Avatar: The Last Airbender is a beloved series on Nickelodeon that ran from 2005-2008. Filled to the brim with three-dimensional characters, a unique and interesting magic system, and a vibrant Asian-inspired fantasy world, the show quickly caught hold of the imaginations of many. Even now, years after its initial run, Avatar still lives in on in the form of fan art and cosplays, official comic book continuations, and even a sequel series entitled Avatar: The Legend of Korra. There’s no denying the massive influence that Avatar has had, and much of what made it great came from the series’ head writer Aaron Ehasz, who worked on the show for all three seasons. Now Ehasz is at it again, working with a new team to bring an original cartoon, The Dragon Prince, to Netflix.
Set in a dark fantasy world, the trailer for the show sets up the series. The humans and the elves are two races that have long been at war with one another. An elf girl assassin named Rayla is sent to kill some of the human royal family, but then she and the two princes Callum and Ezran make a fateful discovery of a mystical dragon egg. Now teamed up and on a mission to bring the egg back to the dragons, the trio must avoid pursuers and monsters on all sides in order to bring an end to the war. While not a unique idea, Ehasz has been able to help flesh out more cliched narratives to make them substantial and interesting. He did this on Avatar: The Last Airbender, which also had an “end the war” narrative. With his help, the story became more layered and original. With Ehasz’s help, The Dragon Prince looks to be blending action, comedy, and fantasy into an entertaining story for audiences of all ages.
However, there are a couple of things to note. One major point of interest is the animation style the show decided to go with. The Dragon Prince has an anime-inspired aesthetic to it, but everything is made on a computer with 3D models, similar to the 2012 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series or the Rooster Teeth original RWBY. This allows for a speedier time animating, but it can also have characters acting and moving a bit oddly. In the case of The Dragon Prince, characters seem to move in a strange start-and-stop sort of manner. It might not be enough to take viewers out of the narrative, but it’s definitely noticeable.
Another point of interest is regarding the creators themselves. Ehrasz teamed up with Justin Richmond, a video game developer on Uncharted 2: Among Thieves and game director on Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, to make the show. Together they’ve formed the multimedia studio Wonderstorm and are simultaneously crafting The Dragon Prince as both a cartoon and as a video game that expands on the world and characters. This type of foresight and planning is refreshing to see, and it’ll be interesting to see if the studio manages to build this franchise across different mediums.
The studio has been hard at work bringing this show to viewers, and it looks like we won’t have to wait any longer. The Dragon Prince is up today, September 14th, for Netflix subscribers to binge watch. Early reviews are positive, but the only real way to know for sure is to check it out for yourself. With such a dedicated group behind it, it looks like the show will deliver on all fronts.
Have you seen the trailer for The Dragon Prince? What are your thoughts on this new show? Let us know in the comments section below. To stay tuned for updates on further developments Subscribe by Email.
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