Netflix gave us three episodes to preview, and I can’t wait to watch the rest of the series when it drops this weekend because Aaron Ehasz, Giancarlo Volpe, and Justin Richmond have recaptured the elemental magic that made
The world of
The plot is steeped in fantasy elements older than Tolkien, but, as serious as the stakes sound, the series is also filled with excellent, juvenile humor that pits Ezran as the heir to
The magic is all in that balance. Silly and severe. High questions about loyalty and honor and sacrifice blended skillfully with pratfalls and goofy kid nonsense.
Plus, there’s the rules of the fantasy realm. Again, they haven’t set out to reinvent the wheel here; only to give it a tweak for a more enjoyable ride. Essentially there are six elemental sources for magic, but humans (pesky, pesky humans) discovered how to use a corrupting dark magic for their purposes. This seventh magic causes a lot of problems, not the least of which was the “destruction” of the Dragon Prince egg. To call upon the magic, mages draw runes in the air (which appear as wispy neon writing) and say the incantation before blowing hurricane force winds down a hallway or stealing someone’s voice right out of their throat. This is where
The animation still cribs from a classic anime style with static backgrounds and moving characters. While close-ups get clunky and faces aren’t freely expressive as they should be, the fight scenes and action are gorgeous, and the drawn world overall is dynamic and beautifully detailed.
At the center of the quest are three likable characters, all standing up in their own way to an established order that sees no path forward besides endless war. Rayla, Callum, and Ezra cautiously join forces in what must be the first inter-species alliance in years because they all question the intelligence of perpetuating a bloody cycle. Callum asks his step-father, the king, why he can’t simply make peace with the elves and dragons, and when the king claims it’s not that simple, Callum fires back that it seems pretty simple to him.
Ultimately, you have a brash warrior, a shy mage unaware of his magical abilities, and a kid naive-to-the-point-of-wisdom trekking through a fantastical realm both familiar and fascinating with an honorable goal of doing what the adults in the room find too implausible to even try to attempt. It’s
Is it Friday yet?