Netflixing: Trollhunters

in tv •  last year 

Every few years, something interesting happens in the world of cartoons.

And, in this case, I do mean cartoons, not animation in general. Specifically, I am talking about animated television shows that are marketed to children. I am not talking about animated movies, such as those that made Disney famous. And I am not talking about animated shows for adults, such as Futurama or Rick and Morty.

Every few years, a recurring event happens among these cartoons. And it does not have a rational explanation.

Eternal Rebirth

Like the rising and setting of the sun, the world of cartoons goes through a neverending series of cycles, where something special emerges, sparkles, and, just as suddenly, disappears, only to return in a new form when the next cycle begins.

I am of course referring to the phenomenon of the well-written cartoon adventure serial.

These have continually come and gone since before my time. The first time I noticed the phenomenon was back in the 1990s. Specifically, I have encountered four that fit the criteria:

  1. Gargoyles (1994-1997)
  2. Jackie Chan Adventures (2000-2005)
  3. Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005-2008)
  4. Trollhunters (2016-present).
I believe these to be the only four that have appeared since the 90s. Other, similar shows have of course come and gone over the same stretch of time (Gravity Falls almost makes the list), but those lack the common spirit and qualities that punctuate the above four, including
  • They are primarily marketed toward children, but are not comedies.
  • Despite being so marketed, priority is given to telling a cohesive and interesting story, without continually falling back on mindless action.
  • They employ a degree of mystery and drama.
  • They are highly serialized and non-episodic in nature.
  • A large share of the show's runtime is devoted exclusively to the villains, whose character arcs and personal growth are just as vital to the story as what the heroes are doing.
Like the journey of Ra through the underworld, this same soul continues to reemerge in the cartoon landscape, wearing a new face with each of its incarnations.

Which brings us to the subject of today's review: the current incarnation, in the form of Trollhunters.

A Name and a Face

The full name of this show is Dreamworks' Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia, by Guillermo del Toro. If you want to make it even more elaborate, you can add "A Netflix Exclusive" to the end of that title.

So let's just call it Trollhunters, just like everyone else does.

But the full title is revealing in two important ways. It reveals the company behind the show and also one of the creative minds behind it. Dreamworks Animation is known to tread, occasionally, on more serious and non-sentimental ground than its Disney-owned counterpart. And Guillermo del Toro is known as a creator who lavishes the neglected corners of mythology with a modern sensibility.

And both of those qualities are present in Trollhunters. The word "synergy" is often overused, but there is no doubt that the various talents working on this show have amplified and complemented each other to the point of force multiplication.

I don't know much about what goes on behind the scenes with Trollhunters, but I can tell you one thing: the show's team is probably a great place to work. Because only a harmonious team could have made something this seamless.

The Story

Honestly, the central plot is likely the weakest part of the show. It's a typical "chosen one" story, complete with a Green Lantern Ring Magic Troll Amulet passed down from one chosen one to the next.

But the plot is only one facet of the show's multidimensional story, which includes fully realized characters, an interesting setting that is faithful to its own rules, and moments of genuine emotion, including instances meant to trouble and challenge the viewer.

Add in a solid backdrop of Celtic, Scandinavian, and Russian mythology, as well as some Arthurian lore, and you have a story that feels like part of a much bigger heritage than what you see on screen.

To summarize:

Once upon a time in Arcadia, California, a young man discovers that a secret world of trolls, gnomes, and goblins exists far beneath the feet of human civilization.

Centuries before, an army of evil trolls was sealed away, and now the young man is at the center of a great conflict between those who would free the imprisoned army and those who would forever keep them from returning.

As he begins to fight for the safety of both troll and human worlds, he and those closest to him are targeted. Protecting them from harm while also protecting them from the truth becomes the source of all drama in his life.

The Characters

The two-world aspect of the show's story lends itself to a similar dichotomy of characters. The cast is divided between trolls and humans, and each group contributes to the central conflict in different ways.

The Humans

The show revolves around a trio of human heroes, in the form of Jim, the aforementioned chosen one who carries the magic amulet, his best friend Toby, who primarily supports him with his quick wits and devil-may-care attitude, and Claire, the love interest who tempers the other two with her level-headedness, quick reflexes, and unflinching determination.

