The Big Dragon has Arrived

It’s here.

The Dragon Prince has finally come to Netflix!

For those of you who might be unfamiliar, this is a new animated series created by Aaron Ehasz (the head writer for Avatar: The Last Airbender)  and Justin Richmond (who directed the game Uncharted). If this wasn't enough information to get you excited about this series, the first tweet featured the simple:

So, yeah, expectations have been set high. But; now the entire first season (9 episodes, each 26 minutes long), is available for viewing on Netflix. And, I gotta say, it doesn’t disappoint.

The show follows two princes of the human kingdom of Katolis and their journey with the elven assassin Rayla to return the stolen egg of the Dragon King in an effort to stop a coming war between Katolis and the magical kingdom of Xadia.

Image via Over Blog

There’s a wide range of characters with varying complex moralities. While some characters seem to have more depth than others, they are all given at least more than one dimension. But one of the things that was interesting about some of these characters is that they aren’t as predictable as they could have been portrayed. I know that personally, the main villain, Viren, is definitely untrustworthy, yet there are times when even I as the viewer can be tricked into thinking that wait, maybe he’s not going to be as horrible as I thought, especially at the beginning.

And, of course, there’s the complete awesomeness of General Amaya.

Image via Twitter

She is related to the King to of the Katolis (I think the sister of his wife?) and holds one of the highest positions within the Katolis military and is amazingly badass! In addition, she’s a deaf character who uses ASL on screen. The thing that is striking about this inclusion of diversity is that nowhere during the first season is her deafness addressed in any way. There is no tragic backstory presented to accompany it. There is no extra layer of drama added on because of it. It just is. And, personally, I think that’s a step in the right direction.

The animation, I think, is the only aspect of the show that really threw me off. It’s definitely good animation and an interesting style, but there are a few points when the movement sometimes seems just a bit delayed or unnatural. It can sometimes throw the viewer off-kilter, but it’s also not the worse either.

As for the plot and the themes of the show, it is nice how nothing is necessarily easy.

Image via iamag

The “evil” characters sometimes do things that make you question their positionality. The “good” characters make mistakes too. The characters don’t trust each other immediately. It’s not as cut and dry as one might expect out of a children’s show. And it deals with heavy themes like warfare. In a similar way to Avatar, The Dragon Prince shows the complexities of warfare and the hope supplied by people willing to try to change it instead of falling back onto the notion of inevitability. Cycles of violence are addressed and discussed. And, especially in today’s society, it is nice to remember that “inevitable” things aren’t always as stuck in stone as we might think. After all, as Claudia so eloquently puts it, “After all, unstoppable is just another kind of stoppable.”

This is definitely a show to recommend. For more information about the show click here to watch the trailer or head on over to Netflix to check it out.