Supernoobs is an animated comedy series hailing from Canada, crafted by DHX Media, which later rebranded as WildBrain, and was showcased on both Cartoon Network and Teletoon.
Premiering in 2015, the series follows four 12-year-old best friends – Kevin, Tyler, Shope, and the Roach – who stumble upon a cosmic-powered battle ball that grants them superhuman abilities.
Unlike many superhero tales where the primary conflict revolves around battling supervillains, the kids of “Supernoobs” must juggle middle school chaos alongside alien threats.
It’s a compelling blend of preteen drama and extraterrestrial action, serving as a metaphorical canvas for the challenges of growing up.
Networks: Cartoon Network, Family Channel
First episode date: November 2, 2015 (Canada)
Final episode date: February 7, 2019
Program creator: Scott Fellows
Opening theme: “Supernoobs” by Shawn Patterson
Animation and Style
In an age where CGI and hyper-realistic animation reign supreme, “Supernoobs” returns to the comforting embrace of classic 2D animation. This choice not only lends the show a nostalgic touch but also allows for exaggerated comedic sequences and rapid-fire visual gags.
The character designs, vibrant and distinctive, easily resonate with both kids and adults alike. Bright colors splash every frame, reflecting the energy and zest of its young protagonists. It’s a visual treat, striking the right balance between traditional animation and modern aesthetics.
Themes and Story Arcs
While at first glance, “Supernoobs” might seem like just another kids’ show about superheroes, it dives deeper into themes of friendship, responsibility, and growth. Each episode beautifully captures the essence of being a tween – the heartbreaks, the joys, the uncertainties, and the moments that define those transitional years.
Through their battles against virus-afflicted creatures and school bullies, the Noobs save the world and learn valuable life lessons. The combination of school life and superhero antics serves as a reminder that every stage in life comes with its own set of challenges and victories.
What Was Supernoobs About?
“Supernoobs” showcases four 12-year-olds – Kevin, Tyler, Shope, and Roach – recruited by an intergalactic alliance to combat a malevolent space-virus threatening the galaxy.
As they navigate middle school, they also tackle infections that transform people into creatures intent on Earth’s destruction. Balancing school life, like dealing with hormones, exams, bullies, and unpredictable teachers, with newfound superpowers and battling transformed bullies like the giant laser-eyed BULL makes life doubly challenging!
The Supernoobs hone their skills in its second season, gearing up for more intense battles. As they near the end of their training, they’re set to face Count Venamus and the Creators.
However, the stakes rise when The Creators discover a potential ancient Earth weapon against the space virus. With Count Venamus unleashing his formidable Mech-Army to destroy this power, and the Supernoobs, our heroes must step up their game.
A Fusion of Genres
One of the standout qualities of “Supernoobs” is its effortless blend of genres. While rooted in the superhero and sci-fi domains, the show frequently dips its toes into comedy, drama, and even horror elements. This fusion not only keeps the narrative fresh and unpredictable but also ensures there’s something for every viewer.
Be it a hilarious interaction between the Noobs and their alien mentors, a touching moment of friendship, or an edge-of-the-seat battle against a formidable foe, “Supernoobs” masterfully caters to a broad spectrum of emotions and interests.
The Power of Relatable Characters
At the heart of “Supernoobs” is its cast of well-rounded, relatable characters. Each of the Noobs represents a different facet of the tween experience.
- Role: Often perceived as the leader of the group.
- Personality: Charismatic and determined. Kevin often finds himself in situations where he takes charge, but he’s also known to be impulsive, which sometimes leads to hilarious consequences.
- Superpower: His battle ball grants him the ability to fly.
- Role: The heart and moral compass of the group.
- Personality: Tyler is fun-loving, kind-hearted, and usually opts for peaceful resolutions. He tends to be the voice of reason in many of the team’s adventures.
- Superpower: His battle ball provides him with the power of telekinesis.
- Role: The brain and tech expert of the team.
- Personality: Intelligent and logical, Shope often devises plans and solutions when the team is in a jam. She has a keen sense of the world around her and often offers scientific insight.
- Superpower: Her battle ball grants her enhanced intelligence and the ability to communicate with various electronic devices.
- Role: The wildcard and often the comic relief of the group.
- Personality: Roach is quirky, unpredictable, and is known for his out-of-the-box thinking. He has a genuine heart and often provides unexpected solutions to problems.
- Superpower: His battle ball gives him super strength.
