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TV Picks: 'Drunk History,' Truffaut, 'Moone Boy' and 'Chima'

Plus 'Endeavour'

July 04, 2013|By Robert Lloyd | Los Angeles Times Television Critic

"Legends of Chima" (Cartoon Network, Wednesdays). Based on a new series of Lego toys, which is to say, also an ad for them, "Chima" is a sort of "Game of Thrones" for small fry, sprinkled with essence of "Avatar" and with a wad of "The Return of the King" stuck to its shoe. If anything is ripe for CGI animation it is painted plastic figures -- they look oddly "authentic" in this mode -- and their toyness keeps things light here even after total war breaks out between the talking Lions and the talking Crocodiles, Wolves and Ravens. Its pre-teen protagonists speak the youthspeak of 10 minutes ago, with a vaguely California twang, saying things like "cool," "awesome" and "duh!," and there is a lot of racing around on scooter-things whose real-world Lego-kit counterparts your own kids can beg you to buy. What is notable here -- notably weird -- is the extended Drugs Metaphor the series seems to contain. (I say "seems.") Central to the story are the magic waters of "chi," which first turned the characters from ordinary animals into Lego pieces and form orbs that they press into their chests for a hit of energy. (This is called "plugging chi.") "What's it like?" a young wolf asks a young croc, who has sneaked a taste before reaching "the age of becoming." "Mother of mud!" exclaims the reptile. "It's the best thing ever -- like being born all over, but with superpowers." Or as one rhino declares when he receives his monthly (legal) allotment of orb: "Sweet! Got me some chi! Tonight's gonna be a goood night." I mean, what?

robert.lloyd@latimes.com

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