This series reminds me of all Cartoon Network’s attempts at adventure series for young teens like the excellent Tower Prep or Unnatural History. Their cancellation hurt me because both series were fun, entertaining and full of life. Especially Tower Prep which left us on a real cliffhanger without being entitled to a season 2. A fantasy horror series for teenagers is not necessarily brilliant and basically all the series I mentioned above do not aren’t brilliant, but they had good ideas and a fun side. Terra Incógnita is not a memorable series but it has nevertheless managed to create a gallery of endearing characters in a paste card setting. Guillermo Barrantes (Ecuación), Celeste Lambert (Bia, Summer in Cielo Grande) and Cecilia Mendonça (It was me, Allegra) join forces in what does not seek to surprise anyone but at the same time the public targeted by Terra Incógnita is clearly not the one I belong to (and it’s better like that because I found my account there).
Raised by his maternal grandparents with his sister Uma, teenager Eric Dalaras decides to run away and return to the town of his childhood, Cabo Qwert, to find answers about the disappearance of his parents who were seen last seen eight years ago at Terra Incógnita horror theme park. With his friends, his sister, and his aunt, Eric will have to overcome his fears to find answers and solve the mystery in a dark and unknown world.
With the simplicity of its narrative, Terra Incógnita manages to quickly hook the viewer. With all this other world and its supernatural creatures, we have a lot of surprise effects and therefore enough twists to keep the promises of Terra Incógnita until the end of the season. There are, however, some pacing issues in the middle of the season that inevitably spoil the fun. The investigation itself, built like a treasure hunt with puzzles to solve, gives me the impression of finding in a survival game (these escape games wanting to be ultra realistic in atypical places). It is in this string of lies to unravel and truths that are not always good to hear that Terra Incógnita manages to hold on to the end. It’s quite meager but the characters are sympathetic if not well embodied. Some episodes of the season are quite boring while others are just okay.
What makes it possible to hold out until the end of the season is therefore the common thread. It is constantly evolving and no episode can be missed if you want to understand the outcome. I regret that Terra Incógnita abandons a whole bunch of things over the course of the episodes. Family tensions, not really nice friendships, etc. are there to create a kind of decor but not to raise real questions and convey real messages. For a Disney series I must admit that I am disappointed that there is none of that. Luckily, no off-putting romantic relationships, which also allows you to focus on the essentials. But as a whole with a fairly large cast of characters, Terra Incógnita never shines. She is content to follow the road book of the series for teens in settings that are not really inspired but with a catchy story that makes you want to go all the way.
Rating: 4.5/10. In short, despite everything a lot of good ideas Terra Incógnita remains passable. However, she will be able to seduce her target audience with her adventure that has enough twists and turns to hold up.
Available on Disney+
Disney+ has renewed Terra Incógnita for a second season