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Western Animation / Dragon Hunters

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Meet the cast: Hector, Gwizdo, and Lian-Chu.

A short (two seasons in France, one and a half in The United States) 2004 French cartoon series by the studio Futurikon that became a CGI film in 2008, created by Arthur J. Qwak. It also features a theme song done by The Cure.

The story is set in a World in the Sky, originally intended to be our own, millennia into the future, but later Retconned as being a different universe entirely with a mythological (?) dragon having caused the literal Big Bang (however, one may not exclude the other). There's a lot of dragons around, ranging from minor nuisances to sources of mortal danger, and the two protagonists Gwizdo and Lian-Chu accompanied by their tiny pet dragon Hector are constantly searching for lucrative dragon-slaying jobs.

The series was shown on Cartoon Network on the weekends in the U.S., but, as with a lot of their foreign-produced and acquired programming, received little to no promotion. This ensured that the series wouldn't last on the U.S airwaves. At the least, the movie was dubbed and released for cinemas around the world including the U.S.


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     Tropes both the TV show and the movie provide examples of 

  • Achilles' Heel: As noted by Lian-Chu, every single dragon, no matter how big or powerful, has a weakness that can be exploited. It can be anything from hitting a specific body part to using water, fire or sunlight to defeat it, bordering on Weaksauce Weakness in some cases.
  • Bizarrchitecture: The construction of residential buildings here takes into account the physics of the Floating World and can look pretty grotesque. In the full-length movie, you can observe the ruins of incredibly gigantic Gothic skyscrapers closer to the World's Edge. In the TV series, the viewer gets acquainted with non-trivial aesthetic preferences in architecture among various nations, such as hat buildings, mushroom buildings, boulder buildings etc.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: This happens with most of the evil dragons that the guys hunt. The bloodshed here is not excessive only thanks to the natural accuracy of Lian-Chu (but this cannot be said about Ulrich the Toothless: the dragon he killed, which the customer complains about, looks just awful: in a pool of blood, with his guts out and his tongue hanging out!)...
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Gwizdo means "whistle" in Polish. Now look at this smiling master of stories with a gap in his front teeth.
    • Lian-Chu, when converted into Chinese hieroglyphs, can be deciphered in different ways: "pearl collector, "practice" and "even-out". Everything of that is about his temper, his habits and his job.
    • Hector means "guardian" in ancient Greek. The little dragon is really trusted with everything: weapons, bags of gold, transport, little children, houses...
    • Tubalard, who (you can probably tell from the name) is a bit portly.
    • There's also Sir Lensflair, whose extremely shiny armor causes lens flares in the camera.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: The dragons in the show can either look like anything from traditional Eastern or Western-style dragons to cobras, sharks or giant spiders.
  • Scenery Porn: There's plenty of that in the TV show, but the movie has incredible amounts of it, especially at the End of the World.

