A Tale of Courage and Fantasy: Why The Wingfeather Saga Series Is Winning Hearts

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Shana Martin
| May 31, 2024
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You know how it is, you’re on YouTube watching a DIY video or a product review and an ad for a trailer pops up. This particular ad was from Angel Studios, and at first, I thought this would be about their series, The Chosen. Just as I was about to hit the skip button, I saw this beautiful, watercolor-style animation that reminds me of a few of my favorite animated films, such as The Secret of NIMH, All Dogs Go to Heaven, and A Troll in Central Park. Then I recognized one of the characters’ voices, Jodi Benson. That’s right, Disney princess fans, the voice behind Ariel is in this series! That was enough for me to check it out.

This series is based on 4 books by Andrew Peterson. The animation was created by Shining Isle Productions using the Unreal Engine, which gives the viewer the feeling of a painting coming to life. It looks so gorgeous that I thought it was hand-drawn! The cast is fantastic! Alkaio Thiele as Janner Igiby, Jodi Benson as Nina Igiby, Kevin McNally as Podo Helmer, Griffin Robert Faulkner as Tink Igiby, and Romy Fay as Leeli Igiby. With a mermaid and a Caribbean pirate in this cast, how could this series get better? With its music, of course! The music transports you to a place of fantasy and adventure. It is perfect! The age recommendation for the series is 7 and up, as the disclaimer suggests via Angel Studios.

Plot!

Once upon a time, in a cottage above the cliffs on the Dark Sea of Darkness, in a town called Glipwood, there lived three children and their trusty dog Nugget. Janner Igiby, his brother Tink, and his sister Leeli.  Together, they discover the secret of the Jewels of Anniera. They will need their special gifts and all the love of their noble mother and ex-pirate grandfather to survive the venomous Fangs, sea dragons, flabbits, and (gulp) toothy cows.

“Sometimes it takes a wee pebble to start an avalanche.”-Podo Helmer

The character I loved in the series the most is Leeli! She is disabled and uses a crutch to help her walk. Her grandfather made it for her and calls it a lizard kicker.  As a disabled person myself, this representation is perfect, in my opinion, because at no time was Leeli left out of anything because of her disability. The other kids in Glipwood didn’t bully her, nor was her disability used as a plot device in telling the story.  She is treated like any other kid. Who has the help of her older brothers at times to get around.

You discover as the series progresses that she is special, and it is NOT due to her disability! How refreshing! There are moments when her brothers try to protect her because of her physical weaknesses, but Leeli easily pushes that aside and asserts herself.  There is that typical sibling relationship, but all the children are treated equally. She is brave and smart, and despite being the youngest, there are moments in the story when the older brothers listen to her advice.

Now I know that with Angel Studios distributing a series like The Chosen, some may wonder if  The Wingfeather Saga series pushes the Bible onto its viewers. There are no biblical references or stories in this series. Watching just the first season reminds me of Tolkien /CS Lewis. This is simply a story about a family fighting evil tyranny in the form of lizards known as fangs and their leader, Nag The Nameless.  It is full of adventure and excitement and has plenty of humor. There were moments when I found myself getting teary-eyed over the love of the mother between her children. Another thing you will learn in this story is to beware of toothy cows!  

Now for the bad news (sort of). The series is being crowd-funded through Angel Studios’ website and app. So, for now, there are only two seasons. You can watch them both through the website and the app, which can be found at the Apple App Store and Google Play. You can download the app for free and watch the first season for free. The first season is also available on Amazon Prime.  Season two has just dropped, and Angel Guild members can watch now. Eventually, it will also be made free for the public. As I am not a guild member, I was only able to see the first season. There are plans to make seven seasons in total (2 seasons per book), and they’ve begun crowd-funding the third season.

From what I’ve seen of this series, I certainly want more.

Have you seen the first two seasons of The Wingfeather Saga? Or maybe you’ve read the books? Comment below and let us know. 

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