Trailer Talk: The Umbrella Academy

Killjoys make some noise! Wait… I seem to have the right creator, but the wrong property. The first full trailer for The Umbrella Academy is here and it has got me pumped. Before we jump into the trailer, I’ll give you a little background; originally published in comic book form by Dark Horse Comics back in 2007, The Umbrella Academy was created and written by My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way. If you don’t know who My Chemical Romance or Gerard Way is, then you’re either too old or too young to have flipped your straightened fringe while rolling your eyes during a bout of teenage angst. Most people would call My Chemical Romance an emo band but really, they were more than that. If you’re interested, look them up, listen to their music, and you may find it’s better than you might think. The Umbrella Academy was Way’s first big-time comic book series; he created a brand new weird and wacky world populated with just as crazy characters, resulting in a series that is a lot of fun. So who better to pick up the television series but the purveyor of the weird and wacky? Netflix, Duh.

I don’t usually break down many TV series trailers in this format, but this trailer stands out as one of my favourite trailers in recent memory. Due to the cult-like status of The Umbrella Academy, the trailer begins by setting up much of the context that surrounds the main story, giving us a good look at the origin of our main characters. This isn’t Titans; The Umbrella Academy isn’t afforded the luxury of instantly recognisable characters, so the trailer must give its audience context and it’s purveyed brilliantly through simple imagery and narration. After the basis for the characters’ origins are set, we skip forward 17 years to the time period that the show will mostly take place in. The cast are older now, and we are introduced to each through a beautiful Wes Anderson-esque shot showing each member dancing separately in their own room. This allows us to grasp a bit of each character’s individual personality just from the way they dance or how their room looks, with all of this accomplished in only ten to fifteen seconds. After introducing its characters, the trailer switches into full gear and establishes the overarching plot of the series, while also providing a look at the villains and some of the action sequences. Really, it’s pretty standard well-edited trailer fare. However, this is all set to the amazing backing track, as after the time skip, the trailer becomes punctuated by a blistering cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Hazy Shade of Winter,” performed by Gerard Way himself. This amazing cover truly lifts the trailer, providing hype and highlighting important beats throughout.

In the end, the trailer for The Umbrella Academy is expertly crafted, setting up plot and characters in an easily understandable fashion for anyone who hasn’t read the source material. It is able to do this while also capturing pre-established fans, managing all this without compromising its stylistic elements at any point. I don’t have a single criticism for this one, and it is definitely one of the best trailers in recent memory.

February 15 can’t come soon enough.

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