Tales of Arcadia is a trilogy of CGI animated series created by Guillermo del Toro, produced by DreamWorks Animation and Cha Cha Cha Films, that are exclusively streamed on Netflix. The trilogy was announced in 2017 along with the second season of the first series Trollhunters.
Arcadia seems like your average small American city, but unbeknownst to many of even its own citizens the sleepy little Californian town holds some amazing secrets. Ferocious Trolls live beneath the city streets, Alien royalty from another world are hiding next door, and powerful wizards walk the streets. Magic is everywhere and it's attracting some very nasty customers who want nothing more then to claim it all and rule the world. It's up to our various young heroes and their loyal allies to stop them, all while balancing the normal life of your average American teenager.
Works in this franchise:
- Trollhunters (2016-2018): The story of Jim Lake Jr, the first human champion who is chosen by a magic amulet to protect trollkind from a ruthless warlord.
- 3Below (2018-2019): The story of Aja and Krel Tarron, alien royalty who crash-land on Earth and seek refuge after barely escaping a coup staged by an evil dictator.
- Wizards (2020): The story of Douxie Casperan, a time-traveling wizard apprentice who must save the magical and mortal worlds from a dark order of ancient sorcerers.
- Trollhunters (2015): A novel from which the Trollhunters TV show was (very loosely) adapted.
- Trollhunters: The Adventure Begins (2017)
- Trollhunters: Welcome to the Darklands (2017)
- Trollhunters: The Book of Ga-Huel (2018)
- Trollhunters: Age of the Amulet (2018)
- Trollhunters: The Way of the Wizard (2018)
- Trollhunters: Angor Reborn (2018)
- 3Below: Arcadia-Con (2019)
- Trollhunters: The Secret History of Trollkind (2018): A graphic novel directly based on the TV show.
- Trollhunters: The Felled (2018): A second graphic novel based on the TV show.
- Trollhunters: Defenders of Arcadia (2020): An action platformer developed by WayForward Technologies.
Tropes present in the whole franchise:
- Book-Ends: In the very first episode of the trilogy, implied to probably be a moment of Forshadowing, Jim is seen pulling Daylight out of stone, just like the Excalibur myth. In the Wizards finale, he tries (and fails, at first) to pull the real Excalibur out of stone following Arthur's demise. But in the last scene, he's seen staring at the sword, presumably implying that he will become its next wielder one day...
- City of Adventure: Arcadia Oaks, CA
- Connected All Along: The trolls and the Akaridion aliens are connected through a prophecy, as revealed in Part Two of 3Below.
- The Conspiracy: At first only Eli Pepperjack was aware that there were trolls, wizards, and aliens all living secretly in Arcadia.
- Interspecies Romance:
- In Trollhunters, Jim's mother Barbara starts dating Strickler, unaware that he's a changeling rather than a human. By the time she learns, their relationship is more complicated, but there are undertones they may get back together.
- By the third-to-last episode of Trollhunters, Jim and Claire become this, as she is a normal human, even with magic powers, but Jim has become a troll-human hybrid. A quick remark in an episode grants that she still finds his half-troll form attractive. By the end of Wizards, Jim is changed back to human, so it ends up being subverted.
- In 3Below, Steve and Aja fall in love with each other, though one of then is a human and the other is an alien. The same can be said of Vex falling in love with Toby's grandmother.
- Ironic Name: The name of the city. Arcadia is a term used to refer to romanticized depictions of a peaceful, gentle and quiet countryside area. The city itself is not on the countryside, but rather urban-like and far from peaceful or quiet.
- Science Fantasy: Trolls and ancient beasts, aliens and advanced technologies, wizards and magic artifacts. The franchise has it all.
- Shared Universe: All three installments take place in Arcadia, with multiple characters and locations shared in all three.
- Simultaneous Arcs: Part 1 of 3Below takes place at the same time as Part 3 of Trollhunters. The ninth episode of both those seasons are when the main characters of both shows meet and have a small adventure together.
- Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: The protagonists of each series are young teenagers all trying to balance school and social lives with their adventurous other lives.
- However, unlike Trollhunters and 3Below, the majority of the Wizards setting focuses more in the magical world of Camelot and the entire plot of the series in general is being concerned with battling evil, more than trying to balance urban school lives.