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Mesoamerican warrior princess


Netflix

Mesoamerican warrior princess
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In the animated Netflix series Maya and the Three, artist and director Jorge R. Gutiérrez has created a visually stunning fantasy world with epic battles between evil and good. Yet parents may wonder if there is too much glorification of the realm of the underworld and the supposedly heroic pagan cultures for this series to be viewed by children in the show’s target audience (ages 7 and up).

Maya is a teenage princess with a rebellious streak, longing to prove herself as brave as her father the king and her three brothers. The battle begins when gods of the underworld interrupt Maya’s coming-of-age ceremony by demanding she pay for her family’s misdeeds. To save herself and the world, she must gather three warriors from three different kingdoms, each loosely based on ancient civilizations (Caribbean, Mayan, and Incan).

The frenetic pace and long-drawn-out fight scenes can be tiresome. The male characters on the side of the good guys are mostly well-intentioned, but slow-witted to the point of absurdity. In contrast, the heroic female characters are all portrayed as brave and intelligent.

Gutiérrez’s world is also filled with the symbols of death: Skulls make up the faces, costumes, and bodies of some of the characters as well as the fantastic underworld.


Marty VanDriel Marty is a TV and film critic for WORLD. He is a graduate of World Journalism Institute and CEO of a custom truck and trailer building company. He and his wife, Faith, reside in Lynden, Wash., near children and grandchildren.

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