     Tropes the TV show provides examples of 

  • Abnormal Limb Rotation Range: Dungeon Dragons can do this with both limbs and necks. It does help them to move better underground.
  • Adults Dressed as Children: In "The Orphan Farm", Gwizdo and Lian-Chu disguise themselves as children to infiltrate the secret mine where Mother Hubbard and the orphan children are being held hostage. While Lian-Chu rightly feels awkward at first, Gwizdo really looks like an orphanage kid and briefly misleads the enemy.
  • Aerith and Bob: On one hand, you have Gwizdo, Zoria or Zaza and on the other hand you have Roger and Otis. Plus Zoria's real name is Zoe.
  • All Amazons Want Hercules: On the island of Amazoonia, Lian-Chu impresses the women by throwing a tree further than they can.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: Hector, the little blue dragon, often acts like a dog (he growls, sometimes barks, and cocks his leg to pee), but gets angry if someone mistakes him for one. He also wears a dog collar.
  • Always Someone Better: In "The Kiwajel Thrust", Zoria keeps getting contracts under Gwizdo's and Lian-Chu's nose. Eventually Gwizdo comes to respect her skill.
  • And I Must Scream: In "Don't Look Now", Gwizdo and Lian-Chu return to the inn to find everybody petrified by a Petrovile dragon. Hector also gets petrified later in the episode.
  • "Arabian Nights" Days: The kingdom in "The High Life" has this motif overall.
  • Beleaguered Assistant: Hector does the majority of the grunt work for Gwizdo and Lian-Chu: carrying heavy loads of equipment and supplies, pedalling the St. George, sharpening weapons, and even (at one point) doing Gwizdo's laundry. While Lian-Chu seems appreciative of Hector's efforts and treats him with respect as a part of the team, Gwizdo often adds insult to injury by loading on the verbal abuse. Hector responds to Gwizdo by grumbling about the situation.
  • Back from the Dead: The Salamango dragon can revive even if beheaded if he's slain for a trivial or worthless reason. The Rain Dragon will revive from its ashes if the blood of its killer is spilt on them.
  • Berserk Button: Gwizdo is normally a fast-talking coward, but even he gets furious when he sees his former orphanage bully using the other children of the Orphan farm as slaves in his mine.
    • One of the two Forrestal Brothers goes berserk at the Dungeon Dragons when he thinks they have gobbled up his brother.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Lian-Chu is one of the kindest souls in this universe, but you don't want to make him angry.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Subverted when, in "By the Book", Gwizdo is up to his chin in quicksand and Lian-Chu and Hector swoop in to save him... and are promptly caught in the net other hunters set up to catch a dragon (with Gwizdo as bait). Gwizdo has sunk completely by the time Lian-Chu does manage to drag him out.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: Gwizdo is a skinny runt, and Lian-Chu is very tall.
  • Body of Bodies: The Dragon from "Dead Dragon Walking" looks like an amalgam of different dragons patched together... because it's actually a wooden mechanical dragon covered in the body parts of many slain dragons by the male inhabitants of Amazoonia in order to take their children away from their wives.
  • Bond Creatures: The red dragon from "Treasure Rock" seems to have bond with Zoria, obeying her orders and going berserk when the handsome boy she was in love with smugly dumps her. She ultimately releases him at the end of the episode.
  • Bound and Gagged: In "Prince Charming", the titular prince's minstrel does this to Gwizdo when he discovers what the minstrel is actually up to.
  • Breath Weapon: Obviously, but not always, Dragons usually spit fire, with some variation who can breath icy mist, lightning, sand or simply barf-like slime to imprison their prey.
  • The Brute: Ulric the Toothless, Lian-Chu's replacement from "Farewell, Lian-Chu", fits the bill: he's big, strong and able to beat Dragons with just a wooden club, but is also a gluttonous, arrogant oaf who constantly bad-mouths Gwizdo and Lian-Chu and eventually tries to kill the former.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Noble Kao is a nearly-blind senile old man who loves to get paid in sweets, but he's a competent doctor, after all.
  • Captain Colorbeard: Parodied disgustingly with the pirate captain Greenbeard, who constantly uses his beard to wipe the snot from his nose.
  • Cassandra Truth:
    • At the end of "Don't Look Now", Jennyline thinks that Gwizdo tried to pawn rancid meat on her, but Gwizdo tries to explain that the meat was fresh when they brought it back but then they had to go out again to find the Petrovile cure. Given that he lies the rest of the time, she has a reason to not believe him.
    • In "Dragon in the Hearth", the adults are initially dismissive of Zaza's claims that a shadow dragon is eating up the heat in the inn.
  • Catlike Dragons: The Dungeon Dragons are remarkably cat-like, especially their newborn babies, who look and sound like a litter of kittens.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Gwizdo has a collection of these ("Just sign here, here, and here." "Lordy, lordy." "Boyoboyoboyoboy!" "Run for your liiiiiiives!").
    • Lian-Chu even gets in on the action once in a while ("It won't work, Gwizdo").
    • Lord and Lady Richmond have some of the same catchphrases Gwizdo has, which leads him to suspect that they might be his parents.
    • The hunter from "The Borback Cemetery" will often says "Grandiose", to the point that Gwizdo tells him to try and say something else for a chance.
  • The Cat Came Back: In "For a Few Veggies More", Gwizdo and Hector are forced to bring Chief Big Beard back to the Snoring Dragon with them. And for the rest of the night Gwizdo gets more and more angry and can't get rid of him.
