She’s been one of the most enduring figures in gaming since she was created in 1984. We haven’t seen anything of her since 1995 when
Brøderbund Software and DIC Entertainment teamed up to produce a much loved animated series based on her exploits.
At long last, Carmen Sandiego is back.
In this fresh new incarnation from Netflix, Carmen has devoted her life to being a career criminal – until she realizes that stealing things really does hurt people. From that point forward, she uses her inside knowledge of V.I.L.E., a villainous organization of professional thieves, combined with help from a friend she calls Player, to become a thief that steals only from other thieves.
In this new trailer, Carman – voiced by Gina Rodriguez – has finally given up her evil ways, in favor of a more blatantly Robin Hood approach. Carmen goes rogue, stealing from evil-doers themselves with the help of mission control (“Player”) played by Stranger Things’ Finn Wolfhard.
Carmen’s change from being the only thief audacious enough to steal the Eiffel Tower to being a dazzlingly well dressed anti-hero is surprisingly not a new thing. From her origins in 1984 in the Brøderbund games, she had her backstory rewritten around 1997 with the release of the game Carmen Sandiego’s Great Chase Through Time. In that game, it was revealed that she had been an ace detective for ACME (the “good guys”) and changed sides to go work for V.I.L.E. (the “bad guys”) because working for them gave her better challenges – yet in three subsequent television series, she’s actually watched out for the well being of the junior detectives sent to try and catch her, sometimes even at the expense of losing her prize. Carmen Sandiego has always been portrayed as “the thief with the heart of gold”, and the new series on Netflix embraces this in a new direction for the character.
We love the animation style in Carmen Sandiego. DHX Media is producing some of the cleanest, most consciously stylish animation since Cartoon Network’s Samurai Jack. Its producer and showrunner is Duane Capizzi, and the series hits Netflix on January 19th.