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Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia
Trollhunters poster.jpg
Promotional poster for its first season
Genre Adventure
Created by Guillermo del Toro
Based on
Written byGuillermo del Toro
Marc Guggenheim
Kevin Hageman
Dan Hageman
Aaron Waltke
Chad Quandt
A.C. Bradley
Voices of
Theme music composer Alexandre Desplat
Composer(s) Tim Davies
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes52 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)Rodrigo Blaas [1]
Guillermo del Toro
Marc Guggenheim
Kevin Hageman
Dan Hageman
Christina Steinberg
Producer(s)Chad Hammes
Running time23 minutes
Production company(s)Double Dare You Productions
DreamWorks Animation Television
Original network Netflix
Original releaseDecember 23, 2016 – May 25, 2018
Followed by 3 Below
External links

Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia is an American computer-animated fantasy television series created for Netflix by Guillermo del Toro and produced by DreamWorks Animation and Double Dare You Productions. [2] It follows the story of James Lake Jr., a teenage boy who finds a mysterious amulet and stumbles across a secret realm inhabited by trolls and other magical creatures. Soon afterward, he and his friends are charged with protecting our world from the dangerous monsters that lurk in the shadows of their small suburban town.

Fantasy genre of literature, film, television and other artforms

Fantasy is a genre of speculative fiction set in a fictional universe, often inspired by real world myth and folklore. Its roots are in oral traditions, which then became literature and drama. From the twentieth century it has expanded further into various media, including film, television, graphic novels and video games.

Netflix American multinational entertainment company

Netflix, Inc. is an American media-services provider headquartered in Los Gatos, California, founded in 1997 by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph in Scotts Valley, California. The company's primary business is its subscription-based streaming OTT service which offers online streaming of a library of films and television programs, including those produced in-house. As of January 2019, Netflix had over 139 million paid subscriptions worldwide, including 58.49 million in the United States, and over 148 million subscriptions total including free trials. It is available almost worldwide except in mainland China, Syria, North Korea, Iran, and Crimea. The company also has offices in the Netherlands, Brazil, India, Japan, and South Korea. Netflix is a member of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

Guillermo del Toro Mexican film director

Guillermo del Toro Gómez is a Mexican filmmaker, author, actor, and former special effects makeup artist. He is best known for the Academy Award-winning fantasy films Pan's Labyrinth (2006) and The Shape of Water (2017), winning the Academy Award for Best Director and the Academy Award for Best Picture for the latter.


The first two episodes of the series premiered on October 8, 2016, at the New York Comic Con. [1] [3] The first season was released worldwide on Netflix on December 23, 2016. [4] The second season premiered on December 15, 2017, [5] [6] and the third and final season premiered on May 25, 2018. [7] [8]

New York Comic Con annual New York City fan convention

The New York Comic Con is an annual New York City fan convention dedicated to Western comics, graphic novels, anime, manga, video games, cosplay, toys, movies, and television. It was first held in 2006.

Since its release, Trollhunters has been widely praised as an ambitious and boundary-pushing animated series, with Filmink's Travis Johnson calling it "...the best children’s animation to come along since Avatar: The Last Airbender ." [9] The series was nominated for nine Daytime Emmy Awards in 2017, winning more than any other animated or live-action television program that year. [10] In its first two seasons, it has also received or been nominated for several Annie Awards, Kidscreen Awards, and a Saturn Award. The show has also spawned several original children's books and has been adapted into a series of graphic novels by Marc Guggenheim and Richard Hamilton, released by Dark Horse. [11]

FILMINK is an Australian film magazine published monthly by FKP International Exports. It was founded by current publisher Dov Kornits and Colin Fraser in July 1997, in Sydney. The magazine has been through many changes over the course of its existence, beginning as a black-and-white free press publication, and evolving into the glossy news stand title which it is today. In February 2011, FILMINK became the first film magazine in the world to release an application for online tablet reading, with the magazine sold through the iTunes Store, and going through another major change. FILMINK is a consumer-based publication that covers all types of films, from arthouse releases to the biggest blockbusters. It focuses primarily on Australian films and covers every local release in detail.

<i>Avatar: The Last Airbender</i> animated television series

Avatar: The Last Airbender is an American animated television series that aired for three seasons on Nickelodeon. The series began in February 2005 and concluded in July 2008 with a two-hour episode titled Sozin's Comet. Avatar: The Last Airbender is set in an Asiatic-like world in which some people can manipulate the classical elements with psychokinetic variants of the Chinese martial arts known as "bending". The series is presented in a style that combines anime with American cartoons and relies on the imagery of East/South Asian, Inuit, and New World societies. It follows the protagonist, 12-year-old Aang and his friends, who must bring peace and unity to the world by ending the Fire Lord's war with three nations.

