By Erik “PK” Blackwell
Every once and a while a new superhero comes along that shocks, amazes, or just kinda surprises the world of superhero fandom. SheZow created and written by Obie Scott Wade and produced by Moody Street Kids & Kickstart Productions Inc. and distributed by dhxMedia, features the animated adventures of a twelve year old boy who becomes the worlds finest female superhero.
Official show description:
Twelve year-old Guy Hamdon is a natural cut-up who fancies himself an extreme dude with his own macho catch phrase, “It’s a GUY thing.” Guy lives the dream of every rough-and-tumble boy when he discovers an awesome power ring which transforms him into a mighty superhero! Pretty cool, huh? Well, there’s just one tiny catch… the ring that gives Guy his amazing super powers was only meant to be worn by a girl and the result is absolutely she-larious! Guy must use his super powers to battle mega-villains while sporting an outrageous female superhero costume… which actually ends up helping him tremendously on his own personal journey toward becoming one heck of a super man.
SheZow has more she-puns than you can shake a she-stick at, she-seriously. SheZow which is currently only available in the Australian television market on Network Ten with select episodes on the show’s official Youtube channel, is a new animated superhero show aimed at children in the 6-11 year old range. SheZow features the main characters of Guy with his twin sister Kelly and their best friend Maz, who explore the world of SheZow when Guy and Kelly discover that their aunt Agnes now passed, was the legendary super-heroine herself.
Kelly who is the president of the SheZow fan club and self described biggest SheZow fan and expert on the planet is excited at the thought of becoming the next in the long line of famous women to wear the SheZow ring. Her dream is dashed when Guy takes the ring and jokingly puts it on to taunt his sister, not knowing that anyone who wears the ring can never take it off until they pass away.
Suddenly Guy is transformed into the super powered and over feminized SheZow, with his/her superpowers including but not limited to, sonic scream, super strength, light-saber lipstick, super slap, vanishing cream (which turns him invisible) and super speed in high heels.
Combined with a super intelligent supercomputer named She-la and endless bright pink gadgetry, Guy as SheZow with Kelly as his coach on all things girly, they fight to save the world from an assortment of villains who spout as many bad puns as they do.
SheZow originally appeared as a one time animated short on the American version of the Disney channel in the early 2000s on a variety show which only lasted two seasons. With upgraded animation and higher production values the show swings head first into a new era of comedy to delight youngsters.
As a big animation fan I always look forward to new kids shows which keep the content family friendly yet push the limits a bit, and SheZow does just that in grand style. I attempted to contact the show’s production company for an interview and to maybe get a sneak peek at the upcoming renovated version of the show as I was really excited when I first heard about this project, but unfortunately they declined.
SheZow features solid animation, good voice acting, and endless one-liners poking fun at the old school over-feminized female superhero genre. On the surface it’s an enjoyable good-natured kids show which I think the entire family can get a good laugh from, just like many of the current shows out there which cater to the humor of children in that age range.
I showed the debut episode to assorted friends to gauge general reactions, and the overall response was that of dismay and concern over how parents may react to a 12 year old boy being depicted in girls clothes fighting bad guys. While I agree that many in the American television market would probably have this reaction, I see that as the possible reason why the show was taken to Australia for it’s debut. If you sit and over think the show, you of course get hit with questions about the character’s gender or sexual identity, will he continue to just make fun of his female alter-ego, or will he some day embrace it and want to be female himself?
Personally? I think the show is funny and lighthearted, and shouldn’t be taken too seriously. Remember that this cartoon is aimed at young kids who may or may not still be worrying about cooties, and the idea of a boy putting on his sister’s dress is one of the funniest things on the planet. Whether the show’s creators will even seriously touch on the area of the character questioning his sexuality in some way later in the series remains to be seen, but overall I liked the show and look forward to seeing how it develops in the long run.
For those who may be ready to burst a blood-vessel over this character, repeat to yourself, “it’s just a show, I should really just relax.” And if you don’t believe me, click play on the above video and watch it for yourself.
SheZow Youtube Page