My Thoughts on Trollhunters

MegaSoulhero
You’re probably wondering why I still haven’t reviewed the latest DuckTales episode. Oh you’re not? I guess that’s a good thing since I don’t really have much of a reason. I’ve just been focusing on other things. I’ll review it eventually. But first, I want to discuss another cartoon. The cartoon I chose to discuss is the Netflix original cartoon, Trollhunters. I have actually never heard of this cartoon until last month. Which is weird because a girl that I knew from high school is a voice actress in it. I’m not even making this up. I don’t think I’ve actually met her, but I have friends who are friends with her. Anyway, this DreamWorks cartoon is created by Guillermo Del Toro and I really love his work. It even has a talented voice cast. Anton Yelchin, Ron Perlman, and Kelsey Grammer are in it. So that means this show must be great, right? Nope! It actually kind of sucks!

I might get some hate for this. I know I have an unpopular opinion when it comes to this show, but it really didn’t do anything for me. There have been times when I said that certain shows or movies are just filled with clichés. Most of the time I’m usually exaggerating. That isn’t the case with Trollhunters. It’s LITERALLY nothing but clichés! Nothing it does is original! It doesn’t even try to do anything creative with these clichés! The main character is just an average ordinary teen who goes to high school, has an annoying fat friend, has a crush on a girl, and gets bullied. But his life changes when he finds an amulet that allows him to gain access to armor, and he becomes the newest trollhunter after the previous trollhunter sacrificed himself. Basically, trolls aren’t able to step into the sun or else they will turn to stone. That’s what happened to the previous trollhunter. There are good trolls and bad trolls. And it’s easy to tell which is which. The first episode starts out with a very awful fight sequence between the previous trollhunter and one of the villains. Reason why this fight sequence doesn’t work for me is because it doesn’t have much of an impact. Most shows tend to start off in a way that feels very epic and gives you an idea what the rest of the show is like. But here, the whole scene is badly choreographed and doesn’t feel very epic. I get that it’s just to get the story started. I just wish that it was a little more captivating.

Let me get to talking about the characters. The main character is Jim. The loser stereotype who becomes a hero. Such a bland character. As the main character, there should be something that stands out about him. He just seems like someone who should be a background character. His friend Toby, while funny at times, can be VERY annoying! Also, he’s just a fat kid stereotype! There’s nothing new they do with this kind of character! And of course there’s Jim’s love interest, Claire. This is the character that the girl from my high school voices. That had me believe that maybe I would like this character. I was wrong. She is the worst character in the entire cartoon! I couldn’t really think of anything redeemable about her. The first half of season 1 just has her as the bland love interest who doesn’t really serve much of a purpose other than to just have the cliché of the main character being in love with a girl and acting awkward around her and he has to constantly lie to her to keep the secret that he is a trollhunter. Later on, she starts spying on Jim to find out why he’s acting so weird. Then the next episode, she gets mad at Jim for sneaking into her room even though she snuck into his basement! I know she got knocked out, but she even brings up the basement thing while yelling at Jim for being in her room! The second half of the first season, after she finds out that Jim is a trollhunter, makes her an even worse character. She went from being a bland love interest to being a Mary Sue! She learned how to use that staff thing like a pro in such a short amount of time! How did she learn to fight so well? And we’re supposed to believe that she has this much knowledge about trolls? Come on! If you want to see what an actual great character looks like, just look at Claire’s friend, Mary. She is absolutely hilarious. Every time she was on screen, I smiled. She is a far more interesting character than any of the actual main characters. I would’ve preferred it if the entire show was about her.

