best Male Vocal Performance in a Television Series in a Supporting Role||Neil Kaplan (Emperor Zarkon)||Won|
|IGN's Best of 2017 Awards||Best Animated Series||Voltron: Legendary Defender||Nominated|
|2018||Kidscreen Awards||Best Animated Series, Teens and Tweens||Voltron: Legendary Defender||Nominated|
|45th Daytime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Interactive Media - Enhancement to a Daytime Program or Series||DreamWorks Voltron VR Chronicles||Nominated|
|7th Annual BTVA Awards||Best Vocal Ensemble in a Television Series||Voltron: Legendary Defender||Nominated|
|BTVA People's Choice Award for Best Vocal Ensemble in a Television Series||Voltron: Legendary Defender||Won|
|Best Male Vocal Performance in a Television Series||Rhys Darby (Coran)||Nominated|
|BTVA People's Choice Award for Best Male Vocal Performance in a Television Series||Rhys Darby (Coran)||Won|
|Best Male Vocal Performance in a Television Series in a Supporting Role||AJ Locascio (Prince Lotor)||Won|
|BTVA People's Choice Award for Best Male Vocal Performance in a Television Series in a Supporting Role||AJ Locascio (Prince Lotor)||Won|
|Best Female Vocal Performance in a Television Series in a Guest Role||Alyson Stoner (Florona)||Nominated|
|BTVA People's Choice Award for Best Female Vocal Performance in a Television Series in a Guest Role||Alyson Stoner (Florona)||Won|
|The 2018 ComicBook.com Golden Issue Awards||Best Animated TV Series||Voltron: Legendary Defender||Won|
|IGN's Best of 2018 Awards||Best Animated Series||Voltron: Legendary Defender||Nominated|
|2019||Golden Trailer Awards 2019||Best Animation / Family TV Spot/Trailer/Teaser for a Series||Voltron: Legendary Defender||Nominated|
Three comic series detailing events happening in between episodes were announced in January 2016. Taking story ideas that were deemed too outlandish and too epic to be contained in a 23-minute episode from the animated series, these comic series bridges the time lapse between seasons.
Despite original statements of continuing into Volume 4, LionForge opted to cancel its contract. Its only response in regards to the matter was a brief tweet of an article from Geekdad in regards to the matter.
Volume 1 (2016)
The first miniseries consisted of five issues, published by Lion Forge Comics. It was written by show head writer Tim Hedrick and Mitch Iverson, and illustrated by Digital Art Chefs. A special cover variant of issue #1 was available at San Diego Comic-Con in 2016, with a limited release of 250 copies. Issue #2 was released on August 2, 2016, followed by issue #3 on October 5, 2016, issue #4 on November 9, 2016, and issue #5 on November 20, 2016. The whole series will be collected in a graphic novel and was initially scheduled for a December 2016 release, but got pushed back to January 3, 2017, then was finally released January 25, 2017, according to Lion Forge. The second series will be announced after the release of the graphic novel. A motion comic of issue 1 with full voice acting by the series cast was released on June 15, 2017, at the DreamWorksTV YouTube channel. The story takes place in between the season 1 episodes "Rebirth" and "Crystal Venom."
|#1||July 13, 2016||Tim Hedrick
|Digital Art Chefs||Voltron: Legendary Defender
JANUARY 25, 2017
|#2||August 24, 2016|
|#3||October 5, 2016|
|#4||November 9, 2016|
|#5||November 30, 2016|
Volume 2 (2017)
During the Voltron: Legendary Defender panel at WonderCon 2017, it was announced that the second series of five issues would debut in May 2017. The date was pushed back to late June due to production delays., however the date was pushed back on October 4, 2017 where was published where issue 2 and 3 was published on the same day, November 1, 2017 and issue 4 was published on November 15, 2017, issue 5 was published on December 13, 2017, the Vol. 2 Trade Paperback was published on January 31, 2018. The story takes place in between the season 2 episodes "Shiro's Escape" and "Greening the Cube."
|#1||October 4, 2017||Tim Hedrick
|Voltron: Legendary Defender
Volume 2: Pilgrimage
JANUARY 31, 2018
|#2||November 1, 2017||Rubine
Jung Gwan Yoo
|#4||November 15, 2017||Rubine
|#5||December 13, 2017||Rubine
Volume 3 (2018)
Volume 3 debuted on July 11, 2018. The story is set between season 4 and season 5.
|#1||July 11, 2018||Mitch Iverson||Gung Gwan Yoo
|Voltron: Legendary Defender
Volume 3: Absolution
January 9, 2019
|#2||August 8, 2018||Rubine
|#3||September 12, 2018||Edwin Prasetya
|#4||October 10, 2018|
|#5||November 14, 2018|
The first two seasons were released on DVD in Region 1 by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment on June 12, 2018, The first two seasons were also released in Australia on October 17, 2018. The series was also releasesd on DVD in the UK, Italy, and Germany. A box set for seasons 3-6 has been released as of June 2019. Seasons 1-6 are available on iTunes, Google Play Amazon Video etc in the UK.
Promotion and merchandising
To promote the series in between the release of season 1 and 2, a Robeast fanart contest was announced via social media on October 18, 2016. The winner was announced on December 27, 2016 on social media under the username "Zilla B".
DreamWorks Voltron VR Chronicles (2017)
Voltron: Cubes of Olkarion (2019)
A real-time strategy video game based on the series, called Voltron: Cubes of Olkarion, created by indie developer Gbanga, was entered into and won the 2018 Universal GameDev Challenge. The game was released on Steam Early Access on 29 August 2019. On the 19th September 2019 NBCUniversal shutdown its game publishing division. Three months later on the 19th December Voltron: Cubes of Olkarion was briefly removed from the Steam store, but reactivated in June 2020. In the game, players compete in real-time player vs player (PvP) game battles by placing own and destroying opponent blocks with different features in a game board with a grid.
Voltron: Legendary Defender Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.