The Liberator: Season 1
Director: Grzegorz Jonkajtys
Creator: Jeb Stuart
Writers: Alex Kershaw, Jeb Stuart, Alex Kershaw
Producers: Mark Apen, Taylor Church, L.C. Crowley, Lukasz Dzieciol, Steve Jaworski, Grzegorz Jonkajtys, Michael Lynne, Laura Jayne Scott, Jeb Stuart, Sarah Victor, Patricia Burgess, Natalia Lasota, Robert Shaye
Genre: Animation, Action, Drama
Release Date: 11 November 2020
Streaming On: Netflix
Star Cast: Bradley James, Martin Sensmeier, Jose Miguel Vasquez, Ross Anderson, Billy Breed, Finney Cassidy, David Elliot, Sam Gittins, Kiowa Gordon, Bryan Hibbard, Pedro Leandro, Tatanka Means, Matt Mercurio, Billy Rayner, Michael Schaeffer, David Shields, Stefan Boehm, Bartosz Bednarski, Felipe Bejarano, Piotr Biedron, Piotr Bondyra, Steven Brand, Jan Butruk, Stanislav Callas, Óscar Casas, Philipp Christopher, Piotr Chys, Wil Coban, Jacob Collins-Levy, Joe Doyle, Sofia Greenacre, Taylor James, Sebastian Jasnoch, Karol Kadlubiec, Vinzenz Kiefer, Mateusz Korsak, Marek Kossakowski, Grzegorz Kowalczyk, Damian Kret, Filip Krupa, Jakub Krysztal, Jan Kwapisiewicz, Michael Landes, Abraham Lewis, Stanislaw Linowski, Filip Lipiecki, Conor Lowson, Glib Luukianets, Maurycy Lyczko, Lorne MacFadyen, Magnús Mariuson, Krystian Marzec, Tomas Mayer, Roy McCrerey, Alan McKenna, Mostafa Medhat, Kevin Mglej, Bartosz Mikulak, Daniel Misiewicz, Maciej Miszczak, Daniel Namiotko, Jan Napieralski, Maciej Nawrocki, Katarzyna Obidzinska, Mariusz Ochocinski, Martin Oelbermann, Tomasz Olejnik, Krzysztof Oleksyn, Kacper Olszewski, Filip Orlinski, Pawel Paczesny, Jose Palma, Christopher Patten, Kiryl Pietruczuk, Aleksander Price, David L. Price, Martin Rath, Charlie Rawes, Mike Rowe, Kamil Ruszecki, Mateusz Rzezniczak, Matthias Schlette, Piotr Sedkowski, Agata Skórska, Harrison Stone, Kamil Studnicki, Leo Suter, Julia Szczepanska, Marcin Sztendel, Stanislaw Twaróg, Luca Varsalona, Krzysztof Wach, Marcin Walkowski, James Oliver Wheatley, Nigel Whitmey, Oliwer Witek,Peter Woodward, Filip Zalega
Plot: The mini-series is the true story of one of the bloodiest battles of World War II.
Review: To celebrate Veterans Day this year, Netflix has brought out its original 4-part mini-series The Liberator, which has been adapted from the book ‘The Liberator: One World War II Soldier’s 500-Day Odyssey’ by Alex Kershaw.
Created by Jeb Stuart and directed by Greg Jonkajtys, ‘The Liberator’ is the true story of Felix Sparks. It is a dramatic retelling of the real-life events that happened during World War II, and follows a group of American soldiers led by a young captain Felix Sparks (Bradley James), who himself has had a near-death experience, but still returns to the battlefield to be with his comrades to support them till last. Hence, the series is filled with gut-wrenching emotions, violence, and bravery.
The war-drama is a genre that has always got its audience and generally has a separate fan base, therefore the decision to use rotoscope-flavoured animation (a new technology named Trioscope) has given the series a very interesting twist. It is a new enhanced hybrid animation technology that combines state-of-the-art CGI with live-action performance, which allows creators to tell a visually compelling story with rich detail, in a way that conveys the human emotion and drama of the serious subject matter. In short, the series is a striking combination of animation and live-action performance, which feels like a graphic novel that has come to life!
Though ‘The Liberator’ takes full advantage of the animation’s capabilities, it frequently lapses into the same beats and tropes explored on TV before. However, start-to-finish, the animation is pretty, and there are bursts of breath-taking magic, like the sparkling of falling snow on soldiers huddled in the Vosges, along with the shocking bursts of gunfire, and the crimson explosions rolling over meadows.
When it comes to performances, Bradley James conveys enough decency in his performance. He is captivating as Lt. Col. Sparks and is the only performance you are likely to come away remembering individually, though the animation style is designed to include, if not accentuate, actors and their expressiveness.
Overall, the real history was much more complicated and much richer than what is depicted in this series. Nevertheless, check out ‘The Liberator’ for the animation as there have been dozens upon dozens of wartime epics committed to the screen, but none look like The Liberator!