Human antagonists include Steve, the school bully, who is only a shallow stereotype of a character until he's not, as well as an assortment of high school teachers, who neither know nor appreciate how hard Jim works to keep their world safe. Jim's mother also butts heads with him, as her primary concern---securing the safety of her son---is at odds with his imminent destiny.

The Trolls

On the heroic side, the trolls serve as mentors and guardians to the human characters.

Blinky is the scholar and expert in all matters concerning the amulet and the chosen Troll Hunter.

AAARRRGGHH!!! is the gentle giant and complete pacifist who lends moral support to the team, despite a shady history.

Draal is the fierce warrior and hotheaded jealous type who resents Jim for being chosen, but who helps him anyway.

The villains ranked among the trolls include Gunmar, the king of the imprisoned army of evil trolls, and Angor Rot, an ancient troll sorcerer who is only looking out for his own interests and will attack both heroes and villains to obtain his desire.

The Changelings

Though Trollhunters is nearly the typical "chosen one" story, it manages to break away from the cliche in a few key respects, and perhaps the most important of these is the presence of a secondary class of villains, in the form of the changelings.

In celtic mythology, changelings were fairies who would replace a kidnapped child from a human family. A changeling would live among humans until it was discovered, as it always would be, since, being a fairy, it never grew bigger or older.

Changelings are much the same in Trollhunters, with one key difference: in this show, the changelings have the ability to grow older, meaning that their host families never discover their true nature. These troll spies eventually infiltrate their way into every level of human society, including politics, education, science, and industry.

Their inclusion causes Trollhunters to have a subtle Invasion of the Body Snatchers vibe. The changelings are pod people---perfectly resembling your friends and neighbors, but with a deadly secret.

Gnome Chompsky

This one is just too good to pass up. The name alone would make him worthy of his own entry.

Chompsky is Toby's pet gnome, whom he befriends after finding he doesn't have the heart to kill the little guy. Chompsky is a kleptomaniac and a psychopath, who does not hesitate to resort to violence. His small stature allows him to be useful to the heroes in a number of situations. But mostly he is just a hedonist who enjoys living in a doll house with his action-figure wife.

My Judgment

Outside of anime, Trollhunters is the best serialized cartoon on Netflix. It is both whimsical and dark, but always an adventure. The miracle of modern streaming allows you to watch all the episodes in order without missing a single installment.

It's blend of mythic themes, sophisticated plots and character arcs, and subtle depth make it a must watch...unlike that other Dreamworks-produced, Netflix-exclusive, troll-related cartoon.

I propose a crossover episode where Jim and friends do a little Trolls-hunting, if you know what I mean.

Two seasons of Trollhunters are currently on Netflix, and the third season drops later this month. Be sure to get caught up before that happens.

Previous entries in the Netflixing series:

Past Years

TV Shows

  • Round Planet
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Season 3
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events, Season 2
  • Kakegurui
  • Planet Earth II
  • Fullmetal Alchemist
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Season 2
  • Revolting Rhymes
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Season 1
  • The Polka King
  • Little Witch Academia
  • Movies

  • The Iron Giant
  • Jaws
  • Phantom Boy
  • The Boss Baby
  • Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
  • Strictly Ballroom
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    @talanhorne sir...
    We watched the first few episodes with our oldest son and my husband even commented that it was a cool show. Then came an episode where there was a witch-like troll who kept talking about taking someone's soul. That's when I had my son turn it off. We won't allow our children to watch something that makes light of very real evil that exists.
    Wel done sir...

    Oh, come now. You know that witches aren't real, right?

    I have never seen #Trollhunters, but you can see that their graphics are great I have to see their story

    Awesome , i do love cartoon also because they have alot more different from movies stuff,i havent seen trollhunters (but will see it soon as you describe is gonna be a worth watching).
    I have seen full meta Alchemist that is totally out of the box, loved it tooo much...cant get that cartoon out of my head...

