Wizards: Tales of Arcadia (or simply Wizards) is an American computer-animated fantasy limited series created by Guillermo del Toro, and produced by DreamWorks Animation Television and Double Dare You Productions. The series is the third and final installment of the Tales of Arcadia trilogy, following Trollhunters and 3Below, and was released on August 7, 2020 on Netflix. In the newest installment, wizard-in-training Douxie (Colin O’Donoghue) and the heroes of Arcadia embark for the control of magic that will determine the fate of those supernatural worlds that have now converged.
Tales of Arcadia first launched in 2016 with the Emmy-winning series Trollhunters, including a first-ever Emmy win for del Toro and Rodrigo Blaas for Outstanding Directing, followed by the second installment 3Below in 2018. On the surface, Arcadia appears to be a slice of timeless Americana, but it is no ordinary town. It lies at the center of magical and mystical lines that make it a nexus for many battles among otherworldly creatures including trolls, aliens and wizards.
KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Eshaan M. comments, “Guillermo del Toro’s new series Tales of Arcadia: Wizards will enrapture its viewers because of its high-quality animation, detailed emotional rollercoaster plot and strong script. The eight-time Emmy award-winning team behind this production creates a whole new fantasy world to dive into with the intricate CGI in this show—the mesmerizing floating castle of Camelot, incredible flying contraptions and futuristic technology complete the look. Designed with the utmost care, the many characters of this show are illustrated with clear lines and realistic coloring for skin, whether human or monstrous, hair, fangs and even fingernails—now that’s detail-oriented!” See his full review below.
Wizards: Tales of Arcadia
By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 14
Guillermo del Toro’s new series Wizards: Tales of Arcadia will enrapture its viewers because of its high-quality animation, detailed emotional rollercoaster plot and strong script. The eight-time Emmy award-winning team behind this production creates a whole new fantasy world to dive into with the intricate CGI in this show—the mesmerizing floating castle of Camelot, incredible flying contraptions and futuristic technology complete the look. Designed with the utmost care, the many characters of this show are illustrated with clear lines and realistic coloring for skin, whether human or monstrous, hair, fangs and even fingernails—now that’s detail-oriented!
Now to the plot of Wizards: Tales of Arcadia. The main character in this TV show is Hisirdoux or Douxie, our favorite clumsy wizard-in-training. After a stand-off with the Arcane Order – an evil band of magicians led by the wily Morgana – goes wrong, the group of do-gooder wizards (Merlin and Hisirdoux, along with the Guardians of Arcadia: Claire, Toby, and Steve, as well as Archie and Jim) set off on a time-twisting adventure to the times of 12th-century Camelot. The control of magic, the nature of all the supernatural worlds, and Hisirdoux’s status in his mentor’s eyes all lie in the balance.
The plot is intricate and crafted carefully – there are several plot twists along the way, and all of the characters are nuanced and lifelike. Well, the ones that aren’t monsters are lifelike. I found it very hard to peel my eyes away from the screen throughout the ten episodes! Surprisingly, for a fantasy series, I was unable to predict what would happen next!
A highly talented and vaunted figure in television series lore, Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, one of the many executive producers of the film, is well-known for his expertise in the industry. It shows in this TV series as well. Throughout the series, I found myself going through tears of joy and sadness, and cracking a super-wide smile at several parts. The script of Wizards, written by Andie Bolt, Ian Rickett and Lila Scott, was truly feature-film quality.
Colin O’Donoghue plays Hisirdoux; I found “Douxie” to be possibly the most nuanced of all the characters, and O’Donoghue is excellent at portraying all the facets of his personality. Steven Yeun plays Steve on the show, and he portrays the clumsy jock with comedic genius. Lena Headey plays the conflicted Morgana with finesse. Those are my three favorite characters on the show, with Archie as a runner-up – you have to love the cat/dragon’s sarcastic commentary and incredible portrayal by Alfred Molina. Toby seems like an accessory character in this show and does not have much importance in lines or scenes.
There are several sweet messages incorporated throughout the show—messages of acceptance, perseverance, camaraderie and believing in yourself. The emotional development and maturing of Hisirdoux surely will cause you to shed a few tears as well, and you can’t help but be proud of Callista, a troll with an interesting secret, for stepping up and casting aside what other trolls thought of her.
I rate Wizards: Tales of Arcadia 4 stars out of 5 and recommend it to children aged 10 to 15. Wizards: Tales of Arcadia is now available on Netflix.
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