  • Call-Back: The Movie was out between Season 1 and 2. Season 2 episode "The Master of the Dragon" has Jennyline deliver exposition: Zoria's real name is Zoe, she's the little girl from The Movie, and Jeannyline adopted her.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Lian-Chu's knitting comes up in several episodes. He even enters a knitting tournament at some point.
  • Chromatic Arrangement: The world-creating Dragons were composed of a pure white mother and three sons, one red, one blue and one yellow. Only the Red one is shown as immature, prideful and short-tempered.
  • Clip Show: "May I See your License Please?" shows again the battles against some of the previously-encountered Dragons with re-dubbed dialogue to fit the plot.
  • Clothing Damage: In "Master of the Dragon", Gwizdo gets a huge gaping hole torn in the back of his shirt after it gets caught in a cave door.
  • Cool Big Sis: Zoria to Zaza, who wants to follow in her footsteps.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Episodes are generally centered on Gwizdo and Lian-Chu, but occasionally Zaza, Hector and Zoria are the protagonists.
  • Death World: This universe consists of islands floating in the sky. One misstep and you fall off. Plus there's all the dragons around, ranging from petty nuisances to deadly dangers.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Gwizdo. Hector also counts, despite being mostly unintelligible.
  • Death by Irony: Narrowly averted. Gwizdo nearly dies in the Fountain of Youth. When Lian-Chu pulls him out, he's de-aged into a skinny kid with a squeaky voice. He gets better by the next episode, though.
  • Demonic Possession: The Scarlet Slayer can possess people and animals to turn them into docile zombies. Subverted in "The Master of the Dragon", as Yamatono's amulet simply allows its possessor to give orders to Oroti, nothing else.
  • Diagonal Cut: How Lian-Chu kills the Salamango for good while saving Zaza.
  • Disability Immunity: In "Don't Look Now", the only person in the inn whom the Petroville has not petrified is Noble Kao, whose eyesight is so bad he regularly mistakes Gwizdo for a little girl and talks to a coat and hat on a hanger.
  • Disney Villain Death: Given the floating islands all over the place, it's inevitable that many dragons and villains meet their end in such a fashion. Human bad guys though are often seen landing on a small floating rock instead.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: After the main characters killed a dragon made out of fire, it exploded and covered a nearby village in a thin layer of ash. The people there apparently thought that was a good reason to try to kill them.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: In-Universe, when a random traveler reveals that he found Zoria's pouch and wallet nearby a pile of bones (actually belonging to her poor horse) and jokes that she just lost a lot of weight in record time, Jennyline chases him out of the inn, trhowing pans and axes at him.
  • The Dung Ages: Given the time period implied there is no such thing as indoor plumbing (they use chamber pots) or refrigeration or anything close to modern hygiene standards for the general public; only the wealthy. The characters notably don't bathe often, and Gwizdo once handed Hector his laundry and said it should be done 'once a year' at least.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • In "Collywoble Water", the greedy and selfish Gwizdo is genuinely shocked when Lord Aldo refuses to do something about the villagers being attacked by a feral Hector.
    • In "The Return of Roger", the impostor Roger may be a conman, a coward, a moocher and a Miles Gloriosus, but when Zaza puts herself in danger against the dragon he brought to the Inn, he musters all the courage he has to save her.
  • Evil Counterpart: The minstrel in "Prince Charming!" is one to Gwizdo. He's a Hammy Herald who follows Prince Charming around and proudly boasts about him, but profits from the prince's popularity and keep the money all to himself being ready to betray his benefactor in case of the slightest failure, whereas Gwizdo, despite being greedy and treacherous, has a basically compassionate personality, shares the profits with Lian-Chu and supports him in any way he can. Moreover, there are many indirect signs that after successful hunts Gwizdo spends much less on his own needs and inventory than on the needs and inventory of his friend who needs abundant nutrition, high-quality weapons and yarn for knitting in his spare time.
  • Evil Uncle: Turns out that Lian-Chu's uncle actually saw the dragon coming on the fateful night it destroyed the village and knew of a shortcut he could have taken to get there first and warn everyone, but he hated his compatriots so much he fled, leaving the village to his fate.
  • Exit, Pursued by a Bear: Quite often, human villains who trick our heroes or try to kill them ends up face to face with the episode's dragon. Notable examples include "Little Rumble in the Prairie", "The Isle of Mists" and "The Shipwrecker". A small variation in "Farewell Lian-Chu" where Lian-Chu's Jerkass uncle and his assistant are stuck on the island with a furious Ulric banging on their door.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: In "A Fistful of Veggies", as the duo is about to ambush the slumbering Hammerleg, suddenly Gwizdo asks Lian-Chu what year it is... then makes some calculations and finds out that on that precise day, a solar eclipse is due. Cue to eclipse and a suddenly awakened Hammerleg.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Hector's "Big Cousin" (a Dragon of the same species but larger) seems to prefer a rather unusual diet, like wood and cow dung. Hector is not amused.