There’s also a bully character who’s entire character is that he’s a bully. And he hates Jim for some reason. No explanation. He just hates him. And he even challenges Jim to a fight, which Jim ends up winning with his new skills. This show has a lot of similarities to Spider-Man if you think about it. I should also probably talk about the troll characters. The two main ones are Blinky and Argh. They pretty much act as mentors towards Jim. Blinky, voiced by Kelsey Grammer, is the one who helps out Jim, Toby, and Claire when trying to figure out how to defeat a villain. He talks in a deep voice and gives a lot of speeches. Kind of reminds me of Optimus Prime in a way. I don’t hate Blinky, but he isn’t the kind of interesting character that I expect from him. As for Argh, he’s pretty cool. I also love his relationship with Toby. It’s so adorable. And of course, since this is a cartoon with a lot of action in it, there are villains. All these villains have great voice actors. Unfortunately, they are some of the blandest villains to be put in anything! They pretty much have no personality! They’re just the kind of villains with the weak motivation of wanting power and wanting to take over the world. Their designs are cool, but they are so boring! I don’t even remember their names and I can barely remember any lines from them! Oh, and it’s mentioned multiple times that there’s a way of taking them down. And what is it? KICKING THEM IN THE NUTS! How dumb is that?

Something I’ll give Trollhunters credit for is that the animation looks amazing. Mostly in the scenery. For a Netflix cartoon, the animation is impressive. The character designs, not so much. I’m mostly talking about the humans. Some look okay, but others look creepy. Especially Toby. Whenever they show a close up of him, I try to look away. Some of these characters also have some pretty big eyes. Another thing I noticed is that sometimes they tend to reuse character models. That’s kind of lazy on their part. The show is also poorly paced. The first few episodes start out slow and barely have much of a plot. Then the last few episodes of the first half of season 1 contain too much plot. It’s hard to keep up with. Claire’s little brother gets stolen, the villains try to build a bridge to the Darklands, Jim needs to try to make it to a school play, there’s not really much of a balance. I really hate the plot twists that happen. It seems as though most of the plot twists were just randomly thought of and they just decided to add them in because they couldn’t think of anything else. There’s a group of trolls called “changelings”. And Jim’s teacher is one of them! What are the odds? Jim just so happens to find the amulet, becomes a trollhunter, and his teacher just so happens to be a changeling! How convenient!

Since Jim has to keep the whole trollhunter thing a secret, he has to lie to his mother and his friends. Except Toby who already found out and Claire who found out in episode 12. Multiple times throughout the show, Jim’s secret comes close to being revealed. They would see a troll or see Jim in his armor or something, but then something would happen, someone gets knocked out or something, and they would forget what happened. It becomes kind of repetitive. In one episode, an evil troll was looking through the window of Jim’s house while his mother is in there. The Mother should’ve been able to see him through her peripheral vision, or at notice it enough to turn her head, but she doesn’t notice anything even though it’s so obvious! She eventually does find out about Jim’s secret in the second half of season 1. I was actually kind of excited about that. I was surprised the show was going in this direction. I wanted to see what they were going to do with this. But then they erase her memory and Jim never tells his mom the truth again. And in a very out of character moment for Jim, he goes into the Darklands to save Claire’s little brother despite promising that they would do it as a team. Which leads to a cliffhanger. I watched this entire series in the span of 6 days. So it’s not like I was waiting an entire year for season 2. If I actually had watched season 1 when it was first released, I probably wouldn’t have even bothered with season 2. But it was there, so I decided to give it a watch. And it was even worse.

Jim is still in the Darklands and it seems as though he’s been in there for a long time. I don’t remember if they actually said how long he was in there. Anyway, he finds Claire’s brother Enrique and apparently there are a bunch of babies in there that the goblins have taken and the changelings would take the form of those babies. They’ve even been doing this in the 1900s. Jim never does save those other babies by the way. Some hero he is. One thing that bothers me the most about this season is that it seems as though it doesn’t know how to fill up the season. So it comes up with ridiculous things that happen just to move the plot forward. It’s like they said “Okay, so we have the characters succeeding. Oh wait! We need more plot! So let’s just have this thing happen to make things harder for the characters and not have it make sense in any kind of way.” An example of this would be when Jim is trying to make it out of the Darklands while running from Blinky’s evil brother and his minions. Then some other characters are destroying the bridge which puts pressure on him because he might not make it out. He had a chance of making it out, but then he fell and it took him a while to get up! Seriously? So it’s up to Toby and Claire to get him out. This is just a nitpick, but that “cell” that the villains are keeping Jim in makes it really easy for him to just slide out. The orange spikes they used to lock him up are spaced apart enough for him to escape. Also, there’s a hallway that Toby and Claire go through and it kind of reminded me of the Incredibles because of the way it looked. Was I the only one who thought that? Eventually, Toby and Claire, along with Blinky and Argh, save him and they leave the Darklands and Jim and Claire have a cliché kiss scene. Unfortunately for them, the villains also escaped. Then after episode 5, the rest of the season mostly consists of filler until the last two episodes.

