We have been thankfully kept sane during this apocalyptic epoch by an animated comedy anchored in species solidarity and spirited rewilding.
But no longer.
With the final season of Kipo and The Age of Wonderbeasts now wrapped and streaming on Netflix — as its creators and sustainers have evidently planned all along — the duty of pushing humanity forward into an evolved peace between runaway technology and nearly extinct biodiversity now falls to (yet) another cli-fi classic. It’s a tall order, as our globally warmed Earth exponentially overheats, in a zoonotic pandemic punctuated by replicating fascism.
We’re going to miss you, Kipo.
“We messed up!” is an excellent anthem — as well as the understatement of the millennium — for what’s left of the technocratic humanity of Kipo and The Age of Wonderbeasts to sing, in apology, to the mutated animal kingdom it once terrorized. We should do it all of the time, on Earth, right now.
Until we do, we at least can enjoy the radically inclusive, optimistic prom at the end of Kipo’s series finale, where humanity and nature achieve the song and dance of peace we find so elusive in the Real World. Well, not entirely.
There is indeed an evil in Kipo’s standout third season who is doomed to spend eternity lost in metahuman purgatory, so to speak. Spoiler alert: There are, in fact, evil energies that must be dominated — in cli-fi, as well as in the Real World — for evolution to proceed. Kipo and The Age of Wonderbeasts does not shy away from that hard truth, in the end.
Our eternal hope is that evolution does proceed, hopefully alongside future seasons of Kipo. Either depends on resolving the zoonoses and pandemics of our turbulent time, and the exponential climate crisis of extinction and existence pushing us all forward. But into what?
That’s the ultimate question, for which fiction and even science have no answers. Kipo’s series resolution, like its indefatigable hero, is full of heart and respect and ingenuity and comedy and love. Can we materialize all of that in our shared reality, before it is too late?
We’re about to find out, like it or not.
There is so much to like, and love, about Kipo and The Age of Wonderbeasts, so far. Check out the latest looks from its newest season below, and cross your fingers for what feels like an inevitable return, when we deserve Kipo more.
In celebration of the third and final season debuting on Netflix, check out 5 fun clips including K-Pop singing narwhals, the Human Mute Ultimate Friendship Alliance and more!
Can’t get enough of Kipo? Check out yesterday’s NYCC X Metaverse panel featuring executive producers Radford Sechrist and Bill Wolkoff, story editors Joanna Lewis and Kristine Songco, and voice cast members Karen Fukuhara, Sydney Mikayla and Coy Stewart.
After spending her entire life living in an underground burrow, a young girl named Kipo (Karen Fukuhara) is thrust into an adventure on the surface of a fantastical post-apocalyptic Earth. She joins a ragtag group of survivors as they embark on a journey through a vibrant wonderland where everything trying to kill them is downright adorable.
After dethroning Scarlemagne, Kipo and the Brunch Bunch face a more daunting foe: Dr. Emilia, who plots to eliminate mutekind to make the surface “safe” for humans. But Kipo has an optimistic vision of a world where mutes and humans get along with each other. To achieve that dream, she must lean on her friends and rise to a role she may not be ready for.
First H.M.U.F.A. Meeting
Welcome to the first HMUFA meeting! Kipo is determined to prove that joining the Human Mute Ultimate Friendship Alliance is the best decision for everyone, but will the rest of the village be on board?
Ocean of Love
Meet Hyun-Soo & the Narhartz, a group of musical narwhals!
Wolf’s childhood best friend, Margot, shows up to ask for help. But will Wolf be able to put their past to the side?
Can you keep up with the shenanigans of Dave and Benson?!
Friendship Alliance Song
You can’t not sing along to the Human Mute Ultimate Friendship Alliance song!
The series is created and executive produced by Radford Sechrist (How to Train Your Dragon 2) and executive produced and developed for television by Bill Wolkoff (The Man Who Fell To Earth).
The cast features Karen Fukuhara (She-Ra and the Princesses of Power) as the enthusiastic and curious “Kipo;” Sydney Mikayla (School of Rock) as “Wolf,” a weapon-wielding survivor who knows the ins and outs of the surface; Coy Stewart (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) as the happy-go-lucky “Benson;” Deon Cole (black-ish) as “Dave,” a talking insect who has the jarring ability to suddenly age a full life cycle without warning; and Dee Bradley Baker (Star Wars: The Clone Wars) as the adorable mutant pig “Mandu”. Sterling K. Brown (This Is Us) returns as Kipo’s father “Lio Oak;” Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey) as the power-hungry “Scarlemagne;” Jake Green (The Boss Baby: Back in Business) as mod frog “Jamack;” and Amy Landecker (Transparent) returns as the vengeful “Dr. Emilia.”