PrintE-mail Written by Stuart Mulrain

Mysterious Cities of Gold Season 2 Review

Around 30 years ago, The Mysterious Cities of Gold ended its first series with our heroes, Esteban, Tao and Zia flying off into the sunset in the Golden Condor. And that was it. Despite them only having found one of the seven lost cities of gold, the series concluded in an oddly satisfying yet open-ended way.

While a second series had always been planned, it never materialised and so fans were left with occasional re-runs on The Children’s Channel on Sky in the early 1990s and fond memories of a show that seemed to be lost to time. Then, in 2008, the series was finally released on DVD and proved to be a hit with fans both new and old, leading the way for the new seasons to be greenlit and put into production. Arriving on the Kix Channel in the bottom end of the Sky TV kid’s channels, the second series of Mysterious Cities debuted in December.

Mysterious Cities of Gold Season 2

Sticking with the same character designs and picking up where the first series left off, the story sees the three children and adults Mendoza, Pedro and Sancho heading to China in search of the next lost city of gold and the truth about Esteban’s father. On their journey they are joined by an alchemist named Ambrosius, encounter shaolin monks and dangers from pirates and a hooded figure named Zares!

If you grew up remembering the original series or discovered it on DVD recently, it takes a little time to get used to the things that have been updated. While the character designs are the same, the animation style has been tweaked, giving it the look at times of a cutscene from a (albeit stylish) video game. Then there are the new voice actors and the new take on the theme tune.

These are minor quibbles that you soon get used to or forget about as you get sucked into the story and the characters. You realise that you’re just glad to have them back and for the story to continue, even if it is lacking in some of the wonder and magic of the original series.

Mysterious Cities of Gold Season 2

It’s a testament to the makers that they have stuck so true to the original series, especially in their choice to follow on from a 30-year-old cartoon rather than just rehash it for a new audience. Speaking of a new audience, my four-year-old son loved this series and was completely hooked. So much so that he is now watching the original series and loving that too. And that can only be a good thing!

Repeats of Season 2 of The Mysterious Cities of Gold are currently showing on the Kix Channel and will be released on DVD in February 2014.

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+3 #2 AW 2015-03-28 07:33
My major beef with this series is kokapetal. He was only slightly irritating in the original series of the 80's but now with each episode of season 2 im begging the screen to shut him up. The less he talks the better. But i must say visually this new season is stunning and the story is really quite well written. Shame they didnt spend that little extra time in finding voice actors for estaban, mendoza and tao that more closely sound like the originals. They definitely need to change tao's voice, its horrendous. The theme song isnt quite as good but its hard to be as good as an original score. Overall solid 8 out of 10 for me. I think fans of the original series will look past the annoying things and enjoy this series for what it is.
+5 #1 MW 2014-03-01 06:45
The 1st series is a masterpiece.
This time around however it certainly isn't. It's too slapstick + childish. The original had comedic moments but the new one overdoes it. Yes, they're both kids TV shows but the 1st was a mature TV show and that was a big part of the charm.
The new voices are too american. The accent is just too strong. Pedro, Sancho + Zia are the closest to their originals but Mendoza, Esteban and Tao's voices are terrible and, in Tao's case, high pitched and irritating. Esteban is very off putting also as he sounds like a girl.
The other big problem with the new series is the musical score. The soundtrack of the 1st MCOG was one of the best around, and really helped give the show a mysterious, emotional and sometimes dark feel. In the new show the syth style is almost completely gone and replaced with a characterless orchestral score.
Visually it looks very good but the atmosphere + character of the original is lost. Unfortunate

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