The Stories that Made Me: Insektors
Updated: Jun 21, 2021
Insektors was years ahead of its time.
I adored this show. I still do.
I think it is a work of art.
All the world-building, all the characters, the entire overarching-storyline (which still breaks my heart) was near-perfect. Sure - sure - it's likely super cringy now - but I'll stand by it being a brilliant show for it's time. This is the sort of show that needs a reboot - though - they'd mess it up for sure.
There are actually two versions of it. I grew up on the US Dubbed Version - NOT THE UK VERSION - in fear of offending all UK people - sorry nope - NEVER.
What is Insektors.
How do I describe this show....ahhh...it's about...insects...yeah...
It is set on a planet called Karbon, and one day a giant prism fell from the sky, landing amongst the barren wasteland, and as light was cast through the prism, it showered brilliant colour across the land, and beautiful flowers sprung to life. For the first time, colour came to Planet Karbon. Some of the inhabitants of Karbon found this prism and came to understand just how special it was. They built a Great Flower to protect it, and the light from it. These inhabitants became known as The Joyices.
Sadly, some of the inhabitants of Karbon shunned the light of the prism and continued to live in the darkness, mining coal for their great furnaces - but the coal is running out - and so - they turn and look across the Swamp towards the towering flowers of the Joyice's Flower City and realise...
Why not burn the Flowers.
And thus begins the war between the Yuks and the Joyices over resources - and it's really complicated. This show is only fifteen minutes long, and somehow, they managed to tell such intricate stories, with interesting characters. I am sure my imagination built it up far grander than it was, but - as with The Dream Maker - it was the stark contrast between a land filled with colours and flowers, and a land of shadows, sorrow and darkness that truly drew me in. Again, as with The Dream Maker, this show always started in the land of the Yuks - and once again - my Mother tended to voice her concern for the bleak, dark imagery of the sad, joyless kingdom. But I have to give credit to my Mum, instead of saying "No, you can't watch it", she'd join us to see what it was we were watching and she came around to seeing why I enjoyed Insektors and actually started taping the show for me.
One of my favourite characters was Fulgor - whom I believe is a walking stick bug, according to the internet - (though I always thought him to be a flying ant, so I'll stick to my head-canon). I'd pretty much consider him to be the "hero" of the overall show - and very much the focus of the overarching storyline if you watch the entire show from start to finish. He was taken in by The Great Pyrio, a colourful butterfly who watches over The Great Prism. Fulgor now welds a magical colour guitar that shoots out pollen and acts as protector and, well, I suppose "knight" of the realm. Fulgor is a bit of a hot head, somewhat bratty like Luke Skywalker was, but he also go on a hero's journey throughout the series.
Asking me today though, I would tell you that my overall favourite character is Prince Acylius, a mantis, and son of the evil Queen Bakrakra who ruled over the Yuks. Prince Acylius is a dreamer - a dreamer who is trapped in a desolate, dark and colourless castle - and oneday he escapes and discovers a beautiful, stunning land of colours and flowers (also a girl - he finds a girl.)
For just a day he is given the hope to last him a lifetime that he may become the bridge that will forge a friendship (and a political marriage) between two nations who hate each other. I look back at his character with adult eyes and think of the immense burden on his shoulders - and I am quite sure it is due to Prince Acylius that I came to love prince characters so very much. He was the princess in a tower trope turned on its head - even had a heroine saving him all the time too. Mind you, he saved them just as much.
I cannot find images of the Great Prism online, but it was such a spectacular thing when it did appear on screen, and while the 3D work was so basic at the time, my imagination filled in the blanks and I would dream of a magnificent flower city, and the dark, grimy dungeons of the Yuks mines. It was a very real world to me, and the story that unfolded therein was fascinating. I think my favourite part about it was just how political it ended up being. I only have one very old VHS of old recorded episodes of Insektors- though you can find it online, mostly the UK Dubbed Version (again, not my version) and I just don't recommend the UK version at all.
It fascinates me that a French tv show made in 1994 about bugs ended up telling an epic tale of reconciliation between a divided nation, that split due to a shiny meteor that hit their planet and sped up their advancement in technology. I mean - I don't know if that's what the creators were going for, but that's how I look back on it now with the fondest of memories.
This was one of the shows that I had to watch as a little girl - and if it looked like I was going to miss it, my mother would tape it for me. That's just how much I loved the show, and the storyline. Some episodes could be missed, but some were important and had to be seen otherwise the plot would be lost.
This was the story from the my childhood that really taught me the value of a long arching plot - so maybe we can all blame Insektors for my quest to write write a great epic.