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Netflix’s the Dragon Prince Will get off to a Roaring Get started

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All the right elements are here.

This is an advanced review of Netflix’s The Dragon Prince. The series premiere was shown at San Diego Comic-Con 2018 in room 25ABC. All episodes of The Dragon Prince will be available to stream on Netflix on September 14.

There’s something to be said for Netflix’s wide array of original programs. And when it comes to animated entertainment, the streaming platform continues to deliver the goods. Take The Dragon Prince, for instance. The series hails from some of the creative forces behind Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Last Airbender. During Saturday’s San Diego Comic-Con panel, the cast and crew of the series delighted fans with a sneak-peek screening of the show’s premiere episode. Mixing light-hearted humor, detailed character development, and some epic action sequences, The Dragon Prince is a fun ride from start to finish.

The first five minutes of the episode, titled “Echoes of War,” introduces the conflict of the series, giving audiences a brief history lesson about a time when dragons and elemental magic ruled the land. Predictably, humans had to mess everything up. Using dark magic to destroy Thunder, the King of the Dragons that kept the peace between the humans and Shadowelves, the ancient land found itself split into two battling factions.

Exit Theatre Mode

Cut to present day where a scuffle between a human scout and a Moonshadow Elf illustrates just how dire things have become. Instead of murdering the human right there and then, though, Rayla (Paula Burrows), the Elf in question, recognized the fear in the young man’s eyes and lets him go. It’s a quick scene, but one that easily paints the humans as the villains in this tale. And why wouldn’t they be? They’re introduced in a humorous light, but their sweet castle digs allude to some righteous royalty. They’re kind of like The Lannisters from Game of Thrones … but more likable and way less incest-y.

Rayla isn’t the only one charting her own path. Young Prince Callum — voiced by Jack De Sena, who previously played Sokka in Avatar: The Last Airbender — shows some light-hearted gumption as he tries to keep up with the rest of the royal guard. But as an attack between the Shadowelves and the humans loom, Callum is placed on the sidelines. Rayla and Callum may be on opposite sides of this war, but it’s easy to deduce they’ll be teaming up at some point to do their part in stopping the violence. If that’s not enough to catch your interest, we should probably mention one of the standout characters from the series: Prince Ezran’s (Sasha Rojen) quirky glowing toad pet. Co-creator Aaron Ehasz described the colorful animal as “the Grumpy Cat of magical illusionary amphibians.” What’s not to love about that?

If you’re thinking it sounds like The Dragon Prince will be a bit darker in tone than Avatar: The Last Airbender, you’d be right. This is Netflix, after-all. But while the subject matter of greed, hatred, and war permeate the first episode of the series, the show is built from the same creative DNA fans of the Nickelodeon series grew to love. Assisting to offset some of the heavier scenes, the show uses humor in the best way possible, pulling genre inspiration from the likes of Disney, Tolkien, George R. R. Martin, and even video games like Fire Emblem and Dragon Lair.

Sure, Netflix has its fair share of mature anime content. But The Dragon Prince surprises by comfortably exploring dark story elements while giving audiences an assortment of lovable characters to engage with. In short, it’s a worthwhile animated series for audiences of all ages.

The Verdict

The Dragon Prince is an accessible, inclusive animated adventure that blends recognizable elements from fantasy classics of the past. You don’t need to be a fan of Avatar: The Last Airbender to enjoy the new series. Balancing tragedy with triumph, and drama with comedy, The Dragon Prince reveals itself as a story about war, peace, and the complicated space in-between. And that’s a compelling place to be.

SOURCE: IGN.com

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