There’s an episode where Jim goes to a party that Claire’s parents are having. Since they pretty much hate him after what happened in season 1, he wants to try to win them over. But his amulet makes multiple versions of himself. Each with one of his personalities. This entire episode is unnecessary. And the premise has been done in a lot of other cartoons. It’s very predictable. One of his personalities becomes evil. I saw that coming from a mile away. This episode was clearly filler and extremely unnecessary. There’s also a Breakfast Club episode. It was at this point when I realized that they didn’t really know how to fill up the season. Sure there’s a scene with Jim fighting Draal who’s been possessed, but that’s about it. Also, the bully character and the nerd character, who has way too young of a voice for high school, find out about Jim’s secret. Once again, I think this was done for plot convenience. I mean, they end up helping him in the last episode. I’ll admit, that was nice character development, but it felt like it came out of nowhere. And if you thought the show couldn’t get anymore cliché, there’s an episode where after he gets locked up for releasing the villains from the Darklands, Jim wishes he had never found the amulet and his wish gets granted. So it takes us back to the first episode of the series and shows us what could’ve happened if he had never found the amulet. We all know how this turns out. He ends up realizing that he made the wrong decision when he made the wish and he has to learn some sort of lesson to go back to where he was. This episode is kind of pointless in a way. They never even bring this up again later on. Why would they have him go through all of that and not have him reflect upon it? They put him in court to prove if he’s guilty or not. The sentence for being guilty is death. Then we get another plot twist. Angelica Houston’s character kills Vendel. Oh, did I forget to mention that character? He’s basically the ruler of troll land and he’s pretty forgettable. This was very predictable. Not surprising at all. It was obvious from the start that Vendel would meet his demise and one of the other trolls would take over. It’s a cliché as old as time. The three main characters fight the bad guys, then Claire does something awesome with her staff. It was visually impressive. I was amazed by it. Until I realized that IT LOOKED ALMOST EXACTLY LIKE A SCENE FROM GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY! Is there anything original that this series did? Then it ends with Jim going home and seeing his teacher in his house, then it’s revealed that Claire turned evil. She wakes up with a scared reaction, so it’s unclear if that was a dream or not. It ends on a cliffhanger which makes it seem like there will be a season 3. Which I doubt will happen since Jim’s voice actor is dead! I really hope there isn’t another season because this show really does suck.

So what would I give this show out of 10? Probably a 10/10 just because of Mary. She’s such an amazing character. But seriously, Trollhunters gets a 3/10. It has great moments, but at times it doesn’t know what it wants to do. And it constantly relies on using just about every possible cliché. It had a lot of potential. It could’ve been a great show. But it failed at doing so. There are plenty of other Netflix shows that are worth watching. BoJack Horseman, Stranger Things, Magic School Bus. That last one was a joke. The Magic School Bus reboot is horrendous. But my point is, Trollhunters is a terrible show and not worth watching. I just hope Lexi’s friends don’t find out about this review.

Comments

It's Lexi Medrano. - Trollsfan536

Exactly. I haven’t met her myself, but I have friends who were in my choir class in high school who are good friends with her. - MegaSoulhero

I know you might not care, but Season 3 was original and extremly creepy and unique, I recommend it, even though you probably don't care anymore - darthvadern

I watched it. Didn’t like it. Review coming soon. - MegaSoulhero

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