I haven’t written anything about a western animated series in a long time. Ever since my piece on the third season of Voltron completely failed and never got any attention, I never had the will to do it. It’s not like there hasn’t been some western shows that I wanted to talk about. I mean, more Voltron has appeared on Netflix and will again soon, Star Wars Rebels has ended earlier this year, and I think people need to know about Wakfu. I still want to talk about these three things, but I just can’t see myself writing about those anytime soon. The Dragon Princes is a little different. Having watched all nine episodes on Netflix, I felt inspired to write about it. There are so many good things that I at least wanted to mention about it. Even if the whole thing is unoriginal on a lot of levels, it has a lot of charm to it. A lot of Avatar: The Last Airbender like charm.
So what is the show about? Well, it is a typical fantasy story about a small group of unworthy adventures going on a journey that will change everything. It’s just that the devil is in the details. The Dragon Prince’s world is split in half. The western half of the country is built from human kingdoms and the other half is the magical side filled with different kinds of elves. What keeps the two separated is a wall maintained by a dragon. At the beginning of this story, the latest dragon eggs was supposedly destroyed by human hands. This leads to moon elves that turn invisible during moonlight to assassinate the king of the country who was responsible. Through many mishaps, the king is killed, the dragon prince’s egg isn’t destroyed, and our two princes and the youngest elf assassin go on a journey to return the egg home to restore the hesitant peace the two sides have had for a while. Like I said, this is a classic and archetypal kind of story, but I really like how this one is executed for the most part.
I just love most of this show’s characters. The characterization is very Avatar: the last Airbender like. It’s especially obvious when one of the princes, whose name is Callum, isn’t good at anything but planning strategy and maybe even spell casting. He’s incredibly relatable and his goofiness never feels like it’s too much. The other prince, Ezran is the youngest member of the group, but he is the most grounded mentally and can talk to animals which makes a lot of sense to me. Those two are good, but I like the former elf assassin, Rayla, the best. She has a lot more to prove and has to discovery her own purpose even if she is completely awesome at everything but fails at executing things when she needs to. Like assassinating people. I also like that her character design is combination of Ahsoka from Star Wars: Clone Wars/Rebels and Asirpa from Golden Kamuy, two characters that I really like. There is a little bit of racism between Rayla and the two princes due to how each side views each other from legends and such, but it leaves as they get to know and trust each other. Their group chemistry is great. Maybe I should also mention that a lot of characters in this show are so fun and likeable (looking at you Soren and Claudia) except for the main villain. He’s a little too obvious, though the show knows that too.
So I think we should talk visuals. Those are this show’s weakest aspect because this show is purely cg. The models are great and the visuals are slightly lesser then land of the lustrous, which is really good. Land of the Lustrous is like a bench mark for everything cg right now, so anything that is slightly worse then that is alright in my book. There are some limitations that need to be mentioned though. For one thing, everything that can be simplified is. All the food that we’ve seen is baguettes and berries. A lot of things are like that when they don’t need to be detailed. Also, this show’s frame rate is slow. Maybe the program rendering this show couldn’t handle it, but the character’s walking animation and every movement that isn’t a fight scene is awkward. It took me an episode or two to get me to a point where I can look the show without it hurting my eyes. Massive weakness there.
I can’t give this show a complete rating right now, because what has appeared on Netflix is just the show’s first season. You know, that whole Avatar thing with this being the Book of the moon. Still, I liked this first season a lot. I hope it gets enough attention to be renewed, because there is so much potential in this show that needs to be explored. In nine episodes, The Dragon Prince has built such an interesting world with good characters that I want to see more of. Hopefully that can happen. That’s it for me. Thank you for looking at my ramblings. I doubt this post will get much attention, though. Maybe I will talk about Star Wars: Resistance when it airs soon as well.
Well shoot, I haven’t even seen this on my Netflix. I think Netflix is trying to curb my animation addiction or something by hiding everything I want to watch in the dark back corners.
It does look interesting. It is weird now that I’ve watch so much anime it can be hard for me to get into more of the CG heavy animations. However, if the story is good it shouldn’t matter too much!
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It did the same for me, because I had to search for it too. I guess it’s not popular enough to pop out of Netflix’s most forever site.
Also, that’s how I feel about visuals too.
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