Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans
Trollhunters Movie.jpg
Official release poster
Directed by
  • Johane Matte
  • Francisco Ruiz Velasco
  • Andrew Schmidt
Written by
Based onTales of Arcadia
by Guillermo del Toro and Daniel Kraus
Produced by
  • Guillermo Del Toro
  • Chad Hammes
  • Marc Guggenheim
  • Dan Hageman
  • Kevin Hageman
Starring
CinematographyTak Fujimoto
Edited byJohn Laus
Music byJeff Danna
Production
companies
Distributed by
Release date
  • July 21, 2021 (2021-07-21)
Running time
106 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans is a 2021 American computer-animated science fantasy film directed by Johane Matte, Francisco Ruiz Velasco, and Andrew Schmidt, and written by Guillermo del Toro, Marc Guggenheim and Dan and Kevin Hageman (who also produced the film).

It is the finale of the Tales of Arcadia franchise by Guillermo del Toro, which features the television series Trollhunters, 3Below and Wizards.

Following a year after the events of Wizards, the Guardians of Arcadia reunite for the final time as they battle the nefarious Arcane Order, who have reawakened the primordial Titans.

It was released on Netflix on July 21, 2021, and it received generally positive reviews from critics but a mixed response from audiences and fans with praise given to the animation and voice performances but criticism for its ending.

Plot

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Master Wizard Hisirdoux "Douxie" Casperan and former Arcane Order member Nari are ambushed by the arrival of the Order in a moving subway train, while former Trollhunter Jim Lake Jr. & his girlfriend Claire Nunez accompany the two. Jim is wounded in a battle against Bellroc and Skrael, co-leaders of the Arcane Order. Toby Domzaski, Jim’s best friend, accidentally snaps the train’s brakes, causing the train to be unable to stop, and complicating a plan to use 'trifurcate radiation', which was being handled by Prince Krel of planet Akiridion-5, Steve Palchuk and Stuart to render the wizards powerless. When the train is about to go off-track, Douxie conjures magical train tracks, after the radiation beam is broken while Krel and Co. follow the train in Stuart's food truck. When the order finally get their hands on Nari, in a last ditch effort, Douxie switches bodies with Nari, leaving her in his body, with the Order unaware about Douxie’s transmogrification spell. Nonetheless, the Order flees with Douxie (in body the form of Nari).

In a newly rebuilt Camelot, Jim recovers from his wounds, and his mother, Barbara reveals her engagement with Jim’s former teacher and principal, the changeling Strickler. Aja Tarron, queen of the planet Akiridion-5, and Eli Pepperjack arrive in Camelot and reunite with the others. Steve kisses Aja for the seventh time which, Aja reveals, makes him pregnant. Blinky Galadrigal (Jim’s mentor and surrogate father) discusses about the Arcane Order’s plan of reawakening the Titans. The Order will control the beings to converge to the center of the universe (which is the heroes’ hometown, Arcadia Oaks) and unite with a Heartstone (though this isn’t revealed until later on), thus the earth will be reborn back to the age of its first creation, where this time, humanity will cease to exist. Elsewhere, the Order discovers Douxie’s spell and reverts the two back to their normal bodies, but not before Nari alerts Jim, "Trollhunter make the ninth configuration, Krohnisfere will make right". The heroes enter the Round Table and discover that the Arcane Order is already preparing a ritual to break the Genesis Seals. The heroes fail to destroy the seals, and the ritual is completed, thus the Titans, each controlled by a different member of the order, have been awakened.

The heroes split up. Claire leads a team (consisting of Blinky, Douxie’s familiar Archie, and Archie’s father Charlemagne) to Hong Kong to acquire the Krohnisfere from a new Trollmarket, where the artifact is at the hands of the leader of the TrollDragons, Zong-Shi; Krel, fellow alien Stuart, Steve, and Eli set off to retrieve Excalibur, while the rest of the heroes try their best effort to defeat the Titans. Both Strickler and his fellow changeling Nomura are killed in battle against the Titans, but Claire’s team manages to acquire the Krohnisfere, as a result Zong-Shi being killed. Jim’s team (consisting of Aja and Toby) arrive in Hong Kong after receiving no contact from Claire’s team. Akiridion General Varvatos Vex, inside a gigantic robotic suit of Gun Robot (a character from a fictional movie series in the franchise), arrives and fights off Bellroc's titan from collapsing the bridge and trapping Claire's team. Despite his best attempts, the suit is destroyed by Bellroc’s Titan, though Vex escapes to safety. Claire’s team manages to escape the Trollmarket, but both Archie & Charlemagne stay behind, trapped by the collapsing of the magical entrance.

The heroes reunite and Douxie restores Nari’s freewill. When asked of the Krohnisfere, Nari tells Jim that "Time unfolds differently, like a flower. Only the Trollhunter will know" before using her Titan to battle and kill Skrael in his Titan, killing herself as well. Blinky reveals that because Nari and Skrael's Titans were destroyed, Bellroc's Titan will cause the world to be reborn in fire, but the heroes arrive at the town before them. Jim finally realizes that the ninth configuration is meant to represent him and his friends, who place their hands on the stone which holds the sword, enabling Jim to finally pull Excalibur out of the stone. The heroes come face to face with Bellroc, who proves to be too powerful for them to handle. As Jim is left alone to face Bellroc, he comes to accept that the amulet never made him a hero and he already was one. Jim’s newly improved amulet (created with Akiridion technology, from the original blueprints from which Merlin had used when he first built the amulet and the hilt stone from Excalibur) begins to respond to Jim and flies towards him, giving him a magic/Akiridion armor which can empower Excalibur with greater power. Toby, after remembering the anti-magic radiation generator from their first encounter with the Arcane Order, uses it on Bellroc, giving Jim the opportunity to strike Bellroc with Excalibur. Jim finds a fatally hurt Toby, who has been crushed by debris and gave his very last breath to thank his best friends for all of their times together before succumbing, leaving all of the remaining eight heroes in great sorrow.

