Jury Coordination and Notes

What If… ? * Fails At Multiple Attempts To Recreate The Authenticity Of Previous Marvel Films

Exploring pivotal moments from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and turning them on their head, leading the audience into uncharted territory. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Jude Adler comments, “Marvel Studio’s What If… ? is a major hit across the multiverse with its narrator-type journey, yet fails at multiple attempts to recreate the authenticity of previous Marvel films.” See his full review below.

What If… ?

By Jude A., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

Think about every decision or choice you’ve ever made and now, wonder, “what if I did that differently?” Marvel Studio answers these mind-boggling questions with its new hit animated series, What If… ? Every major plot line that occurred throughout the history of the MCU is twisted and turned to show different outcomes of various realities. Every Marvel film has a similar, typical way of story-telling, yet What If… ? has a new authentic narrator-type style that is extremely refreshing to longtime fans. However, the episodes fall a bit short recreating the nostalgic feeling from each film, resulting in many jokes feeling out of place and simply not landing. 

After the events of Loki, we are not dealing with the Marvel Cinematic Universe anymore. We are dealing with the Marvel Cinematic Multiverse! The Watcher (Jeffery Wright) is our all-seeing tour guide, showing us various different realities in which time and events play out extremely differently from what we know. Each episode explores stories generated from the simplest of choices. These subtle choices could result in a new superhero being born, a foe becoming a friend or even a murder. 

DC Comics has been the leader in superhero animation for a while now, but with What If… ? that title might be in jeopardy. The animation in this new series is extremely unique. The broad color scheme is very eye pleasing and ties into the 3D art extremely well, providing a tranquil flow. Witnessing characters written by different writers from previous films can be very noticeable at times. With new content added to stories we already know and love, certain characters feel out of place because of the writers recreating their personalities.

Marvel content over recent years has been very intense. Unlike its predecessors, What If… ? is more lighthearted and not driven by a serious tone. Throughout the series, action and mild cursing frequently occur. Each episode is radically different from other episodes due to the lack of continuity of the story. As a result, there are new morals and lessons included in every episode. A prominent moral lesson throughout the show is that you can be whatever you want, despite the obstacles. The show explores themes such as perseverance, trust and family. 

Marvel Studio’s What If… ? is a major hit across the multiverse with its narrator-type journey, yet fails at multiple attempts to recreate the authenticity of previous Marvel films. I give What If… ? 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 9 to 18, plus adults. A new episode of What If… ? streams every Wednesday starting August 11, 2021 on Disney+. Make sure to check it out!

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