Don’t call it a remake. Sure, Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim graphic novels have been adapted before, in the beloved film directed by Edgar Wright. Scott Pilgrim vs. the world. But the new Netflix animated series Scott Pilgrim takes off It’s not based on the same old story of Toronto 20-somethings fighting evil exes.
Instead, O’Malley and BenDavid Grabinski, who relaunched Are you afraid of the dark?, have come together for a reinvention that plays like a remix, combining quirky characters and spectacular scenes from the past with an emotional throughline that doesn’t feel vintage.
Over the course of eight (almost) 30-minute episodes, Scott Pilgrim takes off offers audiences a new vision of love, fear and growth with Scott, Ramona, Knives and everyone else.
What are you doing Scott Pilgrim takes off have in common with Scott Pilgrim vs. the world?
The first episode, titled “The Precious Little Life of Scott Pilgrim,” like O’Malley’s first graphic novel, is quite similar to the comics and the movie, from the main couple’s meet-cute to Scott’s pathetic package strategy until their first confrontation splashing coins. Even some of the dialogues are the same. More specifically: 22-year-old bassist and all-around disaster Scott Pilgrim meets skater dream girl Ramona Flowers and falls so hard for her that he conveniently forgets about her “kind of” girlfriend, 17-year-old Knives Chau. But before Scott can properly deal with the breakup, he confronts the first of Ramona’s evil exes. It turns out that there is a league of seven, united in their desire to defeat whoever Ramona’s next date is.
Along with this familiar setup also return the flourishes of graphic novels, such as large text treatments that spell out the effects of the songs (“DINGY DONG!”, “KAPOW!”), pixelated video game graphics that recall fighting games of style versus and a general ’00s aesthetic, from Ramona’s iconic hair to angsty pop-rock and liberal use of slang like “dude” and “awesome.” However, O’Malley and Grabinski are not trapped in the same age-old emotional baggage of that era. But we’ll get to that in a moment.
Another important (and impressive) similarity between the film and this cartoon is the cast. The entire main cast is back., providing voices for the animated versions of the characters they played in the live-action film. This includes miguel cera as Scott Pilgrim, Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Ramona Flowers, Chris Evans like Lucas Lee, Aubrey Square as Julie Powers, Anna Kendrick as Stacey Pilgrim, Brie Larson as Envy Adams, Mae Whitman as Roxie Richter, Jason Schwartzman as Gideon Graves, Kieran Culkin as Wallace Wells, Alison Pill as Kim Pine and Ellen Wong as Knives Chau. (And many many more.)
Considering that many of these artists’ careers have exploded since the 2010 film, it’s refreshing to see them all return. Especially since none of these vocal performances sound like a phone call. Blasé, perhaps, we are talking about several characters who are too cool to confess that they have feelings, but they made a phone call? Never.
How is Scott Pilgrim takes off different from Scott Pilgrim vs. the world?
Just as you might be settling into the rhythm of this story as if it were a record played over and over again, “Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life” delivers a critical blow: Scott doesn’t knock out Evil Ex #1 Matthew Patel (Satya Bhabha) like he did in the movie (and in the graphic novels). Instead, the distraught hipster with “mystical powers” wins the fight, and it appears that Scott has been “punched to death” and turned into a fool.
So what’s a Scott Pilgrim show without Scott Pilgrim? At the end of episode 1, Scott Pilgrim takes off shifts the focus to Ramona. In episode 2, “A League of Their Own”, she attends her funeral, where she meets her friends and her ex, rock star Envy Adams, who takes the pulpit to steal the spotlight. with a bold cover. Soon, Ramona begins to suspect that Scott is not dead but kidnapped. So, her list of suspects naturally includes her evil ex-conspirators.
Their Columbo-style search for answers will bring the seven back into the fold. However, with Scott out of the picture, all of his stories take new turns. Each episode focuses on a new ex, forcing Ramona to confront her past. But this Ramona is neither as stoic nor as dismissive as the film version, which she brushed off her ex-girlfriend Roxie as “a phase” with the excuse: “she was a little curious.” In Scott Pilgrim takes off, that double-erasure is erased when the brilliant skater recognizes the past romance and how her abandonment hurt her former love. (Thankfully, the problematic racial humor surrounding Knives being Chinese has also disappeared.)
While the movie was a long, fight-filled journey of Scott coming to terms with how he had hurt Knives and Ramona, this show is about many of its characters facing their past mistakes and breakups and learning to move on. As such, we get to see characters who didn’t interact at all in the film become friends, clash, or both. Fight scenes are still plentiful and sometimes come from comic book or movie fights. But often, they take new twists and even contain metacommentary, such as skater boy/movie star Lucas Lee mocking the idea that he would fail so badly at a railroad stunt that he would die: “Whatever.”
As Scott Pilgrim takes off connect to Scott Pilgrim vs. the world?
On the meta level, this animated adaptation feels like O’Malley looked back on his twenty-something terrors and whispered some sage advice: relax and be kinder to yourself.
Scott Pilgrim takes off plays with the emotional growth that is required of television aimed at Generation Z, who has been having open conversations about therapy, traumaand bad romances freely over the Internet during their formative years. While the web has no place in this show, which is still loosely set in the past as Ramona delivers Netflix DVDs, it is emotionally focused on the now, challenging its characters (and therefore its audience) to come out. from your comfort zone. and grow. Those of us who remember our twenties can enjoy the vicarious thrill of this revisited fantasy, rich in catharsis and not just nostalgia.
On a literal level, Scott Pilgrim takes off fits perfectly in Scott Pilgrim vs. the world canon, thanks to late-season revelations about the fate of the eponymous fool. Being more specific about this would be a huge spoiler. So let’s say Scott vs. Nega Scott revives, but with a clever sci-fi twist that will probably hit older millennials and generation X like a giant sledgehammer between the eyes.
Scott Pilgrim finally does the right thing by Knives and Ramona.
What does all this mean for Scott Pilgrim takes off is that its beloved characters return with a refreshing freedom to be more than they were before, especially the female ones. More akin to the comics, the show shares space to tell stories outside of Scott’s careless search for love. This gives young Neil (Johnny Simmons) and Scott’s ruthless, gossipy roommate Wallace (Keiran Culkin) parallel stories that deliciously skewer Hollywood excitement.
While in the movie the women fawned over or drove Scott crazy, this animated show allows the audience to see who they are beyond their ties to him. Knives finds new interests and is not primarily defined by his infatuation with Scott or his jealousy of Ramona. As for Ramona, he is able to confront her past in a meaningful way, dive into new battles, and have a literally radiant moment of self-acceptance. Epic scowling Kim Pine (Alison Pine) has more to do than scream and sneer. Even Julie Powers, who was primarily a scold in the film, gets more backstory and a new ambition, in keeping with her overall attitude.
Scott Pilgrim takes off It is resplendent with action.
But hey, “emotional business” and psychological growth may not be the reason you’re tuning into an anime-like show on Netflix. Maybe you’re here to see the action. And man, there’s a lot: swordplay, hammer throws, power-ups, team-ups, stunts, hipster demon girls, and vegan mystique, all with bold bursts of color and voice acting that leans into the overall high-drama vibe of little girls. rivalries. . The contrast of this bombastic violence with deeply nerdy debates about Sonic the Hedgehog defines the hyperactive humor of this show, as chaotic as it is charming.
All that to say, Scott Pilgrim takes off It is a real marvel.