Remembering Nari's words and realizing that the Krohnisfere is meant for him to travel back in time and prevent any tragic events that happened to him and his dearest of friends, Jim decides to use to return to the very beginning. He gives an emotional farewell and travels back to the morning where he found the mystical amulet. To prevent his longtime best friend’s death, he decides to give the mantle of the Trollhunter to Toby, who finds the amulet under the canals.

Cast

Main articles: List of Tales of Arcadia characters and List of Tales of Arcadia cast members

Production

Development

While planning the ending of the Netflix/DreamWorks Animation saga Tales of Arcadia, the producers, wanting it to finish with an Avengers-style crossover,[1] debated whether to conclude it with additional Wizards episodes or a feature film, and eventually made a film because a cinematic format allowed them to "tell this story on the scope that [they] wanted and have the story be as big as [they] aspired it to be".[2] Aware that audiences watching the film would not necessarily be familiar with the rest of the saga, a recap prologue was written for the start of the film.[2] The film was also influenced by Marvel Studios' Avengers films, the filmmakers having taken a similar approach so audiences unfamiliar with the franchise could nevertheless enjoy the film's story.[1] According to writer Marc Guggenheim, early production on the film happened while the studio was working on Wizards, which he felt gave the producers time to determine how to finish the saga's story.[2] The writers included references to executive-producer Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim, though they were careful to not to overload the film with Pacific Rim easter eggs.[2]

On August 7, 2020, it was revealed that Netflix and DreamWorks Animation were developing the Tales of Arcadia finale film, Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans, with Johane Matte, Francisco Ruiz Velasco, and Andrew Schmidt directing, Guillermo del Toro, Marc Guggenheim and the Dan and Kevin Hageman writing and producing the film, with Chad Hammes and Tales of Arcadia creator Guillermo del Toro executive-producing.[3][4] Emile Hirsch, Lexi Medrano, Charlie Saxton, Kelsey Grammer, Alfred Molina, Steven Yeun, Nick Frost, Colin O'Donoghue, Diego Luna, Tatiana Maslany, Cole Sand, Nick Offerman, Fred Tatasciore, Brian Blessed, Kay Bess, Piotr Michael, James Hong, Tom Kenny, Angel Lin, Amy Landecker, Jonathan Hyde, Bebe Wood, Laraine Newman, and Cheryl Hines were confirmed to be part of the cast of the film.[3]

Animation

The film was produced with a higher production budget than previous entries on the franchise and was provided by 88 Pictures, CGCG, Inc., and Original Force.[2] The filmmakers choose to start the film with a high speed chase sequence as a way to showcase the higher budget and animation quality to the audience.[2]

Music

Jeff Danna, who previously composed 3Below and Wizards, and Scott Kirkland composed the score for the film.[5] Dana and Kirkland composed new themes exclusive to the film, while also including themes from the previous Tales of Arcadia series in the score.[5]

Release

On August 7, 2020, the film was confirmed to be released in 2021.[3][6] On April 27, 2021, the release date was revealed to be July 21, 2021.[7][8] The project marked the first DreamWorks Animation film to be released directly on a streaming service.[2] The movie was released on Netflix on July 21, 2021.[9]

Reception

Den of Geek reviewed Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans, stating that "Though brimming with stakes, Netflix's final movie installment of Guillermo del Toro's Tales of Arcadia rationalizes rather than justifies its conclusion."[9]

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 88% of eight critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 6.90/10.[10]

Accolades

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result
2022 Annie Awards[11] Best FX - TV/Media Greg Lev, Brandon Tyra, Prakash Dcunha, Vincent Chou, Chen Ling Nominated
Best Voice Acting - TV/Media Charlie Saxton as the voice of Toby Domzalski Nominated

References

  1. ^ a b TROLLHUNTERS: RISE OF THE TITANS Writer Says "Marvel's AVENGERS Gave Them The Answers To The Test" (Exclusive)
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Murphy, Jackson (July 16, 2021). "INTERVIEW: Marc Guggenheim On 'Trollhunters' Finale Film 'Rise of the Titans'". Animation Scoop. Retrieved July 20, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c McNary, Dave (August 7, 2020). "Guillermo del Toro's 'Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans' Movie Scheduled for 2021". Variety. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  4. ^ Watch This Before You See Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans - Netflix
  5. ^ a b Everything You Need to Know Before Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans - Netflix
  6. ^ Donnelly, Matt (January 12, 2021). "Netflix's Massive 2021 Film Slate Will Deliver New Movies Every Week This Year". Variety. Retrieved July 8, 2021.
  7. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (April 27, 2021). "Guillermo Del Toro's 'Trollhunters: Rise Of The Titans' Gets Netflix Release Date And Teaser". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 8, 2021.
  8. ^ "Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans". Netflix. April 27, 2021. Retrieved July 8, 2021.
  9. ^ a b "Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans Review - A Finale At War With Itself". Den of Geek. 2021-07-20. Retrieved 2021-07-21.
  10. ^ "Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans (2021)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved August 10, 2021.
  11. ^ Giardina, Carolyn (2021-12-21). "'Raya and the Last Dragon' Leads 2022 Annie Awards Feature Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2021-12-21.