The Dragon Prince

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LadyTevar
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The Dragon Prince

Post by LadyTevar » 2018-09-22 11:05pm

Out on Netflix, this cartoon is by the brains behind "Avatar" and "Legend of Korra".



I've watched the entire season over the last few days, and this is my thoughts on it:
It's Good. The world is beautifully drawn, rich with history, and Makes Sense in Context. Magic needs a Source to power it, born of Sun, Moon, Stars, Earth, Ocean, and Sky. Spells are a mix of runes and voice, tied to their Elemental Source.
Then some Humans found a new Source for Magic -- Dark Magic using the life-source of Magical Beings as fuel. The Dragons and Elves kicked all Humans out of the Magic Realm in punishment for the ones using Dark Magic, and the anger at both the betrayal of Magic and the banishment still echoes on both sides. The Humans tried to return more than once, but only this last time (5 years ago? 10?) the humans managed to kill the Dragon King and his Egg/Heir.
But of course, we can see the Egg was just stolen, and now it must be returned....

The Avatar crew are reusing the same "plucky group of youths" theme, but it's still working well. The characters are rather well fleshed out by chapter 3. There's the Badass Warrior Elf Rayla hides her own insecurities, and her embarrassment that her parents ran instead of staying to protect the Egg. Callum, the Elder (step)Prince is the mocked intellectual at the palace, but starts coming into the role of Leader and Mage. The young Prince Ezran seems to be somewhat autistic, a child who can understand animals better than people. Add in the Token Animal Companion named Bait (who has his uses other than comic foil), and it's the New GAang! Then there's The Egg, which for the 1st Season is just a Maguffin.
I feel for them, I root for them, and while I do eye-roll a couple times, it's because it's a YA show and is sometimes too cheesy for adults my age. They bond over rescuing the Egg, almost too easily, but hey, got to get the story moving, right?

However, it's not just the kids that are well-done. Once again, the Avatar Crew gives us side-characters with their own special touches.

King Harrow is show to be a fair man, an honorable man. He loves his sons, even if he can't quite reach Callum, and his pet bird Pip gives the best birdie kisses. He's also bearing a lot of guilt for what happened with the Dragon King, to the point he sees his own death as the price he must pay for his role in it. His sense of honor and justice leads to the break with Lord Viren, his oldest friend, who found a cheat that would let Harrow survive. We don't know what truly happens to Harrow when the Moonshadow assassins reach him. Only Lord Viren knows that.

Lord Viren is the King's Vizer, his oldest friend, and a user of Dark Magic. He's a very Practical Man, who sees Dark Magic as a creative solution to whatever problem crops up. When we first see him, he is Harrow's oldest friend, the distant uncle-figure for the Princes, and a loving if exasperated father of two children of his own: Soren and Claudia. He even finds a way to save the King from the Moonshadow Assassins, until the King rejects him and upbraids him for causing the current problem. Until the Egg he'd hidden away was taken by the impudent Princelings. Until his very careful plans were thrown into chaos. He was willing to be reasonable. But now, all that matters is getting that Egg back, because it holds the power he needs to take back the Magical Realm. Nothing else matters ... but becoming the new King won't hurt either. It's just Practical, after all.

Next are Soren and Claudia. These two bicker like real brother and sister, and you can see they both want to make their father proud of them. Soren is the youngest of the Royal Guard, and makes Collum's life hell during training. Total Jock, and has no idea of his father's true nature. Claudia is a Mage, following her father's footsteps and clearly far closer to him, sharing his need to learn everything about Magic, dark and otherwise. She also thinks Collum's intellectual side is cute. But it's clear they're not comfortable with the missions their father has set them, to the point they lie to each other about what their father told each of them their mission is beyond "find the Princes and the Egg".

Callum and Exran's aunt, General Amaya, is deaf, using Sign Language to communicate. No Subtitles are used -- another character translates for her whenever she's speaking to be heard. The exception is one 3min scene at her sister's grave. Still no Subtitles, just atmosphere music as she emotionally spells out what's in her heart. The translation can be found on TV Tropes page.

