First Flight: Part 1
First Flight: Part 2
A Hole New World
Dragons: The Nine Realms Season 1 executes a modern continuation of DreamWorks’ Dragon series with some feel-good adventure drama—surprisingly underlaid with an indictment of big business.
Set 1,300 years after the events of How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, this new show follows the antics of Thomas Kullersen and the friends he meets at the ICARUS research facility.
When Tom and his friends discover dragons living in the fissure under the facility, they bond together to protect the creatures from their own parents.
Yes, it’s a tired trope to pit kids against adults. But Dragons at least handles this device with some complexity. The parents are characterized as brilliant scientists, and the protagonists respect them. The real villain of the show is Rakke Corp, the parents’ employer. The kids smartly realize that, if their parents find out about the dragons, Rakke Corp will exploit this discovery for profit.
This original take elevates what would be cliché. Regardless, lazy execution often weighs down the overall season.
Dragons: The Nine Realms is a classic example of justifying substandard storytelling and character development (not to mention poor quality animation) simply for the reason that it’s a show marketed to children.
I’m a firm believer that kids deserve quality television, especially such that adults can also appreciate it. So whenever a show such as Dragons compresses a character’s entire personality into a single quality (Alex) or resolves conflict in nonsensical ways (Tom’s super strength), they send the message that a G-audience isn’t worth putting in the effort to create a quality piece of art.
Criticisms aside—if you can accept the plot goofs and simplistic nature of the characters, the prominent themes of this fantasy story are actually quite sweet and compelling.
The show displays a lot of fun bonding scenes with the dragons. Additionally, we get to witness friendships gradually blossom between young teens.
The set-up of the show allows for each protagonist to have their own episode to shine. Each delivers valuable lessons on courage, friendship, teamwork, preservation, and kindness.
If your child loves all things dragons, or if you are feeling nostalgic for the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy, this series might satisfy those itches. Overall, however, there are better quality fantasy shows out there for both adults and children.
Verdict - 4/10