Benevolent Alliance Characters
- Role: A seasoned warrior and mentor to the Noobs.
- Personality: Memnock is disciplined, often taking the lead when it comes to training and guiding the Noobs. Though he means well, his lack of understanding about Earth’s culture and customs often leads to comedic situations.
- Significance: As one of the primary mentors to the Noobs, Memnock helps them harness their powers and educates them on the intergalactic threats they face.
- Role: Another seasoned warrior and co-mentor alongside Memnock.
- Personality: Zenblock is robust and rugged, showcasing a tougher exterior compared to Memnock. However, he too finds Earth customs puzzling, leading to humorous misinterpretations.
- Significance: Zenblock complements Memnock’s training style, offering the Noobs a balanced perspective on their duties and responsibilities as defenders against the space virus.
- Role: An intelligent supercomputer assisting Memnock and Zenblock.
- Personality: XR4Ti is logical, analytical, and sometimes a tad sarcastic. She provides insights, strategies, and critical information to the Noobs and their mentors.
- Significance: Her knowledge and technological capabilities play an essential role in many of the Noobs’ missions. Her interactions, especially her banter with Memnock and Zenblock, add a layer of wit to the narrative.
The Benevolent Alliance Council:
- Role: The governing body overseeing the operations against the space virus.
- Personality: The council members are stern, committed to their cause, and occasionally display impatience with the progress of the Noobs.
- Significance: They represent the broader intergalactic community’s stakes in the battle against the space virus, adding a layer of depth and urgency to the Noobs’ mission.
- Role: A fellow student at the Noobs’ school.
- Personality: Amy is smart, confident, and is often seen participating in various school activities. She has a crush on Tyler, leading to interesting dynamics.
- Significance: Amy’s interactions, especially with Tyler, provide an additional layer to the Noobs’ everyday school life, grounding the series in relatable adolescent experiences.
- Role: The principal of the Noobs’ school.
- Personality: He’s depicted as strict and by-the-book, often finding himself baffled by the strange occurrences the Noobs inadvertently bring to the school.
- Significance: His character underscores the challenges of maintaining a double life as both middle-school students and superheroes.
- Role: A news anchor in Cornbury.
- Personality: Professional and to the point, she often reports on the unusual incidents in town, many of which are linked to the Noobs’ adventures.
- Significance: Sue provides a civilian perspective on the impact of the Noobs’ activities, anchoring their actions in the broader context of the town.
- Role: Roach’s father.
- Personality: A caring and somewhat oblivious parent. He’s proud of his son but remains unaware of Roach’s double life.
- Significance: His character highlights the dichotomy of the Noobs’ lives and the lengths they go to keep their superhero identities a secret from their families.
- Role: The stereotypical school jock.
- Personality: Boastful and often seen bullying or challenging the Noobs, especially Tyler.
- Significance: His interactions intensify the schoolyard challenges the Noobs face, making their school lives as challenging, if not more so, than their superhero endeavors.
- Role: An alien creature often seen with the Noobs.
- Personality: Though an alien, Rovu is friendly, loyal, and sometimes acts as a pet or mascot for the Noobs.
- Significance: Rovu bridges the gap between the Noobs’ Earthly lives and their intergalactic responsibilities, often providing comedic relief.
Should I watch Supernoobs?
Scott Fellows, the creator, is also the mind behind “Johnny Test.” While “Supernoobs” is a step up, it’s not a significant leap. The animation is passable, with a commendably smoother frame rate compared to “Johnny Test.” However, the over-reliance on stereotypes feels both reductive and lacking in creativity.
The show seems to ask, “What would appeal to nerds?” As someone who identifies with nerd culture, I believe there are missteps in its execution. Merely referencing pop culture doesn’t equate to humor, a mistake both this show and “Teen Titans Go!” seem to make.
The storylines feel rudimentary, and the sound effects and musical cues bear an uncanny resemblance to “Johnny Test.” While it’s challenging not to compare works from the same creator, there’s a missed opportunity here to introduce varied themes, settings, and character nuances.
One advantage this show has over “Johnny Test” is that the main character(s) have friends, whereas Johnny was often portrayed as a self-centered individual who preferred solitude.
While the “Noobs” — as they aptly name themselves — can sometimes come across as lackluster and even irksome, it’s surprising that Cartoon Network decided to collaborate with Teletoon once again for a series.
Supernoobs Extended Theme Song