‘Carmen Sandiego’ | Netflix Original Series Review

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: January 18, 2019 (Last updated: December 16, 2023)
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Carmen Sandiego Netflix Review


Netflix’s Carmen Sandiego is marvelous, with a unique style and a refreshing approach to spies (or in this case thieves) for the next generation of young minds.

Netflix’s Carmen Sandiego is a charming and modern take on the Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego video games. Full of heart and style, ready to charm and educate audiences in diversity and culture.

Carmen Sandiego first took my attention visually; with beautiful color palettes and soft textures, the show displays a surprising sense of sophistication. The sharp angles and limited yet effective lighting overlays combine to create remarkable environments that lend nothing but inspiration to the scene being played. Netflix has again introduced a strong contender in the world of modern animation. With shows such as Bojack Horseman, Super Drags, and She-Ra, Netflix is beginning to gain a reputation for creating unique and trendsetting styles in the animation community. Carmen Sandiego is no different, a style in its own right and remarkable for its mature visuals that easily translate as entertaining for older and younger audiences alike.

Carmen Sandiego tells the story of how an orphan, abandoned by her parents, became the skillful and ever-illusive Carmen Sandiego, the greatest thief the world has known. The series is fascinating as it begins exploring Carmen’s origin, giving name and reason to her creation. Unlike her game persona, Carmen is a moral thief, living a life of crime in order to straighten up the errors of society. Lending her nimble touch, Carmen works to retrieve stolen items in order to return them to where they belong, saving priceless artifacts and handing them to the authorities in order to return the history and education that the thieves have robbed of the people.

Image result for carmen sandiego netflix

With any vigilante, there will always be a “real” person of the law trying to stop them, as Carmen works to retrieve the goods she is confronted with enemies on both sides of the law. Carmen Sandiego is playful and witty, treating her missions as games; she delivers a lovable criminal as she reclaims from the rich and powerful what is meant for the people. Regardless of her foes, Carmen remains objective and invested in her plight to play the modern day Robin Hood, saving the world and never losing sight of herself or her morals. Although involved in many fights and scraps along the way Carmen values life above all else, never taking the easy way out and certainly never risking the lives of the good or the bad.

Within Carmen Sandiego we find that audiences are treated to artistically arranged escape scenes and elaborate chases, all stretching the boundaries of animation, providing a fun viewing experience that could not be achieved through live action. Again the style of Carmen Sandiego is impressive and absorbing, so slick in execution and savvy in attitude, Carmen is as classy and sharp as her environment suggests. Relishing in the simple, yet effective drawing technique it’s easy to be whisked away in the adoring action and gain a real yearning for adventure.

Image result for carmen sandiego netflix

Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego was originally born out of a concept for curious minds to solve puzzles and learn about the world. Whilst the Netflix series does not offer the viewer the chance to capture Carmen, we are instead invited to travel around the four corners of the world. Staying in tune with the origin of the content, Carmen Sandiego’s adventures take her to different countries, where we are given insight into different cultures and their practices. This education is gracefully integrated into the show where a variety of cultural differences and traditions are passively mentioned. A display of acceptance and tolerance for variety, Carmen Sandiego is aptly current and appropriate in the world’s current social climate.

Carmen Sandiego is played by Gina Rodriguez, well known as the leading protagonist of Jane the Virgin. Rodriguez’s Carmen is sassy and strong, she plays a confident lead as the Carmen Sandiego with attributes that are widely associated with Sandiego including fierceness, class and the complete confidence to do whatever she pleases. Alongside Rodriguez is Stranger Things’ very own Finn Wolfhard, as he plays Carmen’s right-hand man and best friend, Player, as she travels the world. Wolfhard’s character is sweet and fun as he offers comedic relief and useful tips to our main protagonist in an attempt to lighten her situation.

Overall Carmen Sandiego is marvelous, a unique style and refreshing approach to spies (or in this case thieves) for the next generation of young minds. Carmen Sandiego is essentially the new Kim Possible, gadgets galore and a trusty sidekick behind a  computer to help. With charm and style, Netflix’s interpretation of Carmen Sandiego is energetic and delightful as we travel the globe learning of Sandiego’s adventures and coming to discover how she became the style icon we have all come to love. This entrancing animation comes highly recommend, go ahead and join this headstrong thief as she fights to tackle the greed of the high and mighty.

Netflix, TV, TV Reviews
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