Thursday, 21 July 2016

Ben 10, Season 4 (2008)

Don't believe the cover of this DVD: it isn't the "complete" season 4 at all.  It contains only 10 of the 13 episodes.  Cartoon Network split the other three (the 5th through 7th in broadcast order, but "the last" chronologically, as much as that matters in a show with such a loose timeline) into a standalone film called The Secret of the Omnitrix.

Dodgy completeness claims aside, what you get here is more of what you will have come to expect from the previous three seasons.  Ben Tennyson turning into aliens to battle bad guys and help people, along with the able assistance of his cousin Gwen (who is by now a fairly skilled witch) and their grandfather (a former member of the setting's "Men in Black" style organisation).

I think overall the quality here is probably a little lower than those of previous seasons: the 'fountain of youth' episode in particular has some pretty fundamental plot flaws.  It does have a pretty solid concluding couple of episodes though, which neatly tie back to the first episode of the season, even if their positioning does break one of the few firm points of continuity within the show!

With clean animation, solid voice acting, and generally fun scripts, it's easy to see why Ben 10 generated three sequel series, eight computer games, and a host of toys.  It's also not surprising to hear that they're about to launch a re-boot.  Whether or not that will live up to the legacy, of course, is yet to be seen.

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