I'm a big Netflix fan. I love watching their original shows like Race to the Edge and White Rabbit Project. Recently, my siblings and I tried Trollhunters, one of the best shows Dreamworks has come out with yet. Tying with Race to the Edge.
The show is about a boy named Jim, who is picked by a magic amulet to become the next trollhunter. He discovers there's a whole other world of magic creatures out there. Being trollhunter means he has to protect the world from bad trolls, as well as balance his normal life. At the same time, some trolls and changlings are trying to bring back an evil troll to take over the world. With the help of trolls Blinky and Aaarrrgghh! and friends Toby and Claire, Jim must protect both worlds from this threat.
They released the first 26 episodes, all making up season one, in December. We didn't start watching it until January, but once we did, we couldn't stop. Here are five reasons you should give this show a try.
1- Great Characters
The first thing that stood out to me about this series was the characters. Each one is excellent. Take Jim. His dad left, leaving him with his mother. They have a great bond, even though Jim is more often parent than she is. He's a good boy, except for the lying about his trollhunter duties. He can cook and is always sweet. Yes, he has his flaws, but he's one of those characters that you just love.
Then there are the side characters. Toby lives with his grandmother and makes friends with the killer turned pacifist, Aaarrrgghh!. Claire's little brother was stolen by trolls and replaced by a changling. Blinky becomes Jim's surrogate dad. They gave thought to each character to make them come alive.
And the bad guys are bad. One of Jim's teachers, Strickler, is a villain and an anti-hero, who happens to fall in love with Jim's mother. He's the one you come to understand best. Then there are evil trolls like Bular and Angor Rot. The latter is an especially good baddy.
2- Anton Yelchin's Last Work
Anton Yelchin, known to Star Trek fans as Chekov in the new movies, died last year. He was crushed by his own car in his driveway at the age of 27. It was a shock, and still very sad. This is the last thing he completed before he died. If you're a fan of his, or even if you don't know who he is, you should watch Trollhunters for the excellent voice work he brings to the show. His portrayal as Jim is sweet and heartfelt.
Because of his death, many fans questioned whether they would make a second season since the voice of the main character died. (When I watched the first episode and saw the dedication on the end to Anton, it made me so sad.) However, it has been renewed for a new season and I guess we'll have to wait and see what they do about Jim.
3- Well Balanced
Like most shows, it has it's share of humor, especially between Jim, Toby, and Claire, and the trolls trying to understand our world. But all that is carefully balanced with darker and more serious parts. Like Jim's dad leaving him when he was five. On his birthday too.
There's a lot of depth to this series. It's called a children's show, but it would be great for anyone of any age. Good versus evil, balancing two lives, even bullies. The whole thing is perfectly balanced.
4- Beautiful Worldbuilding
When Jim discovers there's a troll town underneath his own, he literally enters a whole new world. The troll world is built on strict rules and they don't trust humans, leaving it up to Jim to earn their trust. The troll world is really well built. You can learn lots about worldbuilding from it.
For example, there are different types of trolls, and they all have their own rules and legends. The trolls also have their own types of technology, like a sphere that can get you places really fast. Magic is also prominent, but it comes with it's own set of rules. One character, Angor Rot, trades his soul to get magic so he can kill trollhunters. I also liked how they chose less popular creatures for their series. Trolls, gnomes, goblins, and changlings.
5- Excellent Storytelling
This is the best part. The storytelling. The 26 episodes, which should technically be two seasons, are carefully paced to keep you riveted. Each episode makes and answers questions, but leaves you with enough questions or a cliffhanger, so you want to watch just one more episode. This is a technique that could easily be applied to each chapter of your novel, or even each book. You'll find, once you start this series, you won't want to stop.
This is a story of good versus evil, but it's also the story of Jim learning to grow up. At the end of season one, he makes a big decision that will have even bigger consequences. He's changed since the average boy at the beginning. Now he's a strong, experience character. However, I think next season will test him to his limits.
Let's talk! Have you watched Trollhunters? Have you ever watched a show you didn't want to stop? Tell me in the comments.