- “An ordinary teen. An ancient relic pulled from the rubble. And an underground civilization that needs a hero.”
- ―Netflix Synopsis
Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia (or simply Trollhunters) is a Netflix original series created by Guillermo Del Toro, produced by DreamWorks Animation and Double Dare You. It is the first installment in the Tales of Arcadia franchise, followed by 3Below and Wizards.
The first two episodes premiered on October 6th, 2016, before Part One was released on December 23rd, 2016.
Part Two was released on December 15th, 2017.
Part Three was released on May 25th, 2018.
The series's original film, Rise of the Titans, is set to be released in early 2021.
From the limitless imagination of acclaimed filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro comes a tale of two worlds set to collide in the epic saga DreamWorks Trollhunters. When ordinary teenager Jim Lake Jr. stumbles upon a mystical amulet on his way to school one morning, he inadvertently discovers an extraordinary secret civilization of mighty trolls beneath his small town of Arcadia. Suddenly destined to play a crucial role in an ancient battle of good and evil, Jim is determined to save the world – right after his gym class.
- Anton Yelchin (Parts 1-3) and Emile Hirsch (Part 3) as Jim Lake Jr.
- Charlie Saxton as Toby Domzalski
- Lexi Medrano as Claire Nuñez
- Kelsey Grammer as Blinky Galadrigal
- Fred Tatasciore as AAARRRGGHH!!!, Señor Uhl, Bagdwella, and Gatto
- Matthew Waterson as Draal the Deadly
- Jimmie Wood as NotEnrique
- Ron Perlman as Bular
- Steven Yeun as Steve Palchuk
- Jonathan Hyde as Mr. Strickler
- Amy Landecker as Barbara Lake
- Victor Raider-Wexler as Vendel
- Anjelica Huston as Queen Usurna
- Grey Griffin as Queen Wumpa, Glug, Bork, and Victoria
- Tom Hiddleston (Part 1, Episode 1) and James Purefoy as Kanjigar the Courageous
- Lauren Tom as Nomura and Mary Wang
- Yara Shahidi as Darci Scott
- Cole Sand as Eli Pepperjack
- Ike Amadi as Angor Rot and Detective Scott
- Clancy Brown as Gunmar
- Thomas F. Wilson as Coach Lawrence
- Laraine Newman as Nana Domzalski and Lenora Janeth
- Guillermo Del Toro as Dr. Muelas
- Andrea Navedo as Councilwoman Nuñez
- Bebe Wood as Shannon Longhannon
- Mark Hamill as Dictatious Galadrigal
- Tom Kenny as Otto Scaarbach, Officer Brennan, Javier Nuñez, and Gut
- Brook Chalmers as Rot
- Melanie Paxson as Gladys Groe
- Frank Welker as Goblins and Fragwa
- Lena Headey as Morgana
- David Bradley as Merlin
- Tatiana Maslany as Aja
- Diego Luna as Krel
- Colin O'Donoghue as Douxie
See full cast at IMDB here
- Main article: List of Trollhunters episodes
- The series was adapted from the 2015 horror-fantasy novel Trollhunters, written by Daniel Kraus and Guillermo Del Toro.
- Trollhunters was originally planned to be a feature film. However, DreamWorks ultimately decided to turn it into a series instead, due to being unable to cram an entire story into one movie, and later expand it into a trilogy called Tales of Arcadia.
- It was also originally planned to be live action, but due to budget concerns, they settled with it being CGI animated instead.
- It is later announced that an upcoming feature film titled Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans is set to be released in 2021, which will be the grand finale of the saga.
- Currently, Trollhunters has the most seasons (3) and most episodes (52) out of all the installments released.
- Trollhunters provides to be a good example of the classic story structure "The Hero's Journey", established by Joseph Campbell. It refers to a wide-ranging category of tales in which a character ventures out to get what they need, faces conflict, and ultimately triumphs over adversity. The following steps correspond to the following moments in the series (as there are various depictions of the Hero's Journey). The following uses the 12-step example:
- Ordinary World: Jim Lake Jr. is living a typically average teenage life in Arcadia Oaks
- Call to Action: Jim discovers the Amulet of Daylight in the canal, thus becoming chosen to be the very first human Trollhunter
- Refusal of the Call: Jim attempts to rid himself of the amulet, but with no success as it is permanently bonded to him and he cannot refuse the mantle
- Meeting the Mentor: Jim is properly introduced to Blinky and AAARRRGGHH!!!
- While regarding how the cycle of the Hero's Journey is traditionally depicted, the third and fourth steps are admittedly out of order. In this case, Jim first meets his mentors BEFORE he tries to refuse the call.
- Crossing the Threshold: Jim visits Heartstone Trollmarket for the first time and eventually (and formally) accepts his role as the new Trollhunter
- Tests, Allies, and Enemies: Jim's various encounters with many conflicts, obstacles, and challenges he would intentionally/unintentionally bring some trouble from the magical world to the human world, all while facing off against numerous monsters, creatures, and antagonists (Bular, Stricklander, Angor Rot, Gunmar, Morgana, etc.), as well as expanding his list of friends/allies (Toby, Claire, Blinky, AAARRRGGHH!!!, Draal, Vendel, Gnome Chompsky, NotEnrique, etc.)
- Approach to the Inmost Cave: Jim encountering Merlin in his tomb while learning more about the latter's dark apprentice, Morgana, and how she was the one who orchestrated the strife and deception between mankind and trollkind that led to Gunmar's birth.
- Ordeal, Death, and Rebirth: Jim's ultimate decision regarding his transformation into a human-troll hybrid (practically facing his deepest fear of losing his humanity and sacrificing his place in the human world to ensure the safety of both worlds, as well as his loved ones)
- Reward (Seizing the Sword): Jim coming into terms and accepts his newfound powers and that, while his old life may indeed be over, he can still live a new life as a true Trollhunter
- The Road Back: With his new form, Jim faces off Gunmar in Arcadia when the Eternal Night begins
- Resurrection: Team Trollhunters and a reformed Angor Rot defeat Morgana while Merlin regains his magic, ending the Eternal Night War
- Return with the Elixir: Jim sets off to New Jersey with the trolls, Blinky, Nomura, and Claire, but promises to return to Arcadia someday
- According to Aaron Waltke, there was a multitude of content the crew wanted to include in the series, but couldn't find a way to work into the final product. These include:
- Every episode was going to involve traveling to a different troll world (e.g. Quagawumps, Gatto, etc.)
- There was going to be an entire episode dedicated to Claire’s parents realizing the truth that NotEnrique was freeloading in their house for so long.