Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Xiaolin Showdown (2003)
Such a creative array of characters...
Using cartoons as a link to my passing childhood, I am tending to watch a lot of them. I was surprised, in fact, to find Xiaolin Showdown as such a delightful show, not just for younger children but for teens, and even my dad finds the show's humor amusing. Even though it is animated, it has fantastic battle-like scenes between the good Xiaolin side and the evil Heylin side, jokes and wisecracks that are actually funny, and characters that viewers grow to like despite their human-like flaws. The storyline centers around four Xiaolin warriors that live in the Xiaolin Temple: Omi, a short yellow orphan who appears to be the main protagonist, is the Dragon of Water; Raimundo, a hot-headed Brazillian character, is the Dragon of Wind; Kimiko, the rich, clever, and electronically adept Japanese girl, is the Dragon of Fire; and Clay, a cowboy from Texas, is the Dragon of Earth. Their duty is to retrieve the mystical ancient artifacts known as the Shen Gong Wu before they fall into the hands of the evil Heylin side. The warriors are aided by a wisecracking Chinese dragon by the name of Dojo. As seasons go on, the warriors are confronted with different and increasingly dangerous Heylin villains, but the villains that are most focused on would have to be Jack Spicer, a whiny, red-haired goth wannabe villain who has dubbed himself "Evil Boy Genius"; and Wuya, the 1500 year old evil spirit of a Heylin witch.
It is very interesting to watch as the characters grow and develop as they learn to work together to meet their goals. However, I find the characters of Omi and Clay to be most irritating. Omi is sometimes used for comic relief when he uses arrogant comments and claims to be the best of the dragons. Though this is used for entertainment, it feels to me as though it is strained. The show revolves around Omi, and he comes off sometimes as a self-important, arrogant little jerk which takes my admiration away from him.
Clay, on the other hand, is arguably the least focused on of the 4 dragons, yet he still succeeds in annoying me. Having being a "cowboy", he possesses all the stereotypical qualities of what one would think a cowboy would have. I think his stereotypical way of speaking, acting, and even fighting takes away from seeing him as an actual character, which also allows him to be considered less interesting. When I look at him, all I see is "cowboy".
Now, this show, however, possesses the most interesting, creative, and entertaining line of villains I have ever seen, Jack Spicer being my personal favorite. Though he is a whiny, girly, mama's boy, he succeeds in being the most entertaining villain. He has the best wisecracks, and his constant bickering with Wuya is very funny. He spends the majority of his time creating a vast array of creative and sometimes humorous robots that he calls "Jackbots". As a viewer, I have mixed emotions about Jack. Though he is a villain, he is so likable and you eventually begin to sympathize with him.
The character design and animation in this show is, in my personal opinion, stunning. It combines the clean-cut American style of animation with Asian animation techniques including many spirals and curly-q's. I also enjoy Kimiko's ever-changing outfits and hairstyles that define how creative the animators are. The voice acting is also fabulous, and the plot line is very intricate for a cartoon. Also, I rather like the theme song. It's really something you can jam to.