(The Vintage Tempest)
Many watches are required to understand everything that has gone on in DreamWorks Animation Trollhunters. This season debuted Dec 15th on Netflix and with only one more to go to air in 2018, most viewers may become disappointed no further adventures are planned. Thankfully, Variety magazine announced Guillermo del Toro’s intention to develop an interconnected world that will not only expand the mythos but see heroes from one series appear in another. Jim Lake Jr., the Trollhunter, will not be gone.
Approximately half of this new season is spent with Claire and Tobey covering up for Jim’s disappearance in the everyday life around the town of Arcadia. The other deals with the threat of Gunmar (voiced by Clancy Brown), this series resident bad guy, making his way back to Troll Market. Once back in the mortal realm, his plans to expand the Troll lands means invasion.
With the leadership showing uncertainty in what to do for the best of their kind, just who is in the right is put into question. The subterfuge going on makes this latest season a must watch. However, for some beasts, they are restless. Their magical world can not stay hidden forever. Gunmar wants to take back the mortal world; to do so requires more than him recruiting an army of loyalists.
If this premise sounds like Star Wars, then I am not not the only ones to take notice. Clancy Brown is the voice of the said evil leader and he revealed to Cinemablend his hopes for where his character will go. He wants him to be like the evil Emperor.
The story direction has gotten sophisticated for a product initially targeted for a young teen audience. It is more like a young adult product ala Harry Potter because teamwork is the foundation to what this saga is about. In a nutshell, this latest chapter shows what Jim Lake faced in the Darklands when he went in alone and how his friends saved him (“Homecoming”). Filler episodes round out the relationship developing between this hero and the female of the group (“Hero with a Thousand Faces”). Older viewers will most likely recognize the pop culture and Joseph Campbell connections in the episode titles.
I am enjoying the expected twists and turn which come associated with this classic hero’s journey. I have not been as excited for an animated series since Transformers: Prime (where it involved three youths — Jack, Miko and Raf — finding themselves thrusted into a large war not of their making). Both have their similarities. While one has the backing of an established mythology to build upon, this new one has hints of what’s to come because I recognize the tropes.
If the series title Three Below and its synopsis is any indication, it will be a science fiction epic. It may draw upon a “What if” scenario along the lines of Superman. Instead of crash landing on Earth and becoming heroes, the trio of characters will have to learn how to blend and try not to draw attention to themselves because they have supernatural abilities. But somehow, they will become friends with the denizens of Troll Market since this place has the supplies they need to fix their spaceship and go home.
No tease is offered for Wizards, scheduled for 2019 release. The title alone speaks volumes as fantasy and magic will be at the forefront. I surmise that we will see Merlin and the return of King Arthur. When an epic battle is promised by del Toro to conclude the trilogy, I can not think of any other heroes of yore who can make an impact. The hints of this bygone time have not gone unnoticed when I was rewatching Trollhunters. Merlin created the magic item which helps Jim Lake Jr. transform. The other items his friends carry suggest the Norse and Roman world may come into play. I feel Gunmar has a place in the coming saga. I do not see him being discarded as a certain character in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
In what I ultimately hope to see is a reveal of how this township of Arcadia came about. Could the founders be from fabled Avalon? Because Claire is a magic user and the finale sees her falling under the spell of Morgana, I instantly thought of the Once and Future King’s adversary, le Faye. To see this series take on a deeper Arthurian connection is very exciting. To see Gawain and the Green Knight team up with these future heroes will have me dancing in delight.