      ·  last year (edited)

    Animated cartoon series is not only choice of children... But also I like to see cartoons series in Netflix.... It’s a great review of Trollhunters .... your Netflix review always inspired me to see the animated tv series.... thanks for sharing ....really it’s an excellent review....

    Nice artikel,

    Excellent review, my friend, Trollhunters an interesting film about the trolls and you are right, the plot is very adventure! Thank you @talanhorne

    This reminds me "How to Train Your Dragon" TV series! If I am not mistaken Berk or something like that!
    You made a great review and I am a big fan of Berk! So I will try to find this TV series and I hope I could allocate a time to watch it! Thanks Dude!


    impressive writing & very interesting story. @talanhorne

    reteemed & upvoted

    this is very interesting, i like.

    That would be glorious cartoon movie. I like animation looking part there. Better explained by you @talanhorne.

    Good judgement & keep story teller type to describe the story. A professional writing.

    Mr. Magoo

    Excellent tv series, Great post. @talanhorne


    Wonderful post sir.
    Upvote and resteem

    Great review of Trollhunters! In your review you also mentioned Avatar, which is one of my favorite movies. I can’t wait to see another one in 2020. I know the one you mentioned is a bit diferent, I mean a lot diferent. It’s a Avatar: The Last Airbender, but still just the name reminded me my favorite movie. Once again Great review! Seems like you finaly found cartoon worth to watch.

    Yes dear you are right .it's true and you are great writer

    @talanhorne, Trollhunters being better movie of Netflix series. You introduce it awesomely using better writing skills. Brilliant effort.

    good job @talanhorne!!

    Meanwhile, in a cave just outside Yuckylake, Earlobe Boglewax starts to suspect that eating children is wrong, and grows tired of hunting with his fellow trolls. He decides to live as a vegetarian.

    After a brief misunderstanding involving a little finger and lashings of ketchup, Graham and Earlobe team up to stop the trolls, using a catapult that fires cucumbers. They lure the trolls by creating a big mound of earwax.

    ...Because only a harmonious team could have made something this seamless.

    Even though I don’t watch cartoons much, your review of Trollhunters sounds like a good series of Netflix to watch, especially for children when you hear “once upon a time...”. This phrase always taken me in my childhood.

    In reality, there is not much to say about Troll Hunters. If you are a fan of Guillermo Del Toro, you will love to dive into his universe and discover a series of animation Dreamworks that is successful both in terms of the scenario, as animation worthy of what the studio does for the cinema. The story is interesting, the universe too, the characters are very well developed, and we discover a thrilling adventure with a touch of humor. A first part that must be discovered.

    excellent post this is really great to read awesome post

    Thanks for the frank good review, my children are happy to watch this cartoon. And I also heard that the third is being prepared, so on Netflix del Toro will have its own animation universe.

    I remember those childhood days when I used to watch a lot of cartoons, that time cartoons were quite different and this time cartoons are at a new level. I would say technology. Avatar is one of the best movie I have watched till date.

    this is really beautiful so nicely written you shared every aspect of it :)

    Great TV series . wonderful experience @talanhorne

    For your post propagation.

    This post very interesting,my dear friend @talanhorne,This is significant post and superb written work with ideally television arrangement .much obliged for sharing with us,U5dtHMWN4d1MSpniLddTt1H6bgCsy4i.gif

    now that's trolling on another level it would be fun i think

    This is significant post and superb written work with ideally television arrangement .much obliged for sharing.

    Upvote Resteem

    I'm not a cartoon big fan. But after read your summery of this movie happened some interesting condition. But I've never watch this. I have passion to watch it. Explained perfect @talanhorne.

    thanks for bringing this review was waiting for your post on this one :)

    this is new and great for kids

    Congratulations @talanhorne
    Now you are in the MinnowsPower Loyalty Member List...!!!

    Exceptional writing & review of Trollhunters...!!!

    100% Upvoted by @MinnowsPower

    Being an animation lover i think i need to watch this one

    Hello @talanhorne,

    Extraordinary good review of the TV series Trollhunters. Incredible Judgment you provided at the end.


