Review of Dragons: The Nine Realms: How to Train Your Dragon jumps 1300 years

The core of How to Train Your Dragon trilogy is the fantasy of meeting a dragon who loves you and becomes its best friend. Unfortunately, locked in the Viking Age, that wish is just a pipe dream for kids who love dragons.

Except, the real How to Train Your Dragon movies do takes place in our own world instead of a fantasy world of the Viking Age, an idea that movies and subsequent shows have always espoused. However, a new animated show commits to that concept, leaping forward in 1,300 years time and following a group of modern-day teenagers. The fantasy of flying above dragons and sticking with them for life is more tangible than ever.

From John Tellegen, who has previously worked as a screenwriter on How to Train Your Dragon shows, Dragon Tales: The Nine Realms brings fantasy images of dragons into a contemporary setting. The first season of the new show feels more like an intro than anything else, but the idea will emerge with potential. And finally, Dragon Tales: The Nine Realms is exactly what it promises to be: some pure fun filled with childish whimsy.

[Ed. note: This review contains some spoilers for Dragons: The Nine Realms]

a black and white dragon curiously looking at the camera

Image: DreamWorks

How to Train Your Dragon movies ended with the dragons down to the hidden world, an abyss in the earth, when Hiccup and Toothless realize that dragons and humans can never share the world peacefully. From there, the show begins with Tom (Jeremy Shada), our unlucky and restless protagonist, who journeys to a rift in the earth’s crust with his scientist mother. At the research center dedicated to the rift, Tom meets several other children: the dreamer Jun (Ashley Liao), who believes in magic and the occult; animal lover D’Angelo (Marcus Scribner), a military kid who just wants to find friends and a home; and shy Alex (Aimee Garcia), a tech wizard who broke into the station’s computer for fun.

Tom stumbles into the rift, where he meets a curious black-and-white dragon – apparently the distant offspring of Toothless and Lightfury in the final film – and discovers a world of dragons, hidden from view human eye for thousands of years either. In the end, all the kids on the station learn about dragons, each looking for a different dragon to bond with.

One of the main differences between Nine Realms and the main trilogy (and even the other side shows) is that it’s more of a composite gig. While the main trilogy has a diverse cast, the focus has always been on the relationship between Hiccup and Toothless, with Astrid, Fishlegs, and other vikings and dragons reinforcing that main story. Not so in Nine Realms, where each kid gets a little time to shine with their dragons. D’Angelo explores his burgeoning veterinary skills, while Tom brings his fridge stuff out to try and figure out what kind of food Thunder wants to eat (turns out, dragons are like fish sticks) Frozen).

a girl in pigtails gently holding the head of a large-eyed turquoise dragon

Image: DreamWorks

While the variety of characters is impressive, the character design itself isn’t quite. The cartoon is on par with other CG DreamWorks TV productions – that is to say, not nearly as polished as the theatrical films. A TV show won’t have the same budget as a movie, and it won’t be as sophisticated either. But the stark distinction is frustrating for more discerning viewers, especially when DreamWorks’ traditional animated TV projects, like Kipo and Wonderbeasts and She-Ra and the powerful princesses, without the same loss of quality. While the kids more or less didn’t like the design (albeit a bit generic), some adults – especially Jun’s mom and D’Angelo’s dad – had oddly animated proportions along with textured textures. Weird realistic textures look particularly contrasting.

Despite everything, the characters are charming. Most of the six episodes are devoted to setting, introducing each child to each dragon and building the event. The show starts with Tom meeting Thunder and each subsequent episode pulls a new kid into the group with a logical progression in the group. Tom and Jun have known each other since they were children, so she learns about the next dragons and so on and so forth. It’s formulaic, but the encounters are fun – each dragon reflects each child in a way, and each child has to look a little inward before really connecting with their dragons. It gives the cast surprising depth in just a few episodes. There’s just something lingering charm about seeing fearsome dragons curled up like cats and dogs when they’re warm to the right people, and Nine Realms that has-cute encounter-again, each feeling both warm and fuzzy.

Other than dragons, there are few connections Nine Realms for original movies and older shows. There are some elements that are troubled here and there, as well as other plot points – like the clash between Tom and his mother’s passion for discovery for the sake of exploration over a desire to make a profit. of the research institution – it feels like building blocks into something bigger. The show never quite finished until that point, though it does try to introduce higher stakes in the final episode, after mysterious earthquakes threaten the future of the research station. Nine Realms“The pacing always feels off-kilter, as there are only six episodes to set things up. Instead of focusing on exploration and exploration, the final episode formalizes a threat that can come into play with some. six half-hour episodes isn’t too much considering what the show could be, but with those limitations, Nine Realms managed to create a promising introduction to something bigger.

Dragon Tales: The Nine Realms streaming on Peacock and Hulu The current.

https://www.polygon.com/22850295/dragons-the-nine-realms-review-hulu-peacock-how-to-train-movies Review of Dragons: The Nine Realms: How to Train Your Dragon jumps 1300 years

Aila Slisco

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