Since in Italy it seems that everything is silent, we are talking about a high quality animated fantasy series, which deserves to be known and which will give us many satisfactions!

We are talking about The Dragon Prince, available in our country through Netflix. This animated computerized series is the result of the work of the Wonderstorm, the small American studio where, among other things, some of the creators of the historic cartoon series work The Last Airbender (on whose new books we have spoken Thu!).

Let's see a bit of the plot (without spoilers!), The strengths and weaknesses!

The Dragon Prince: the synopsis

In the beginning, the magical land of Xadia it was a single great continent where humans and magical creatures lived together and magic drew its power only from the six primary sources, namely sun, moon, sky, earth, ocean and stars.

Everything changed when humans discovered the existence of a seventh source, or magical creatures themselves, thus inventing the dark magic.

Not at all happy with this discovery, the magical creatures under the guidance of dragons and elves made the decision to exile all humans in the western part of the continent. They enclosed everything with a huge mountain and placed the dragon king himself to guard the border and electrocute anyone who dared to cross it.

A thousand years later, humans have finally managed to kill thunder, the dragon king and to destroy even the egg of his rightful heir. The world is on the verge of all-out war, and a group of murderous moon elves roam the lands of men seeking revenge. This will initiate a series of events that will bring two human principles, brothers Callum e Ezran, starting with the elf Rayla for a new exciting adventure.

Callum, Ezran and Rayla enjoy the exciting adventure
Callum, Ezran and Rayla enjoy the exciting adventure

Background, strengths and weaknesses of The Dragon Prince

Thus began the story of The Dragon Prince. Who knows The Last Airbender he will be immediately at ease: once again, in fact, we are faced with a series that, even if it is heavily inspired by the world of anime, it does not renounce its western origins. His dialogues are full of irony and word games and the story betrays in each scene a deep inspiration to the Game of Thrones and the novels of GRR Martin.

As in The Last Airbender (to which, however The Dragon Prince it is not tied in any way) every season is called Book and takes its name from one of the six primary sources of which we spoke earlier and whose characteristics and philosophy are addressed from time to time.

Each Book it is divided into chapters / episodes, nine for each series released so far. These chapters last slightly longer than the classic twenty minutes of the common animated series, so make each one Book more like a three and a half hour fantasy feature film like The Lord of the Rings by Peter Jackson, who to a real TV series.

A 3D animation does not always live up to expectations

The use of '3D animation instead of the traditional one it is perhaps the only weak point of the series (it was not the case with Gen: Lock, whose latest episode has been reviewed Thu). In fact, we cannot always say that the animations of the characters are up to the story they tell and, especially in the first series, some movements of the characters often appear. woody e unnatural.

The thing is however destined to improve season after season, as the budget and popularity of the series increased. Already in the second Book the qualitative leap compared to the previous one is truly remarkable.

So if you choose to give it to The Dragon Prince however a possibility, the spectator's patience is destined to be amply rewarded.

The animation actually had a good qualitative leap from the first to the second season!
The animation actually took a good leap from season one to season two!

High level dubbing and worldbuilding

To save a bit the technical sector is also the dubbing of the characters that, at least in the original, is made by veterans of the series The Last Airbender, whose voices go well with the personalities of the various characters.

The world of The Dragon Prince is a kind of progressive version of the classic fantasy middle ages we are used to. That is, it is a world where people have decided that it makes no sense to criticize and discriminate against others based on ethnicity, skin color, sexual orientation or physical disabilities, when you first take it out on the dirty four-fingered elves.

In a historical period in which in the media the diversity is so exalted and advertised, The Dragon Prince instead, he chooses to adopt an approach similar to that of his characters both inside and outside the series.

Diversity is considered a foregone conclusion that is not worth dwelling on: a kingdom can be ruled by a couple of queens with a daughter in tow, one of the strongest generals in the series is a deaf-mute woman who expresses herself in the American sign language. And the really important things of all these characters are quite different.

The dirty elves with four fingers!
The dirty elves with four fingers!

A strong cast of serious moral characters and dilemmas

They are really i characters one of the strengths of the series and where the lesson learned from Martin's work becomes more evident to the point that, for those who know both series, it is impossible not to see the influence that people like Ned Stark have had on the characterization of the characters or Jamie Lannister.

Both the heroes and the antagonists of the series are all endowed with a well-rounded personality and highly credible reasons even when it is impossible to share them.

Viren is a beautiful character and has his reasons despite everything
Viren is a beautiful character and has his reasons despite everything

In this series, we can safely say that there is no evil in itself, even when dark magic is used. The latter, in fact, being easier and with immediate results, often seems to be the only viable solution to one's problems, thus creating many interesting moral conflicts.

A series that must improve, but that really deserves!

Summing up The Dragon Prince is one of the most interesting animated series of recent years, but betrayed by a technical sector that is not always up to its content.

Despite all this, the story told so far really deserves to be heard and to make that qualitative leap that would allow it to be on par with its illustrious predecessor.

For this reason I can't help but recommend it to all lovers of the fantasy genre and beautiful stories in general.

I conclude with a little advice: never skip the credits episodes! They are always accompanied by a series of drawings, unique for each episode, containing preparatory sketches, funny curtains and sometimes even real "cut scenes" that only enrich the beautiful world of The Dragon Prince.