Fox Kids’ new entries push all the current hot buttons for kids-anime, wrestling and Potter-sounding wizard kids.
Escaflowne-an anime saga based on the 26 x 25-minute Vision of Escaflowne series, released in Japan in 1996 and newly acquired by Fox Kids-is scheduled for a fall 2000 airing and follows the adventures of Hitomi, a female high school student. Plagued with shockingly accurate visions of the future and transported to the world of Gaea by the mysterious Prince Van, Escaflowne recounts the battle between good (Hitomi and Prince Van) and evil (the Zaibach Empire) and the survival of Gaea. Their weapons? Hitomi’s visions and the Escaflowne, a battle suit of enormous power. Bandai Visual is releasing the English-dubbed 26 half hours of the show, which targets kids in the six to 11 age range.
Los Luchadores follows the moves of 500-pounder Lobo Solo, the World City’s greatest wrestling champion by day. By night he battles evil. Produced by Saban Entertainment, this live-action entry for six- to 11-year-olds will run 13 half hours. The series is in preproduction, scheduled for release in spring 2001.
W.I.Z.A.R.D.S. is also in prepro for mid-2001. It’s about a school for teens of magical ancestry and features twin proatagonists, Justin and Justine, who have the latent genes and are subsequently called to enroll. Sound familiar? Thirteen live-action half-hour episodes detail the attempts of dark forces yearning to lure the students over to their camp. A world of spells, battles, dragons and other evils await the six to 11 demographic. No production company has been named yet.