Saturn Award award

The Saturn Award is an American award presented annually by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films; it was initially created to honor science fiction, fantasy, and horror on film, but has since grown to reward other films belonging to genre fiction, as well as on television and home media releases.

Anton Yelchin continued to be part of the series through the first two seasons, as he had recorded enough dialogue to complete them before his sudden death. [12] Yelchin was also able to provide a portion of dialogue for the final season, while the remaining portions of dialogue was recorded by Emile Hirsch. [13] [14]

Anton Yelchin American film and television actor

Anton Viktorovich Yelchin was an American actor. He played Pavel Chekov in three Star Trek films: Star Trek (2009), Star Trek Into Darkness (2013), and the posthumously released Star Trek Beyond (2016).

Emile Hirsch actor

Emile Davenport Hirsch is an American actor. He starred in Into the Wild (2007) and the A&E network simulcast miniseries Bonnie & Clyde (2013). His other film roles include The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys (2002), The Mudge Boy (2003), The Girl Next Door (2004), Lords of Dogtown (2005), Alpha Dog (2006), Speed Racer (2008), Milk (2008), The Darkest Hour (2011), The Motel Life (2012), Lone Survivor (2013), and Vincent N Roxxy (2016).

Following the show's success, Guillermo del Toro announced that Trollhunters will be the first chapter in a trilogy of television series entitled Tales of Arcadia . The story will be continued in a science fiction inspired follow-up series entitled 3 Below , and the trilogy will be concluded in a third and final fantasy series entitled Wizards . [15] It also premiered on Pop on September 3, 2018.

Tales of Arcadia is an announced trilogy of American computer-animated science fantasy television series created for Netflix by Guillermo del Toro and produced by DreamWorks Animation and Double Dare You. It follows the inhabitants of the small suburban town of Arcadia Oaks, which is secretly home to various supernatural creatures and the teenage heroes who fight against the forces of evil that lurk in the shadows. Currently, the first two installments of the trilogy, Trollhunters and 3Below, have been released worldwide.

Science fiction genre of fiction

Science fiction is a genre of speculative fiction, typically dealing with imaginative concepts such as advanced science and technology, space exploration, time travel, and extraterrestrial life. Science fiction often explores the potential consequences of scientific and other innovations, and has been called a "literature of ideas".


Part 1

Beneath the town of Arcadia lives a secret civilization of trolls, which humans are oblivious to. The trolls' common enemy are the Gumm-Gumms, evil trolls from the Darklands. The trolls' chosen warrior, known as the "Trollhunter", is supposed to protect them from the Gumm-Gumms along with other dark miscreants from the Darklands.

Fifteen-year-old James "Jim" Lake Jr. and his friend Toby find a mystical amulet which grants him the Trollhunter mantle. He is shortly approached by his new troll mentors, Blinky and AAARRRGGHH!!!. Despite his initial reluctance to lead a double life, he eventually accepts his role after discovering that attempting to discard the amulet will cause it to return to him on its own. During his visits to Heartstone Trollmarket, the presence of the first human Trollhunter stirs resentment, but he quickly gains their acceptance. Throughout his training and missions, he befriends a gnome (who Toby dubs "Gnome Chompsky") and discovers that goblins and Changelings (human-morphing trolls that replace humans to spy) are gathering for the completion of the Killahead Bridge, a portal through which the Gumm-Gumms from the Darklands will arrive and invade. The project is being led by Bular, Gumm-Gumm leader Gunmar's son, and Walter Strickler, a Changeling who is Jim's high school teacher.

While discovering more mysteries, Jim is forced to reveal the truth about his life to Claire Nuñez when she becomes a target of the goblins. Jim and his allies launch a surprise attack on Bular and his henchmen, destroying the bridge and closing the portal. Jim is forced to battle Bular. They fight and with aid from AAARRRGGHH!!!, Jim succeeds in slaying him. He returns to Trollmarket, where the citizens celebrate Bular's defeat.