For the Elves, there is Runaan, leader of the Moonshadow Elven Assassins. He brought Rayla with them because she is the strongest and fastest of them all, but later curses her as still a child unable to finish the job she was given. Like King Harrow, Runaan has honor and pride, which leads him to reject Rayla's attempts to stop the assassination, even when presented with the Egg. He pays for his mistake, but not until after King Harrow's apparent death.

There are other characters, and more that is fleshed out about the main characters via the End Credit Sketches. These sketches are one-scene details on family relationships, things that went before, and like a Marvel Movie, hints of things to come.
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Re: The Dragon Prince

Post by bilateralrope » 2018-09-22 11:28pm

I tried watching it. I couldn't stand the low framerate that the human characters animation has.

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Re: The Dragon Prince

Post by LadyTevar » 2018-09-22 11:33pm

bilateralrope wrote:
2018-09-22 11:28pm
I tried watching it. I couldn't stand the low framerate that the human characters animation has.
oookay??? I never noticed. I'd say it was a minor problem, but I can't stand the animation style used for Titans Go and other Cartoon Network shows of the last 5yrs.
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Re: The Dragon Prince

Post by FaxModem1 » 2018-09-23 03:43pm

I watched the entire season over the course of an afternoon. It's a well made show and I look forward to where the story is going.

I'm glad there's a more balanced world. The reason why it's the youth pursuing this quest and not a 100 knights? Because the older are set in their ways about fighting each other. As Callum points out, it's a never-ending cycle of violence. Instead, the young ones are pursuing peace, because it could prevent war from continuing into the next generation. This is why Rayla has to have the princes deliver the egg, and not just take it herself. The world needs to see that it's the human royalty making the gesture of peace.

Sidenote, is this like Voltron, in that tiny half seasons are released every few months, or is this all there is of seasons 1?
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Re: The Dragon Prince

Post by Majin Gojira » 2018-09-23 06:08pm

it seems to be following that format given the number of episodes released. I missed the after credits bits on my first go through so I guess I'll have to watch it again.

Which is great, because I really liked it. Lot of laugh out loud bits for me. I particularly liked how Rayla's hydrophobia was handled.
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Re: The Dragon Prince

Post by LadyTevar » 2018-09-23 08:41pm

FaxModem1 wrote:
2018-09-23 03:43pm
Sidenote, is this like Voltron, in that tiny half seasons are released every few months, or is this all there is of seasons 1?
This was all of Season One, from what I've heard.
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Re: The Dragon Prince

Post by FaxModem1 » 2018-09-24 02:19am

Regarding General Amaya:

I do wonder if she was born deaf or became deaf overtime. Rising through the ranks while disabled in a military would be difficult. Though, this is a feudal kingdom, so she may have gotten rank through nepotism and the genetic lottery of birth.
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Re: The Dragon Prince

Post by Imperial Overlord » 2018-09-24 03:17am

FaxModem1 wrote:
2018-09-24 02:19am
Regarding General Amaya:

I do wonder if she was born deaf or became deaf overtime. Rising through the ranks while disabled in a military would be difficult. Though, this is a feudal kingdom, so she may have gotten rank through nepotism and the genetic lottery of birth.
Her sister was the queen and king's don't usually marry peasants. Her family pretty much has to be high born, especially considering her obvious political clout. Since she's a total badass and the general everyone trusts to handle the hard stuff, there's at least some merit behind her appointment.
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Re: The Dragon Prince

Post by Sea Skimmer » 2018-09-25 03:54am

Yeah its the entire season in one drop. Short, but short is often a door to more, I'm glad Netflix is super flexible with stuff like this in its original content, since otherwise they just wouldn't.

I liked it, though I'm not sure I'll be keeping an eye open for more of it either. The frame rate thing did bother me a little, but apparently its a filter they put on to mask some problem with the animation so if its successful enough to get another season they might also get the money not to need it. Good filler in any case while I await more RWBY.
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