    Always best part netflexing channel.
    Wonderful writing and
    Great sharing .
    #upvote and #resteem.
    I like cartoon

    This is valuable post. very Netflixing movies and good think.
    Have a great day.

    OMG.... really this series makes my amaged.
    Every innovation modifying for the another part...
    great to see your postgiphy.gif

    This is intriguing TV course of action and exceptional work.And you are extraordinary at creating articles.

    100% like and resteem

      ·  last year (edited)

    Wow...this post very interesting,my dear friend @talanhorne,This is significant post and superb written work with ideally television arrangement..much obliged for sharing with us,..U5drTR6ynAhBUHSUtrpxtMx9HLcKkgn_1680x8400.jpeg #resteem done

    This is valuable post and excellent writing with hopefully tv series .thanks for sharing.
    Upvote Resteem

      ·  last year Reveal Comment

    @talanhorne - Sir I watched the Trolls animation movie... But I didn't hear this before... Excellent review Sir... I'll watch this TV Series... Nice you decided to review it...


    this is going to be fun as it looks to be from the post wonderful post

    Wow! Awesome post sir.
    I will definitely watch this movie in summer vacations. 🤗💙
    This is a best serialized cartoon on Netflix.
    It seems adventurous.
    I like the story.
    I really love your post.

    Thanks @talanhorne sir for sharing this post.

    Upvoted + resteemed your post.

    Outstanding movie review. Most awesome cartoon characters indeed nice movie to me. I don't like some parts here. But description much better @talanhorne.

    This is very interesting article and this is a great netflix.thanks for sharing.

    Resteem Service

    for your efforts. it is interesting tv series and great work.And you are very good at writing articles.
    100% like and resteem

    Fabulous post @talanhorne
    Upvote and resteem your post

    Excellent review & well described. Good post

    Excellent post on this seems like the weekend is about to get lit

    Excellent TV Series review & summarized your conclusion. Brilliant article.

    That's the kind of animation and story line i would love to see thanks for sharing your review bro :)

    lot of emotions in between making it the finest closely thanks for sharing

    Wow, good articel sir

    @talanhorne sir...
    I'm really like this story...This seemed to be a great family story and I am normally not over sensitive but was absolutely stunned at the satanic "hero" characters a few episodes down the line. This series looks like a blatant aim to familiarize young kids with satanic simbols and even show them as the leaders of the "good side". If you are a concerned parent and don't want your kids to learn that lucifarian symbols are "part of the good guys", stay away. I cannot believe that netflix actualy air this series, but on the other side, do they really care about our kids? Stay awake fellow parents, and please keep on sharing what you think.
    Wel.done and perfect work sir...
    Good luck...

    I am unsure how to respond.

    Being familiar with a wide variety of religious symbols, motifs, and signage, I was unable to identify any satanic references within the show. And it's certainly the kind of thing I would notice.

    Dude... I absolutely loved Gargoyles when I was a kid... Trollhunters is my son's favorite show (he is almost 2). He likes to watch it over and over again, so we play it for him in different languages. All of the Netflix originals are in many different languages, and I am hoping that he will pick up on many of them.

    @talanhorne sir...
    I really regret I let my child watch this 7+ rated program according to Netflix. Stunned by the satanic stuff inside it I googled it, trying to understand who on earth could find it ok to inject this sick imaginary into children. That's when I realized it was made by Guillermo Del Toro, author of Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth, Devil's backbone, Blade II. Summonings, evil character beheaded, evil character removing its eye, self mutilating itself, LSD-like scene with psychedelic music... I loved dreamworks' stuff with Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and more, but here we are clearly dealing with something else.

    I'm afraid there is some kind of miscommunication going on here.

    Trollhunters does not contain any satanic messages or imagery. As a long-time student of religious symbolism, I can find nothing objectionable about the show.