Shortly afterward, Claire proposes a quest into the Darklands to rescue her baby brother Enrique, who has been replaced by a Changeling who they dub NotEnrique. The spirits of past Trollhunters inform Jim that the only way to get out of the Darklands alive is to kill Gunmar. Blinky discovers that the only way to kill Gunmar is with the three Triumbric Stones. Meanwhile, Strickler has freed ancient troll assassin Angor Rot from his bonds. Using Angor's ring, he forces Angor to obey him. Jim and the gang hunt for the Stones while Strickler has Angor create a binding spell that ties Strickler's fate to Jim's mother in order to ensure that Jim cannot kill Strickler. During one particular confrontation with Angor Rot, Angor manages to take one of the Triumbric Stones, although Claire takes his Shadow Staff in the process. While trying to steal the stone from Angor, Jim indirectly causes Angor's ring to break. Angor Rot goes on a rampage, attempting to kill Strickler and Jim. In the process, Strickler and Jim's mother are both injured. Trollmarket's leader, Vendel, informs Jim that the only way to save his mother is to break the binding spell that ties her and Strickler's fates together. However, his mother's memories of the troll world, including the fact that her son is the Trollhunter, are erased. Meanwhile, Strickler coaches Jim on cutting Angor Rot's removable stone-like eye, which they acquired, into a Triumbric-like stone to help him defeat Angor. Strickler also reveals to Jim that he had the last Triumbric Stone all along; he gives it to Jim before leaving town.

Angor Rot invades Trollmarket after stealing a key from Claire. Jim and his allies defeat him, but not before AAARRRGGHH!!! takes a hit from his poison dagger and turns to stone. The group is in mourning. Believing that he is responsible for the death of AAARRRGGHH!!! and the ongoing endangerment of his friends, Jim sets off to the Darklands alone, not wanting to lose any more of them.

Part 2

Jim returns Enrique, but ends up trapped in the Darklands. He is rescued by his friends along with former antagonist Nomura. AAARRRGGHH!!! is revived with a potion, and is welcomed back by his friends. Gunmar also escapes the Darklands with Dictatious, Blinky's presumed-dead brother, and a couple soldiers. They meet up with the Janus Order, an organization dedicated to Gunmar's return. Blinky finds out Dictatious is supportive of Gunmar, much to his dismay. Meanwhile, the fact that Gunmar is out from his prison makes Jim guilty in the eyes of Troll Law. Gunmar battles and enslaves Draal, as a means of torturing Jim. Jim is guided by Merlin's spirit imbued in the amulet he carries. Queen Usurna, who leads the Troll Tribunal, kills Vendel in secret, but is unaware that Vendel secretly records it in a special troll device. It is revealed that Usurna is faithful towards Gunmar rather than the welfare of Troll society and that she schemes with Gunmar's counsel to bring about Gunmar's return. Gunmar invades Trollmarket and closes off the underground city. Gunmar drains energy from the Heartstone and regains his strength. He forcibly converts many of the Trolls into his soldiers. Jim and his cohorts retreat from the city to Arcadia with as many Trolls as they can save using Claire's magic staff. With the excessive use of dark magic, Claire comes under the spell of Morgana and secretly brings to her Angor Rot's damaged head.

Part 3

Merlin is awakened, and Morgana is released from her prison by the Staff of Avalon. Barbara recovers her memories of knowing about Trolls, forcing Jim and his friends to reveal the truth to their families. Angor Rot is resurrected by Morgana. To better fight against Gunmar and Morgana, Jim is irreversibly transformed into a half-troll. Morgana brings forth the Eternal Night so that she and Gunmar can freely invade the world. Jim and his allies fight and win the battle, Jim killing Gunmar and Claire trapping Morgana in the Shadow Realm with help from Angor Rot, who sacrifices himself to help defeat the witch. Merlin leads the Trolls of Arcadia to a new home in New Jersey. Jim and Claire say goodbye to their families and friends (including Toby) as they leave with the Trolls.



The reluctant hero is a heroic archetype found in fiction. The reluctant hero is typically portrayed either as an ordinary person thrust into extraordinary circumstances which require them to rise to heroism, or as a person with extraordinary abilities who nonetheless evinces a desire to avoid using those abilities for the benefit of others. In either case, the reluctant hero does not initially seek adventure or the opportunity to do good, and their apparent selfishness may draw them into the category of antiheroes. The reluctant hero differs from the antihero in that the story arc of the former inevitably results in their becoming a true hero.

Charles Saxton is an American film, television and video game actor.

Jonathan Hyde Australian-born English actor

Jonathan "Nash" Hyde is an Australian-born English actor, known for roles such as Herbert Cadbury in Richie Rich, J. Bruce Ismay in the 1997 film Titanic, Culverton Smith in The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, Warren Westridge in Anaconda, Sam Parrish and Russell Van Pelt in Jumanji, and Eldritch Palmer in the FX TV series The Strain.



