Available on Hulu
When DreamWorks bought the media rights to Cassandra Cowell‘s How to Train Your Dragon, nobody realised how much of a success it would be. That book and cinematic series about a gangly hero who becomes best friends with a rare dragon is technically over, and the studio is continuing the saga as Dragons, which looks at other humans becoming a rider.
Rescue Riders is a pre-school non-canonical oriented version where each episode essentially teaches kids a solid core of values. It’s not a series for everyone. The Nine Realms is a modern-day take geared for the tween crowd. The latter is a decent watch as it puts the story in the present day. A comet crashed on Earth and created a fissure. Scientists are curious about what it has opened, and it’s literally a “Hidden World.”
This series synopsis says this latest is a continuation of HTTYD. There are a few nods, but I’m fairly sure none of the heroes here are reincarnations of Hiccup and crew. There’s a different dynamic in this lot as the children here are from various cultural backgrounds. Tom Kullersen (Jeremy Shada) has Hiccup’s adventurous spirit and little else. Alexandra Gonzales (Aimee Garcia) is nothing like Astrid; she’s a total tech geek. D’Angelo (Marcus Scribner) Baker is the muscle and Jun Wong (Ashley Liao) a wannabe mystic.
The first six episodes introduce the group more so than setting up any ongoing conflict. Hopefully, more gets released sooner than later. The mystery is more about what secrets an inner earth contains? Why are there dragons? It’s not because they’ve been hidden away. These reptiles wandered to this gaping hole; Thunder, a Night Light (descendent of Toothless and Light Fury) was one of the first explorers, and much like his great great great grandad, gets his tail wing hurt. Thankfully, his injury is not as bad’.
Plowhorn is a Gembreaker class dragon, and is the runt of her litter. After a huge scrape with her clan rejecting her, she takes D’Angelo as her companion. The rest of the Thunder’s kin find and bond with their mutual humans, and that’s where the first group of episodes end. We know little about what the adults studying the rock discovered; it’s like they are waiting for things to happen rather than sending expeditions down.
Had they braved the heat and steam, they’d find crystals and dragons. Those captured reptiles would be studied. That wouldn’t make for much of a tale unless the writers take a cue from del Toro’s Shape of Water. But until we get a villain in this series, all we have is half a narrative about how to keep a dragon from scaring a world that’s forgotten them.
3 Stars out of 5