Marvel Review: What is Devil Dinosaur?


Screen Shot from the Moon Girl and Devil Dinosuar trailer of Moon Girl, Devil, and Casey

by Rhys Wilson, Reporter

“Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur” is a Marvel comic turned cartoon TV show, created by Steve Loter, Jeffrey M. Howard and Kate Kondell. The first episode aired on Disney channel Feb. 10 and all episodes of Season 1 became available on Disney+ on Feb. 15. 

The show has not been available for long but has already earned a 7.7/10 on IMDB and a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes as of Feb. 16. According to Google, 82% of Google users liked the show, and I have to agree! 

The first episode of “Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur” is titled: “Moon Girl Landing.” 

The episode begins with our main character, Lunella Lafayette, skating in her local area to the song Where You Come From” by Diamond White. The music in this show is absolutely phenomenal, and it always had me bopping my head. I definitely recommend looking up the theme song and taking a listen. 

On her outing, Lunella discovers her favorite knish shop has been shut down. A local halal deli owner next to her also sees the scene and informs her the shop lost so much profit due to robberies that they could not afford to stay open. 

This is where we find out the Lower East Side in New York has been experiencing a ton of blackouts within recent months, which makes it easy for stores to get robbed at night when the security systems lose power.

Lunella skates home to her family’s home and business, Roll With It, which is a roller derby that her mom and dad run. Her family is comprised of her mother Adria, her father James Jr., and her Mimi and Pops are introduced. 

The derby is open and running, and we can see many people skating and dancing. During this skating session a black out happens, and Lunella’s father has to refund all of the guests their money, stating, “Somebody has got to fix this!”

At school the next day, Lunella explains to some classmates about the project she is working on. She believes it is a power generator that a scientist named Moon Girl created for a space program, although she vanished before it could be completed.

This is where the audience also meets Casey María Eva Duarte Goldberg, a social media-obsessed girl who ironically is not very social or popular at all. Casey later becomes Lunella’s best friend

Lunella hears her family talking through security cameras in her secret room under the house about the blackouts and learns that if they do not stop soon the family might have to sell the derby in order to recover lost revenue. Consequently, she feels pressured to try and make this project of hers work in order to supply power to the Lower East Side. 

When she finally gets the machine to run, she finds it is not a power generator at all but rather a portal-maker that rips a hole in the space-time continuum, opening pockets to different dimensions.

In the blink of an eye, a large 10-foot-tall red Tyrannosaurus rex steps out of the portal she created and immediately runs out into the streets of New York City. 

The dinosaur’s perspective during this chase scene with Lunella is really interesting to see. I loved the way the animation looked and the dinosaur’s perception of color and the objects around it.

Screen Shot of Devils visual perspective of Lunella from episode 1: Moon Girl Landing

After Lunella tracks the dinosaur down and feeds it some hot dogs, the dinosaur no longer sees her as a threat and instead sees her more as a mother figure. Just when things seem to be going better than before, a lady seemingly made of electricity appears, and Lunella realizes she is face-to-face with the one who is causing the blackouts. 

When the dinosaur later tells Lunella that he does not want to go home, Lunella decides she can use this to her advantage by making herself and the dinosaur into superheroes, her power being her incredible intelligence. 

Lunella takes the opportunity to spend some time bonding and properly training her dinosaur whilst also working on making her superhero costume more effective. This is where she also comes up with the dino’s name, Devil!

Lunella later decides her own superhero name should be Moon Girl, hence the title of the show: “Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur.”

Lunella and Devil spend a day or two helping their community with small crimes and problems happening locally, which gains her popularity and high social status among the people of the Lower East Side.

The morning after, viewers find out the blackouts have been blamed on Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, and it has tarnished their reputations. The duo make a plan to attack the culprit when she is at her lowest energy level.

Screenshot of animation scale and design from episode 1: Moon Girl Landing

This whole scene is surrounded with amazing music that matches the vibe of young girl hip-hop pop. It is  very flowy and energetic The colors of the animation are a lot more blocky and pastel than they are in the basic or normal animation. It helps highlight the music in the air and visually demonstrate how upbeat and confident Lunella has become.

The episode ends with Lunella dancing to the theme song along with Devil. Lunella saved the day and proved that believing in herself, she can fix problems.

Overall, I am really enjoying this show and have plans to watch the second season as well. Even though it is technically a children’s show, I was laughing at the stupid jokes and finding myself excited for the next episode.

The representation for people of color in this show was also amazing. In some shows, the representation can feel extremely pushed, exaggerated or forced, especially if the diversity is only thrown in for traction with no actual deep understanding of what they are “representing.” It was just really nice to see differences within the people in her community portrayed naturally.

“One girl can make a difference!”

— Lunella Lafayette

And, I think pre-teens–mainly young girls–will love to have this icon who goes through similar issues with their newly-found feelings, social status, self-esteem and insecurities. 

A New York Times article on the show stated, “She goes through her insecurities and battles that you don’t have to be a superhero to go through — it’s just the experience of a Black girl growing up.” Lunella is a great role model for young girls who are experiencing similar struggles and triumphs and just want to make a difference in the world around them.

I hope that many people will give this show a chance and maybe even recommend it to the children in their lives, because it truly is a great show that should have its day in the sun.

I’m giving this show 5/5 stars. I truly enjoyed it and would recommend.