Initially, del Toro envisioned the idea as a live-action television series; however this was deemed impractical due to budgetary concerns, and as a result he instead turned the idea into a book. DreamWorks then planned to turn the book into an animated feature film. The feature film was going to be directed by Guillermo del Toro and Rodrigo Blaas. Eventually Dreamworks decided to instead turn it into a TV series with Netflix. Rodrigo Blaas became an Executive Producer and Supervising Director on the series. [17]

Del Toro modeled the show's sensibilities after shows he grew up with such as Johnny Quest, identifying them as "really earnest and emotionally beautiful". [18] To this end, he sought to make the main character of Jim "in that '70s mold," and "really a very good boy" with del Toro noting that this was a constant struggle for him to express to both writers and actors. [19] Eventually he came across Anton Yelchin, who embodied those qualities although by del Toro's estimate it still took him a few sessions to fully understand the character. [19]

When creating the show's narrative, del Toro noted that he wanted a "bittersweet journey" for the main character dealing with issues that most such "power fantasies" failed to address, telling indiewire "I wanted to say, 'Look, you can be in high school and you can have your problems. Then you get all these powers and then you have a different set of problems. There is not such a thing as a final, great outcome.'" [18]

The show serves as one of Yelchin's final projects as he died shortly after recording most of his character's dialogue. [20] Producer del Toro refused to replace his recordings, [21] which del Toro noted was a challenge for the show's recording engineers. [19] Of his decision del Toro stated that the actor "was proud of what he did, and we were so proud of how he did it." Del Toro added that his experience as a father and Yelchin's young age were also factors that led to the decision. [17]


SeasonEpisodesOriginally released
1 26December 23, 2016 (2016-12-23)
2 13December 15, 2017 (2017-12-15)
3 13May 25, 2018 (2018-05-25)


The two-episode pilot of the series premiered on October 8, 2016 at the New York Comic Con. [1] [3] The first season consisted of 26 half-hour episodes which were released worldwide on Netflix on December 23, 2016. [4] The second season, consisting of 13 episodes, was released on December 15, 2017. [5] [6] The third and final season, consisting of 13 episodes, was released on May 25, 2018. [7] [8]

Home media

The first season of Trollhunters was released on DVD on November 7, 2017. [22] [23]


Critical response

Trollhunters has received positive reviews from critics. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 94% approval rating with an average rating of 7.81/10 based on 16 reviews for the first season. The website's consensus reads, "Trollhunters manages to capture del Toro's enthusiasm for telling monster stories, in a youthful and more colorful fashion that may well earn him a new generation of fans." [24] On Metacritic, the season has a normalized score of 69 out of 100 based on 7 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". [25]

In 2017, it received six Daytime Emmys, more than any other television program, animated or live action, that year. [26]

On January 30, 2017, Trollhunters writers Kevin and Dan Hageman stated that the series is the most successful Netflix original show to date that is targeted at a younger audience. [27]

The second season of Trollhunters was nominated for six 2018 Annie Awards, tied for the most nominations of any television program in 2018. [28] It was also nominated for four Daytime Emmy Awards, including Best Children’s Animated Series, and won the Emmy for Outstanding Writing in an Animated Program.


