Why Netflix's Resurrection Of Star Trek: Prodigy Is Great For Families
Dan and Kevin Hageman, the guys behind Trollhunters and The Lego Movie, make a case for spending Christmas in the Final Frontier.
Back in 2021, a new animated show took a stab at presenting the Star Trek franchise as something brand-new. What if a grade-school aged kid — who knew little about the Final Frontier — could be introduced to this sprawling, optimistic futuristic adventure without all the Trekkie baggage? Enter the Hageman Brothers, Dan and Kevin, known for work on great kids’ shows and films like Trollhunters and The Lego Movie. Their pitch was simple: Put a bunch of alien teenagers on a stolen Starfleet starship, and let those kids learn about the vast coolness of Star Trek...gradually.
From a quality point-of-view, the gambit paid off. But, by 2023, and the completion of the twenty-episode first season, Star Trek: Prodigy was unceremoniously yanked from its home streaming network, Paramount+. If popped up again on Blu-ray and DVD, but if you missed it, this unique and upbeat series was suddenly harder for your family to watch. That is, until now. On December 25, 2023, the entirety of Prodigy Season 1 will stream on Netflix, with Season 2 coming in 2024. So, for countless families, Star Trek: Prodigy is basically a new kids’ show.
With that in mind, Fatherly asked the Hageman Brothers why kids should spend Christmas with the adventures of the USS Protostar. Here’s what they said.
“I think they're going to find a show about hope,” Dan Hageman tells Fatherly. “ think it's going to resonate and we're going to create conversations in the household after the show is turned off. And I think that's what we're most proud about, is this is a positive show that's going to bring families together if they watch this.”
Because the basic premise of Prodigy follows wayward alien tweens in kind of interstellar version of The Boxcar Children, the main characters face a lot of tough decisions. Like the famous franchise from which it comes, Prodigy presents a slew of ethical questions and dilemmas for its young crew to puzzle over. Yes, there’s some pew-pew phaser action, but the show has that same ethical core that has made the rest of the franchise so famous. Jason Alexander — who provides the voice of recurring character Dr. Noum — told Fatherly last year that “the idea of taking a show that celebrates diversity and the challenges of diversity and inclusion, and for young people, is amazing.”
Like several modern TV series, Star Trek: Prodigy is somewhat serialized, meaning the episodes should be watched in order. But, unlike its previous release, in which only one episode was eked out at a time, the entire journey of Season 1 can now be binged — over the holidays! For kids aged probably 7 and up, Prodigy will offer a slightly more contemplative alternative to Star Wars and Marvel fare, paired with beautiful visuals.
Kevin Hageman also points out that this show isn’t just a children’s show. “I think this is a show that really resonates with the entire family,” he says. “Kids are going to love it. I think parents are going to love it, too.”
Star Trek: Prodigy hits Netflix on December 25.
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