The Highest Body Count in Kids Animation: ‘Maya And The Three’ Reviewed

by Tito W. James


Maya and the Three is the worlds first Animated Event Series and delivers a vibrant fantasy epic unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. The series breaks new ground in form and content and will surely change narrative animation in the near future.


Maya and the Three is a Netflix Animated Event Series told in nine chapters from visionary creator, Jorge R. Gutiérrez (The Book of Life). The series follows warrior princess Maya (Zoe Saldana) and three outcasts — Chimi (Stephanie Beatriz), Rico (Allen Maldonado), and Picchu (Gabriel Iglesias) — on their quest to stop Lord Mictlan. Audiences will be introduced to a rich fantasy world inspired by Mesoamerican, Incan, and Caribbean cultures.

When initially pitching Maya and the Three, Gutiérrez described it as being “like Game of Thrones but with more death and skulls.” Gutiérrez has made good on his promise by bringing cinematic quality to the home screen and possibly the highest body count in any family animation. Each of Maya’s nine episodes is like a miniature movie with feature quality animation and rising action that builds to a climax worthy of any big-budget superhero film.

Maya and her three companions have great characterization and the nine-episode format gives each character time to shine. Fans of Gutiérrez’s previous work on El Tigre and The Book of Life will spot some Easter eggs and familiar voices. While the heroes take the lead, the antagonists are equally enjoyable. There’s a perfect balance between bad guys who are funny, empathic, and genuinely terrifying.

Even with a strong track record, Maya and the Three is a quantum leap beyond Gutiérrez’s previous work. Everything from the character designs, environments, fights, and directorial choices are above and beyond what we’ve seen in previous CG animated films. Maya and the Three doesn’t shy away from mature themes and the darker roots of its mythology. It’s a series that pushes the envelope, puts the envelope through a paper shredder, then blows up the shredder with dynamite! Congratulations to Jorge Gutiérrez  and the entire creative team –the gods must be proud.

Maya and the Three is now streaming on Netflix and the Artbook is available for Pre-order.

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