On Saturday, October 8, at New York Comic-Con, famed director and writer Guillermo del Toro presented the first episode of his Netflix/DreamWorks Animation/Cha Cha Cha Films original animated series, Trollhunters, along with co-executive producers Rodrigo Blaas and Marc Guggenheim, as well as voice actors Kelsey Grammer, Ron Perlman, Steven Yeun, and Charlie Saxton.
The series centers around Jim Lake Jr. (voiced by the late Anton Yelchin), a kind and protective teenager who, while on his way to school with his best friend Toby, discovers an amulet — calling out his name — meant for the protector of both the troll realm and human realm. What Jim doesn’t realize at the time is that he’s about to be thrust into a dangerous, centuries-long conflict between good and bad trolls, as he’s been chosen to become the one force who can defend both trolls and humanity: the Trollhunter.
The first episode of Trollhunters does a great job at setting up the world that Jim inhabits — with all its normalities (school life with friends and bullies, a loving family, and a seemingly standard, southwestern town) and oddities (everything related to the Troll realm). But where it really shines is in its character development, particularly when it comes to Jim and his Troll mentor, Blinky (Kelsey Grammer).
Jim is depicted as a loving son and adventurous soul — sweetly taking care of his single mother who constantly works double shifts to provide for her son; standing up to the school bully, Steve (Steven Yeun), who constantly terrorizes those smaller than him; and his desire for something “more” in his life. While Blinky, the oftentimes exuberant Troll (sometimes to Jim’s chagrin), clearly presents himself, as Grammer put it during the panel, “someone who believes in good and does all things good.” The performances of the voice actors allow the viewers to truly understand” the characters, feel for them, and want to experience more with them.
The closing credits dedicated the first episode “In loving memory to our Trollhunter, Anton Yelchin.”
On a side note, today is Guillermo Del Toro’s 52nd birthday. During the panel last night — after the viewing of the first episode — Ron Perlman brought out a cake for Del Toro and led the crowd in a rendition of “Happy Birthday.” It was a fun and touching moment, especially given the long, creative history between Perlman and Del Toro.
You’ll be able to view the first season of Trollhunters in its 26-episode entirety on December 23, 2016 on Netflix. And be sure to check out more information about the panel and series here.
[Images by Sarah Pfeffer for Geeks Of Doom.]
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