Need some time to relax? Check out these suggestions for shows to watch!
THE DRAGON PRINCE on NETFLIX
By. Caitlyn Obrero '21
Remember that amazing show Avatar: The Last Airbender? Maybe you’ve heard of it once or twice before. “Long ago, the four nations lived together in harmony. Then, everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked,” doesn’t ring a bell? If it does, then you’d be surprised to know that Aaron Ehasz, one of the main writers of Avatar: The Last Airbender (Where this quote came from) has taken part as executive producer in another project called The Dragon Prince. If it doesn’t, well I recommend watching both ATLA and The Dragon Prince. Both are phenomenal. Aired on Netflix on September 14, The Dragon Prince has been critically acclaimed as a well deserved successor of Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Set in a fantasy world--that has yet to be given a name--the Dragon Prince’s first episode starts off with an introduction to this magical world. Similarly to Avatar, there are elements that drive the supernatural powers of the world. The sources of such magic come from the Sun, the Moon, the Stars, the Earth, the Sky, and the Ocean. Additionally, a human mage discovered another source of magic, called dark magic, that is fueled by taking the essence of other magical creatures. Afraid of what they saw, both the elves and the dragons set out to stop this dark magic created by humans by creating a divide in the world: The left home to the humans, the elves and dragons to the right, and king of the dragons to defend the border. This tension is what started a war, and in that war, the humans used dark magic to slay the Dragon King and its unborn Dragon Prince.
This tension--or if I may say “misunderstood” tension--is what builds the plot of the Dragon Prince. Without spoiling too much, I say “misunderstood” because every person has a different story. This is important throughout the story.
Introducing the main characters, we have Ezran and Callum, two humans who are the son and step-son of the King of one of the human kingdoms, King Harrow. Then we have Rayla, a young moonshadow assassin. Ezran is a lighthearted kid who is shown to have a unique ability to understand animals, unlike like most others. He’s still a naive boy, but on some occasions he is shown to understand what is right and what is wrong. Callum is shown to be somewhat of an awkward guy. Instead of being responsible like the first-born “prince” he is supposed to be, he is clumsy and would much rather draw in his sketchbook than anything else. Rayla, who, despite being an assassin and being the best at her age, has been cursed (or blessed) with a wavering moral compass. Her moral compass is what helps her decide to choose her own path to help out Callum and Ezran instead of following her race’s actions which she knows are wrong. The friendship builds between these three as the story progresses as they learn to trust each other despite their insecurities and differences.
Despite the tense tones that this show seems to give off, the main characters are still young. The humor is still alive and flowing like it’s predecessor, but it’s pretty clear than the weight of the world in dependent on three children, which is hard to put on them. They all have only known their side of the story, and they are somewhat oblivious to the world around them. This is similar to the age group that The Dragon Prince is intended for: kids. In Avatar, it was also intended for children, but as the story progressed and the audience grew older, the plot thickened, appealing to the likes of teenagers and, later, adults. This pattern is what The Dragon Prince is going for. The childlike innocence that the audience and the characters feel at the beginning of the show will shed off by the end of the show, which would be interesting to see in the future.
A few things may bug first-time watchers. The 3D animation style is a noticeably choppy, however, the animation team made it that way to replicate stop motion animation. Looking past the choppy-ness, the action scenes are on point and much smoother than the non-action scenes. The 2D background scenes are also beautifully crafted. Moreover, people may lose interest because of where the show cuts off at the end of season one. If anything, season one probably only covered only a fraction of the extensive world. Many questions were created instead of answered, and it leaves the viewers on a cliffhanger as to what happens next. Where else are they going to explore? What will happen to them in the future? Nine episodes can only cover so much story, but once more episodes come out and the story is explored more in depth, it could possibly makes an even more enjoyable series to watch.