TV Review: ‘Trollhunters’
Trollhunters is an adaptation of a novel of the same name created by Daniel Kraus and director Guillermo del Toro. It was picked up by Dreamworks with del Toro at the helm, and made available exclusively on Netflix.
The show tells the story of Jim Lake (voiced by the late Anton Yelchin), a teenager who has a lot going on, like schoolwork, caring for a busy mother, and navigating the social ins-and-outs of teenagerdom. He adds one more thing to his plate, when a mystical amulet calls out his name. When reading the amulet’s inscription, Jim is transformed into the “trollhunter”, a predestined warrior tasked with defending good trolls from the evil that threatens their way of life. He is sucked into a whole new, previously-hidden world and forced to become the hero he was always meant to be.
Along with being charming, funny, and great for the whole family, the show is stunning visually, which is really no surprise given the computer animation we’ve come to expect from Dreamworks. The colors and light explode off the screen—swirling cyan mists as Jim dons his armor, indigo and fuschia reflections playing off the characters’ faces as they enter the troll market, and the red and yellow glow of Gunmar’s blazing stare—they all suck you into the world of the trolls. While certainly more youthful, this also feel very “del Toro-esque” given his belief that color is a language and his employment of that innate language in his other films. The colors, just like the lovable characters, will speak to you.
Speaking of speaking, del Toro calls upon a couple of his favorite actors (Ron Perlman, Tom Hiddleston) to voice the characters, which makes the story feel all the more personal and dear. What’s more, he refused to replace Anton Yelchin’s voice after his passing, so the show not only stands on its own as a fantastic piece of art but serves as a salute to a wonderful actor taken from us all too soon.
Check out the first season of this wonderful fantasy on Netflix, which includes 26 episodes. Guaranteed, from the first episode, you’ll be sucked into the Trollhunters world just like Jim was, and pretty soon you’ll find yourself yearning for an amulet of your own.
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