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‘Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur’ is Pure Magic

5/5 Roller Skates

Moon Girl sits on Devil Dinosaur's snout, sipping a soda.

Some superhero shows for kids, like Teen Titans, rely on subversive humor to attract an adult audience. Others, like Avengers Assemble, never quite manage to make the jump. It’s a rare kid’s show that transcends audiences with its heart and soul alone—and Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur is one of those shows.

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur centers on Lunella Lafayette (Diamond White), a girl genius in New York’s Lower East Side. Lunella loves roller skating and building dubious nuclear devices in her secret lab. When she accidentally opens an portal into a prehistoric era, a surprising sidekick comes through: Devil Dinosaur (Fred Tatasciore), a friendly T-rex with the personality of an overgrown puppy. Lunella and Devil promptly dive into the superhero life, saving the family skating rink, dealing with street-level Marvel villains, and even facing off against the cosmic antihero the Beyonder (Laurence Fishburne).

Reviewers were given access to three Moon Girl episodes, and all of them are a delight. The stories are a fun balance of comic book fare, middle school drama, and urban life, tackling issues like gentrification and racism through a superhero lens. In my favorite episode—which I’ll be devoting an entire article to when the series comes out—Lunella has to learn to embrace her natural hair texture after a white girl makes fun of her at school. Does the series get didactic at points? Maybe a little, but it contains wisdom that everyone needs to hear.

The voice acting is fantastic. White’s performance is jubilant, infusing Lunella with warmth and humor. Lunella and her BFF Casey (Libe Barer) share plenty of banter. Tatasciore, who’s known for voicing Hulk in other Marvel animated shows, conveys a surprising amount of character through grunts and snarls. I’m a Beyonder fan (I mean, that guy is just so … beyond), so I had high expectations for Fishburne, and he doesn’t disappoint.

The art style is a feast for the eyes. Inspired by graffiti art, along with the work of artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol, Lunella’s neighborhood is filled with the vibrant color and texture of New York City. The animation style is bursting with the same whimsy that made Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse such a visual treat. Lunella’s ideas are illustrated by word bubbles and shifting backgrounds, giving it the feel of not just a comic book adaptation, but a comic book homage.

Music also plays a huge role in the series. In addition to her acting work, White is an accomplished vocalist, and the show doesn’t let her considerable talent go to waste. The show’s theme song, “Moon Girl Magic,” is a bop—in fact, I bopped along to it on my way to sit down and write this review. The pilot begins with an extended musical sequence in which Lunella skates through her neighborhood, saying hi to all her neighbors and dancing with some kids. Even the Beyonder busts out a song that you’ll want to play on repeat.

It goes without saying that you should watch Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur with your kids. But you should also watch it if you don’t have kids! Watch it if you love stylish, savvy animated shows that are lovingly rendered and bursting with charm. I’ve fallen hard for Lunella and Devil Dinosaur, and you will, too.

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur premieres on Disney Channel on February 10 and Disney+ on February 15.

(featured image: Disney+)

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Julia Glassman (she/they) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and covers film, television, and books for The Mary Sue. When she's not making yarn on her spinning wheel, she consumes massive amounts of Marvel media, folk horror, science fiction, fantasy, and nature writing. You can check out more of her writing at, or find her on Twitter at @juliaglassman.