Xiaolin Showdown: Season 1 (2003)
Not Rated Warner | 274 min.

Review By: Fusion3600 | January 28th, 2012

Plot: What’s it about?

The world houses numerous mystical objects, artifacts that are in high demand by both good and evil, but only one side can possess these items. Some of the objects are more powerful than others, but all have their purpose and are sought after. The forces known as Heylin are always on the hunt for these mystical items, in order to claim them in the name of evil. The group dispatches skilled martial artists to retrieve the items, but evil isn’t alone in the search. The Xiaolin temple has a group of its own and while a little unusual, this group also spans the globe to claim the objects. Xiaolin has a quarter of kids, a wily Texan named Clay, a cutting edge Japanese girl named Kimiko, young monk in training Omi, and the street smart Raimundo. Not exactly the kind of team you might expect, but these four are well schooled and represent the four elements, not to mention their leader, a forty foot dragon named Dojo. As both sides race to claim objects, they often clash and have to battle for the right to take the artifacts back. These showdowns settle who stakes their claim on the objects, but in the end, will Xiaolin’s force be able to overcome the Heylin?

As a fan of both cartoons and martial arts cinema, I was excited about Xiaolin Showdown. I haven’t been a fan of other Kids WB shows, but this one seemed to have some potential. As it turns out, this first season is about what you’d expect. The characters are rather simplistic and stereotypical at times, but the show does offer ways for them to evolve and develop. Not as much as we might like, but more than you’d usually see in a show of this kind, so something is better than nothing, if you ask me. The episodes deal with several small adventures that build toward the final showdown between the good and bad sides. Of course, good wins out in the end, but in between, the good guys are handed some losses here and there. A lesson is always learned in defeat and the dynamics of good and evil are explored a little, which is quite cool. There is an issue of repetition, but that is almost always the case with this kind of cartoon, so it isn’t a surprise. Each season presents a whole new enemy however, so each season is kind of self contained, but still contributes to the series on the whole. The animation is fun to watch, especially in action scenes and showdowns, but can be rather basic in other moments. In the end, Xiaolin Showdown is solid, but unremarkable and a rental should be sufficient.

Video: How does it look?

The episodes are presented in full frame, as intended. The episodes are presented in full frame, as intended. This series has an overload of colors, but this disc never slips, not even for a second. The hues look as vibrant as humanly possible, but never smear or oversaturate, which is highly impressive work. The black levels are rich and never obscure detail in the least. I also saw no evidence of edge enhancement or compression flaws, these all look terrific. I really like the visual look of the series in some scenes and this treatment more than does the show justice, so no real complaints.

Audio: How does it sound?

The exciting sounds of the martial arts world are in full force here, from the quirky musical score to the infrequent vocals. Of course, this sounds much like the series does on television, so don’t expect much in terms of dynamic presence. I found the audio to be a little sharper here however, so this disc is an improvement, to an extent. The elements all sound terrific here, with booming music, clean sound effects, and well presented dialogue. This release also includes Spanish and French language tracks, as well as subtitles in English, Spanish, and French

Supplements: What are the extras?

This release includes no bonus materials.

Disc Features
  • Video Codec: MPEG-2
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Audio Commentary
  • Deleted Scene(s)
  • Featurette
  • Documentary
  • Digital Copy
  • 2 Disc Set
Xiaolin Showdown: Season 1