    Nice article buddy @talanhorne
    Thanks for sharing your review. Iwill give a try.

    cool cartoon movie The Boss Baby.

    images (1).jpg


    Looks cool man
    The cartoons that are on TV in India today are so bad that I feel pity for the kids.

    posting very interesting my friend .. hope you are healthy always

    really you showing very great tv series... I i like to see cartoons series in Netflix.... It’s a great review of Trollhunters .... your Netflix review always inspired me to see the animated tv series.... thanks for sharing ....really it’s an excellent review.... @talanhorne

      ·  last year (edited)

    this post very interesting,my dear friend @talanhorne,This is significant post and superb written work with ideally television arrangement .much obliged for sharing with us,

    They want to play with children's minds
    So that they will cast down a failed generation
    One of the most damaging effects of this money money is that it has spread autism in children significantly
    An empty girl suffers from this reaction and is 4 years old
    Because of the animation

    I'm afraid we are not on the same page here.

    Money causes autism, because of animation? I cannot allow such a statement to go unchallenged.

    Animated shows, such as Trollhunters, are a delight. And as for the causes of autism, most research seems to point to heredity. Neither money nor TV shows cause it.

    my luck i have watched this movie and i love with this movie all character are so good

    That's excellently writing about animation movie @talanhorne. I appreciate your fulfill effort. I didn't watch this yet but see now nice description.

    very cute friend, i like

    upvote and resteemed done

    this seems to be interesting!
    after this review ,i think it is worth watching
    bdw this is perfect review

    for the first time i see it...


    excellent post about trollhunter dear.. i @upvoted

    great article dear.. @upvote done

    fantastic animationtumblr_okpa978owK1w261zoo1_540.gif


    An ordinary boy finds a magic amulet that turns him into the next Troll Hunter; the champion of both the hidden world of Trolls and his own.

    Very cute friend, i like..U5dtXYp8mpMXQNxZDAEADmzSmWjDJe6_1680x8400.jpeg

    upvote and resteem @talanhorne

      ·  last year (edited)

    I was looking for something to do because I have plenty of free time, I've finished Bojack horseman and I think I'll add this Trollhunters on my list to watch later.

    Your review attracted me a lot and caused me a lot of curiosity, I hope not to regret ahahaha

    Good post.

    upvote and resteem done your post sir


    That would be sublime toon motion picture. I like activity looking part there. Better clarified by you @talanhorne.

    This is exceptionally intriguing article and this is an extraordinary netflix.thanks for sharing.

    Wo,,Amazing post sir,,,
    Thanks for sharing this life..
    I appreciate your blog ,,
    @upvote and resteemit done sir,,,

    Stunning post sir. A debt of gratitude is in order for sharing this life. I value your blog. @upvote and resteemit done

    Dayum, it seems plenty interesting! It seems I have been way too disconnected. I have not noticed this since 2016, you say?

    Round characters, an educated approach to the backstory, very nice graphics, it seems quite mature for a children's show! I'll have to look it up now to watch a few episodes at least.

    This is a very interesting and thorough review :) <3

    I agree with you completely @talanhorne, the Trollhunters movie differs from many excellent graphics and a very interesting story!

    I really liked your review. Everything is clear and clear, all the pluss and minuses of the cartoon. I saw the advertisement for this film, but did not watch. Now I'm sure I will not miss it. Thank you interesting post.

    Sir really interesting post .I impressed of your post ...thanks for share this post. Sir

    Looks really wonderful such a cool and fantastic architectural design :)

    I like cartoon movie.
    Netflixing one of best site entertainment
    Wonderful sharing @talanhorne

    Excellent post,,,,
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    superb assessment of Trollhunters! for your evaluation you furthermore may cited Avatar, that is certainly one of my preferred films. i'm able to’t wait to peer some other one in 2020. I understand the only you stated is a chunk diferent, I suggest plenty diferent. It’s a Avatar: The final Airbender, however nonetheless just the call jogged my memory my preferred film. all over again brilliant evaluate! looks as if you finaly located cool animated film really worth to look at.

    great post. keep it up...

    Trollhunters is amazing sir you are the best content creator when it comes to netflix have a great day sir.

    Excellent one for kids sir @talanhorne

    your review is making me motivated to watch those cartoons.

    Cheers ~~

    one of the great reviews out there till now thanks for sharing it bro

    Wow this is amazing sir you are unofficial brand ambasidor for netflix great job sir once again.