I was wondering how to fit the episode one review of this series into my schedule. I’ll get more into it tomorrow but I’ve decided to take next week off as the slow down didn’t work out as planned, and when I come back my schedule will be full thanks to planned articles. Luckily Disney Junior’s official YouTube channel gave me a solution by posting the first episode of Mira, Royal Detective on their YouTube channel. It’s the only thing that’s really gone my way this week.
Mira, Royal Detective follows the adventures of the young girl and her friends as they solve mysteries as being the official detective to the queen. The show is heavily influenced by India, which gives the show a unique flavor. I’ll do a proper review later but in this first episode Mira must find a lost scarf and a missing bike. Give it a chance because despite being for an elementary school audience it’s rather fun and well produced. (Although the official BW policy of “just because it’s good doesn’t mean you’ll like it” does apply. This is a show for young girls but when has that stopped anyone with an open mind?)
I really love the setting, but more importantly how the show uses it. The music is something a bit different and I can see kids getting into it. The dancing is well animated for the style. I will note that the “suit up” sequence may be a bit long and is practically an intro unto itself. Speaking of the intro, the refrain is basically just Mira’s name the whole time but the rest of the song introduces the concept of the series well as do the visuals. I dig it. Bright, beautiful colors and dancing that shows you don’t have to be Bollywood (or what we Americans think of as Bollywood) to take advantage of the Indian setting. I like the outfits, too. Too bad people freak out about “cultural appropriation” because I see girls of any race and age group wishing they had outfits like that.
Mira follows the lineage of other Disney Junior heroines like Sophia The First and Elena Of Avalor, the latter a series I kind of enjoy when I come across it. There are also hints of their take on The Rocketeer, itself a previous Saturday Night Showcase. She’s a strong female character in situations someone her age probably wouldn’t be (though judging by previews for future episodes I don’t think crime solving is going to represent the majority of her cases, if any), she’s smart and good natured with a strong love for her friends and family. She has a friend who likes to invent, like Elena’s sister or Kit’s best friend. The animation style is also similar and might be by the same company, which is why I keep making the comparisons, but the style, tone, and plot do separate themselves enough that at best they’re mild inspirations or just the animation studio’s style.
Thanks to a Google search I learned that most if not all of the cast are of Indian decent. When it comes to voice acting I’ve not been as concerned with people performed by one race pretending to be another because it’s just a voice. However, it is a nice touch that lends to some authenticity of the accent (I’m not an audio expert, my field is writing, so I don’t think I have the right term) and I can appreciate wanting to take the opportunity to give some Indian voice actors a chance to show how good they are. And they’re all great choices. They can sing as well as act, which is hard enough for kid voice actors, but to match up the people to the culture is a benefit. Leela Landier, who voices Mira, has a great singing voice and voice acting presence. I see a future for her in this business if she pursues it, and she’ll be called upon to do a lot of singing as the main character so good choice there.
While I don’t know that I’ll be watching each week for every episode I might watch when it’s on, even if just as something in the background. Girls may love this show but I think anyone can appreciate the setting and the adventures of an eight-year-old detective since the show doesn’t talk down to kids and is a lot of fun. The show airs on Disney Junior.