Tales of Arcadia is an animated series created by Guillermo del Toro. It is, in fact, a trilogy, and has widely been acclaimed for pushing boundaries in its narrative styles and lore-building.
Produced by Netflix and Dreamworks, Tales of Arcadia features high-quality animation. The Netflix original series is set in a world filled with magic and aliens. Only Guillermo del Toro has the genius, I think, to be able to bring such vastly different worlds together, and do so seamlessly.
What is the Tales of Arcadia trilogy about?
The trilogy consists of three series – Trollhunters, 3Below and Wizards. Each of these series is set in the same place – Arcadia, a seemingly quiet town – but follows the stories of different kinds of people and beings. Some characters are recurring throughout the trilogy as the narrative expands the universe, and each series has at least one crossover of sorts.
Based in Arthurian legends, Trollhunters follows the story and adventures of protagonist Jim Lake Jr. He is not your typical ‘Main Guy’. He is a little dorky, brave, takes care of his mother (and, nope, his mother is not negligent or anything, she’s just a single parent working hard, and Jim understands that ). Jim is chosen as the protector of trolls, beings who can be killed by the sun and, unbeknownst to anyone, live in a sprawling city right beneath Arcadia.
And who is he protecting the trolls from?
Humans, of course, and an evil race of the troll kind, known as Gumm-Gumms. Yes, while the name might be quite funny, they’re formidable, led by a powerful troll known as Gunmar.
As Jim fights for acceptance among the trolls as the first-ever human trollhunter with his best friends Toby and Claire by his side, he must also be wary of those conspiring to release Gunmar into the world of humans. Each of his friends, though in supporting roles, have a very distinct role to play in his journey.
The journey is filled with humor, sacrifices, and more. Quite a few characters make for very interesting plot twists as the series explores the themes of friendship, brotherhood, sacrifice and different languages of love.
The series is funny and heart-warming while following a gripping plot. Each character, while stereotypical in some ways, is loveable because of a distinct quirk possessed by them. Not to mention, the way Trollhunters builds up relationships is something a lot of TV shows could take a note or two from.
The show was nominated for nine Daytime Emmy Awards in 2017, of which it won six. Other nominations include BAFTA, Saturn Awards and Annie Awards.
3Below is about alien royal siblings, their pet and their bodyguard who flee from their planet – Akiridion-5 – after a military general manages to overthrow the King and Quees, parents of the siblings, Aja and Krel. They land in Arcadia and try to blend into the populace; their attempts to understand human cultures make for very humorous moments in the series.
They must stay hidden as the surviving heirs to the throne while trying to find out who in their parents’ loyal army betrayed them to side with the General. The siblings navigate life without their parents, while also trying to find a way to save their lives as they form close bonds with people (actual humans this time ) in Arcadia.
They join the same school as Jim, Claire, and Toby, who look at them as merely new students from “Cantaloupia.” The story happens in parallel with the events of the Trollhunter series, and two supporting characters – Steve and Eli – from Trollhunters are also main characters in this series.
Without spoiling the previous two series, this will, unfortunately, have to be a little short. Wizards follows the journey of Douxie, apprentice of the legendary wizard, Merlin, who must travel back in time to understand what lead to some of the events that the audience sees in Trollhunters. So with the help of the Guardians of Arcadia, he sets off to travel back in time to find out the truth of what lead up to the conflict we see in Trollhunters.
Heartwarming as expected, it’s a great watch because of the reunion of familiar characters in a completely new setting with an entirely different premise. This series has no fewer plot twists than the previous shows, and it ties up the trilogy pretty neatly to pave the way for a movie.
The much-anticipated Netflix movie, Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans is set to be released on July 21, 2021.
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