I did not plan on watching “Trollhunters.”
But browsing through Netflix and seeing names like Guillermo del Toro, Kelsey Grammer and the late Anton Yelchin attached, I thought it would a good way to distract myself for 20 minutes.
Before I knew it I was hooked.
“Trollhunters” is a superhero-fantasy animated children’s (but not exclusively for children) television show. It starts off with the cliche normal boy who’s given a magical amulet that helps him fight trolls in his city of Arcadia. He protects both trolls and humans from danger with the help of his friends (troll and human alike), while still trying to pass algebra. Sort of like Thor meets Spider-Man meets “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”
While the initial plot seems formulaic, as the episodes progress the story and characters grow deeper and richer. Del Toro creates a whole world worth exploring. It also doesn’t shy away from being too soft on characters as they face real stakes and dangers. Almost every episode ends on some kind of cliffhanger.
Characters are a little cookie-cutter, but soon you grow to love them and become invested in their relationships to each other. It’s also humorous to watch trolls and humans learn of each other’s worlds — a process fraught with misunderstanding of customs and traditions.
The animators have created a dazzling troll world, complete with varied troll species and bright colors, as well as dark places and villains. There are a few times where the animation seems a little crude, but most of the time it views more like a feature film (thanks to the help of DreamWorks) than cheap cartoons.
If you are looking for a Netflix show the whole family can enjoy, you can end your search and start your adventure with “Trollhunters.”