TrollHunters is a TV show created for Netflix by famed director Guillermo del Toro and produced by DreamWorks Animation. Guillermo del Toro is perhaps best known for his work on the Hellboy series and Pans Labyrinth, with more recent fans recognizing his direction on the science fiction epic Pacific Rim. TrollHunters Part 1 was released on Netflix on December 23rd and consists of 23 half hour episodes. The overall story of TrollHunters follows Jim Lake Jr. as he is bestowed with the power and title of Troll Hunter, a guardian of the troll kingdom, and one of the first humans to ever be granted this powerful position.
The release of TrollHunters is somewhat bittersweet as it is the final role for actor Anton Yelchin before he was tragically killed this year. Yelchin delivers a great voice performance as the main hero “Jim Lake Jr. The cast also includes Kelsey Grammer as Blinky a friendly Troll, and Ron Perlman and Steven Yeun. At first glance it’s hard to tell who the intended audience is for Trollhunters, as it is very child friendly but then also includes scenes of high drama and more adult action.
This is not a bad thing as it allows for both younger audiences to enjoy the series with adults. The series does a good job of fleshing out the world the characters live in. By the end of the first episode the viewer is shown who the villain is, is introduced to the main characters and is briefly shown the “rules” of this new world. One thing that stood out was the high school characters, while a few stereotypes exist, for the most part the characters are all very likable. The relationship between Jim Lake Jr. and his mother is very sweet as it shows that living by themselves they have to depend on each other. The positive relationship between mother and son was something surprising and refreshing as it is often missing or replaced by a more antagonistic one in most shows.
The animation for TrollHunters is top notch, there is nothing cheap about the show, with it often times looking more like a movie then a TV show. The show did a good job selling the whimsical and sometimes scary world that was hiding beneath our heroes’ hometown. The action is also very well done and sells the danger and excitement in the fight between good and evil. The show touches upon more mature themes as well, in the first few minutes of the show the original Troll Hunter guardian gives up his life to protect the amulet (The source of the guardian’s power) by deliberately falling into the sunlight. The moment is very sobering as it shows the high stakes of the narrative and how far the heroes will have to go to stop the forces of evil.
Overall TrollHunters is fun, scary, exciting and full of surprises, a well-acted, well written, and well produced fantasy adventure from the master of fantasy Guillermo del Toro. If you are looking for a fun escape for a few hours then TrollHunters will provide you it for you in spades.