2017 Annie Awards Outstanding Achievement, Character Animation in an Animated Television/Broadcast ProductionMike Chaffe for character Blinky in "Becoming, Part 1"Won [29]
Outstanding Achievement, Character Design in an Animated TV/Broadcast ProductionVictor Maldonado, Alfredo Torres and Jules Rigolle, "Win, Lose or Draal"Won
Outstanding Achievement, Music in an Animated TV/Broadcast Production Alexandre Desplat and Tim Davies, "Becoming, Part 1"Nominated
Outstanding Achievement, Storyboarding in an Animated TV/Broadcast ProductionHyunjoo Song, "Win, Lose or Draal"Won
Saturn Awards Best Animated Series or Film on TelevisionTrollhuntersNominated [30]
Behind the Voice Actors AwardsBest Male Lead Vocal Performance in a Television Series Anton Yelchin, for Jim Lake Jr.Won [31]
Best Female Lead Vocal Performance in a Television SeriesLexi Medrano, for Claire NuñezNominated
Best Female Vocal Performance in a Television Series in a Supporting Role Laraine Newman, for Miss JanethNominated
Best Female Vocal Performance in a Television Series in a Guest Role Anjelica Huston, for Queen UsurnaNominated
Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Individual Achievement in Character AnimationMike Chaffe, "Becoming, Part 1"Won [32] [33]
Outstanding Individual Achievement in Character DesignVictor Maldonado, "Win, Lose Or Draal"Won
Outstanding Special Class Animated Program Guillermo del Toro, Rodrigo Blaas, Marc Guggenheim, Chad Hammes, Christina Steinberg, Dan Hageman, Kevin Hageman, Lawrence JonasNominated
Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program Kelsey Grammer, for BlinkyWon
Outstanding Casting for an Animated Series or SpecialMary Hidalgo, Ania O'Hare, CSAWon
Outstanding Writing in an Animated ProgramMarc GuggenheimWon
Outstanding Directing in an Animated ProgramRodrigo Blaas, Guillermo del Toro Won
Outstanding Main Title and Graphic DesignRodrigo Blaas, Andy Erekson, Jonathan Catalan, Dai Weier, John Laus, David M.V. JonesNominated
Outstanding Sound Mixing – AnimationMatthew Thomas Hall and Carlos Sanches, CASNominated
2018 Annie Awards Outstanding Achievement, Character Animation in an Animated Television/Broadcast ProductionBruno Chiou, Yi-Fan Cho, Kevin Jong, Chun-Jung Chu, "Homecoming"Won [34]
Outstanding Achievement, Character Design in an Animated Television/Broadcast ProductionJules Rigolle, Alfredo Torres, Linda Chen, Rustam Hasanov, Alfonso Blaas, "Escape from the Darklands"Nominated
Outstanding Achievement, Directing in an Animated Television/Broadcast ProductionAndrew Schmidt, "Unbecoming"Nominated
Outstanding Achievement, Storyboarding in an Animated Television/Broadcast ProductionDavid Woo, "Hero with a Thousand Faces"Nominated
Outstanding Achievement, Storyboarding in an Animated Television/Broadcast ProductionHyunjoo Song, "In the Hall of the Gumm-Gumm King"Nominated
Outstanding Achievement, Writing in an Animated Television/Broadcast ProductionA.C. Bradley, Kevin Hageman, Dan Hageman, Aaron Waltke, Chad Quandt, "Escape from the Darklands"Nominated
Kidscreen Awards Best New Series, Kids CategoryTrollhuntersWon [35]
Best WritingTrollhuntersWon
Best AnimationTrollhuntersWon
Golden Reel Award Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing, Animation Short FormMatthew Hall, Jason Oliver, Goeun Lee, MPSE, James Miller, Carlos Sanches, Aran Tanchum, Vincent GuisettiNominated [36]
Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Children's Animated SeriesGuillermo del Toro, Marc Guggenheim, Chad Hammes, Rodrigo Blaas, Christina Steinberg, Dan Hageman, Kevin Hageman, Lawrence JonasNominated [37] [38]
Outstanding Writing in an Animated ProgramDan Hageman, Kevin Hageman, Aaron Waltke, Chad Quandt, AC BradleyWon
Outstanding Sound Editing - AnimationMatt Hall, Goeun Lee, James Miller, James Oliver, Aran Tanchum, Stacey Michaels, Vincent Guilsetti, Alex UlrichNominated
Outstanding Main Title and Graphic DesignRodrigo Blaas, Andy Erekson, Jonathan Catalan, Dai Weier, David M.V. Jones, John LausNominated
BAFTA International AnimationRodrigo Blaas, Marc Guggenheim, Chad HammesPending [39]

Tales of Arcadia

On November 6, 2017, show creator Guillermo del Toro announced that Trollhunters will be expanded into a trilogy of animated series known as Tales of Arcadia. [40] The trilogy will be continued by a sci-fi animated series known as 3 Below, which will center on two royal aliens and their bodyguard who escape from their home planet and crash-land on Earth in Arcadia, where Trollhunters also takes place. There, the aliens adjust to human culture and try to fix their spaceship to return and take back their home planet, which is being taken over by an evil dictator. 3 Below will premiere on Netflix in 2018. The trilogy will then be concluded with the animated series Wizards, which brings together the three disparate worlds of trolls, aliens and wizards who have found themselves drawn to Arcadia, "...culminating in an apocalyptic battle for the control of magic that will ultimately determine the fate of these supernatural worlds that have now converged." Wizards is scheduled to premiere on Netflix in 2019. [40]

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