Dragons: Rescue Riders, a Rescue Bots Academy Clone?

21 Oct

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

DreamWorks and Netflix are not fully putting the How to Train Your Dragon franchise to rest. Rescue Riders is a side story where two new protagonists deal with saving humans and dragons from normal problems and come out as better individuals. This show and Transformers: Rescue Bots Academy share a similar DNA. The goal is to offer non-violent conflict resolution and teach the value of teamwork over individualism.

Here, Dak (Nicolas Cantu) and Leila (Brennley Brown), show how a blended society can be at peace. They have to face acceptance in the village of Huttsgalor. Despite Magnus Finke (Brad Grusnick) thinking humans and dragons living together cannot work, this crank is just an individual whose voice is heard and thankfully not heeded upon.

The animation style is a step towards simplicity to keep production simple. It’s commonly used in many a preschool cartoon than be PIXAR level; adjusting to it takes more than a few episodes since most long time fans are accustomed to the designs from Race to the Edge.

There’s even a Gobber like supporting character. Duggard (Carlos Alazraqui) is hilarious and he’s the chief of the village. Just why all the Vikings sound Scottish is because the original books suggest the Archipelago is somewhere near Scotland. Dak and Leila are newcomers to this world and sound more English than Norwegian. As other reports have mentioned, this series is closer to Cressida Cowell‘s books. The ability to speak to dragons is mostly limited to the two protagonists since they lived with them for so long. For anyone else, it sounds like roars and snorts.

The series is makes for a good entry point for newcomers to the Dragons franchise. The only downside is in the problem no episodes standout. The finale to season one, “Grumblegard, parts one and two” sows the seeds to how territorial each breed of serpentine can get, and may lead to a confrontation with the resident alpha in this region of the Archipelago.

The series is less about befriending new dragons and more about the camaraderie which exists. As for how it ties in to the franchise as a whole is not too much of a mystery. Pockets of different Viking civilizations exists, and each of them have to deal with how to live with dragons instead of training them. It’s doubtful a crossover will occur. At least here, in this series, it moves the franchise into new directions.

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