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My Thoughts on Disney Plus’ “Percy Jackson” Series

My Thoughts on Disney Plus’ “Percy Jackson” Series

When I was in college to get my associate art in teaching, I had to take a young adult literature class.  One of the required readings was one of the latest middle-grade series, “Percy Jackson.”  To be honest…I was not a fan of the first three chapters.  The book was very boyish, which makes sense because it is from the POV of a twelve-year-old boy, lol!  But once I got to chapter four, I began to cackle at Percy’s sassy narration then got captured by the world this author was crafting.  Then, I became ensnared!  Now, it is my favorite book series of all time! =D

I have all 15 main books, two side stories, two series encyclopedias, three fan books, the crossover story with one of his other series, “The Kane Chronicles,” all his other series, a signed copy of one of his book, an official book tour Cabin 13 hat, three t-shirts, four necklaces, a charm bracelet, bookmarks, tons of fan art (two commissions,) an anniversary poster, and I even cosplay as the book version as Annabeth Chase AND I taught two Percy Jackson themed Greek Mythology classes for 5th to 8th graders for my college for ten years.

So, yes, I like the series a little.

Sadly, the films released in 2010 and 2013 were less than stellar in portraying this beloved franchise properly to the point my brother (who is also a fan of the books) and I were fueled with anger and disregard they exist.

When Uncle Rick (Rick Riordan, the author) announced Disney was working WITH HIM to make a streaming series, I was very hopeful!

Since I love these characters and world dearly, I wanted to share my thoughts on this version of the books WITHOUT SPOILERS.

First revealed was the cast for the Per-sassy young Mr. Jackson.  Walker Scobell, who co-starred along with Ryan Reynolds in Netflix’s “The Adam Project.”  To stand your own with the witty and legendary Deadpool at the age 9 is IMPRESSIVE! I did watch the film and was happy to know he was going to be the sarcastic Percy.  He convinced me pretty quickly he was the right choice for the role.

Leah Jeffries was given the role of Annabeth Chase, Mr. Riordan said she encompassed her grandly at her audition.  My heart went out to her for getting a lot of flak, but when I watched her in the show, she really did bring Annabeth to life.  Watching her character grow and her chemistry with Percy, which is critical to the series as a whole, was nice.

I only have one thing to say about Aryan Simhadri...he is PERFECT AS GROVER! What a cinnamon roll!  Love him! Love Grover! 🙂

I really felt the effort of the actors: Virginia Kull as Sally Jackson had an amazing balance of warm and wise needed for Percy’s mom, truly the greatest demigod mortal parent.  The sage mentor Chiron by Glynn Turman was portrayed exceedingly well.  Dior Goodjohn’s rough and tough, but sly in tone Clarisse, daughter of Ares who bullies Percy at camp, was fierce in her combat scenes, even scaring Walker in real life he said in an interview! Timm Sharp’s take on the rotten, in personality and aura Gabe was spot on! Loved to hate him!  Charlie Bushnell was a brilliant Luke.  I liked his natural charm immediately and he did not disappoint.

Then we have the Greek gods and figures.  Medusa and her backstory was a nice added touch.  AND THANK GOSH THEY  INCLUDED MR. D unlike the movie (grrr.)  The actor of him was a riot! Poseidon, Hades, Ares (starting Twitter war fare…HA,) and the icon Lin-Manuel Miranda as Hermes were all great and entertaining.  AND MY SEEING MY HOMEGIRL Megan Mullally (Karen from ‘Will and Grace’) as one of Hades’ loyal furies causing trouble for our trio was such a delightful surprise!

The effects of this series are good overall and the settings are right as a whole.  CAMP HALF-BLOOD IS EVERYTHING I DREAMT OF! You see all the dedication and details.  I adored it and wished to spend more time there.  Can’t wait to see it again! And seeing St. Louis represented so well made my Missouri heart proud!  I will admit I did have issue with the dull and muted tones for several of the scenes.  However, this had been a problem in the film industry as a whole, especially Disney with their live-action remakes and I guess this can be categorized as that since the book series is so fantastical.

A personal note: I wish they would have given Percy darker hair and Annabeth blonde hair or at least some blonde highlights like in the books. I am all for diversity or blind casting; the best actor should get the job.  However, these traits are important to the characters.  Percy has dark hair and sea-green eyes like his father Poseidon (I do admit that Walker’s eyes are close and the actor for Poseidon does look like Percy) and Annabeth is often commented on for being a smart blonde, ironic since she is the daughter of Athena, goddess of wisdom.  The first movie messed this up too and got a lot of heat for it. Thought the show would learn from that *shrugs.*

The pacing was decent, but to be truthful, it felt off more often than I think is acceptable.  It dragged in some of the traveling scenes and there is a lot of lore explaining, which I understand with how much content there is.  It is hard to make expedition always engaging I get, but it made me zone out partly and I did not like that.  I think the first two episodes were the best-paced.  The combat overall was good, but a few were more lackluster than others.  I can also understand this since Percy is so new to the demigod world and all three are on their first quest.

I PROMISED NO SPOILERS, but I will be lightly touching on some differences and my vague thoughts HERE BELOW:

Now, like any adaptation, there are going to be changes.  Some are needed due to budgets, lack of technology, or timing, or they added scenes to flesh out characters and backstories.  Percy and Sally’s rapport when he was young, seeing her struggle with her special, but endangered son as a mother was heartbreaking and I was grateful for that. And the trying to drive a car scene was a funny, even if not needed extra!

However, some of these do not make sense to me: why ambrosia and nectar, basically medicine for gods and demigods, aren’t mentioned yet nor the origin of Riptide, Percy’s pen sword.  Or that he can talk to horses! My students would have a field day with that power with their love for unicorns! Grover and Annabeth joining Percy’s quest is set up differently.  The Lotus Hotel mystery is cut short. I personally did not like that or the change to the struggle with Cerebus or adding a scene in Asphodel Fields for Annabeth they did not go into details on. Or Charon’s role being reduced; bro has been through enough. I knew not everything would fly smoothly or be a perfect match with the novels, but these are the ones that hit home the most with me.

You can find ALL the differences on this POST from SCREEN RANT HERE:

Did I enjoy this show? Absolutely!

Was is as amazing as I wanted?  Not as much, no.  But I did really enjoy it!

Will I watch season 2?  You bet your blue cookies I will!

I am eagerly ready to wear my orange shirt and surf on over to Camp Half-Blood, pen sword in my pocket like a trusty friend.

Thank you Disney + for showing the world how beloved Percy is still after 15 years to many and opening up your barriers to a new generation.


Enjoy your blue foods, demigod! Stay geeky! 🙂


Educator of young minds by day, super nerdy savior of justice, and cute things by night, Morgan Straughan Comnick has a love for turning the normal into something special without losing its essence. Morgan draws from real-life experiences and her ongoing imagination to spark her writing. In her spare time, she enjoys doing goofy voices, traveling to new worlds by turning pages, humming child-like songs, and forcing people to smile with her “bubbliness.” It is Morgan’s mission in life to spread the amazement of otaku/Japanese culture to the world and to stop bullying; she knows everyone shines brightly.

For more information about Morgan and her works, check out her website, which also has links to all her social medias: http://morganscomnick.com

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