  • Facial Dialogue: In "Gland of the Mimikar", when Gwizdo goes outside to sulk, he has an expression of "I want to help him but I don't know how. I can't do this on my own." He looks up at the moon with a desperate expression of "Is this a risk I'm willing to take?" Then when he hears Lian-Chu's voice coming from the inn, he has a look of "Oh, boy, he really needs help fast. I can't leave Lian-Chu like this." Again he has a sad and desperate look of "I'm not gonna like this", but then gets an expression of "I won't leave Lian-Chu like this."
  • Fat and Proud: Jennyline again. After going on a hunt with the guys, she tells them that she's never doing that again because it's "bad for her waistline": she lost 20 pounds (not that she looks any different).
  • Fartillery: The porcine dragon from "Isle of Mist" has a rather... unique method of flight. Which leaves a thick tray of black smoke behind.
  • Fat Bastard: The Mimikar is humongous and apparently smart enough to understand and appreciate the thought of violence on sentient people.
  • Faux Action Girl: The women from Amazoonia are stronger and prouder than their men... but are so scared of dragons they don't even dare to mention the name out loud or boldly, and even faint when faced with one. Even if it's fake.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: The eponymous Sweetypie from "The Sweetypie Clause", an enormous dragon with the mentality of a three-month puppy.
  • Foil: The merchant trio from "The Convoy" is one to the heroes themselves, consisting in a fast-talking, slimy merchant, a huge, stoic and gentle giant of foreign origins and a small, hairy dragon who speaks in gibberish.
  • Foreshadowing: Gwizdo does this near the beginning of the episode "Isle of Mist" after seeing how old all of the Brotherhood members are.
    Gwizdo: Looks like rutabagas aren't quite the Elixir of Life.
  • Fountain of Youth: This is the real reason why the Brotherhood of the Dogdalites values the Island of Mist so much.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: The Sun Dragon from "The Body Beautiful" only attacks people who are cruel against animal or nature. Lian-Chu even call him a "Dragon of Justice".
  • Gave Up Too Soon: In "Deep North Dragon", Gwizdo and Lian-Chu manage to defeat the Snow Dragon, but severely damage the village with an avalanche. As Gwizdo tries to claim his reward, the inhabitants, with a Death Glare, close on him, scaring the poor guy to the point that he tears the contract to pieces... then, they hug and thank him for slaying the dragon, and for being generous enough to do it for free.
  • Gentle Giant: Lian-Chu.
  • Giant Equals Invincible: Averted, sometimes giant Dragons have weakspots that make them easy prey, while the tiny, unassuming Perfect Storm Dragon was one of the most dangerous dragons to deal with.
  • Giant Spider: The Aratog, the Monster of the Week for "Billy Thoughnut", is a Dragon in the form of a human-sized, four-legged giant spider who can move fast enough to seem like Flash Step, can shapeshift and secretly desires to become a human.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Most of the time when they actually have to kill a dragon with a sword.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: An example from "The Family Fortune" springs to mind: "I am your son. I swear to gosh I am."
    • Though, notably, Gwizdo says "hell" repeatedly in the episode "It's a Dragon's Life".
  • Grey Rain of Depression: In "Gland of the Mimikar", when Lian-Chu collapses, paralysed, and Gwizdo runs to kneel beside him, it starts to rain.
  • Hammy Herald: Gwizdo for Lian-Chu, who's too humble to boast about his skills. Prince Charming has one too, who's actually a slimy, two-tongued coward who immediately abandons him when he's defeated by a dragon.
  • A Head at Each End: The serpentine dragon from "The Family Fortune" sports this, which actually ruins the plans of the heroes to take him by surprise.
  • Heroic BSoD:
    • Gwizdo goes into a deep, introspective depression in "The Strange Taste of the Cocomak".
    • Lian-Chu becomes depressed in "The Conjunction of the Three Moons" after remembering the anniversary of his village's destruction.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Gwizdo and Lian-Chu. They've been best friends almost as long as they can remember (both were orphaned as kids and grew up together at the same orphanage). Lian-Chu is the only one who can make Gwizdo's conscience work, and without Gwizdo, Lian-Chu would always fight dragons for free and would probably have starved long ago.
  • Horn Attack: The only way to kill a Borback is to use a Borback's horn.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: More often than not, some episodes will have human antagonists who are actually worse and more ruthless than the dragons themselves. Great examples include Prince Takeru from "The Legend of the Rain Dragon" , Iago from "The Cure" and the whole Brotherhood of Dogdalites.
  • I Am a Humanitarian: The Dwarves in "For a Fistful of Veggies" normally eat beans and vegetables, but are willing to make a barbecue out of the heroes when they seemingly fail to defeat the dragon.
  • Hypochondria: In the beginning of "The Cure", Lian-Chu expresses unusual fear for sickness, as they're about to visit a quarantine hospital, and freaks out when he comes in contact with some of the infected children. Upon learning that they're not contagious, he apologizes to them for his rude behavior.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Quite a few episode titles are plays on well-known catchphrases or allusions to other works ("Desperately Seeking Zoria", "Little Rumble on the Prairie", "A Fistful of Veggies"/"For a Few Veggies More", etc.)
  • Inelegant Blubbering:
    • In "The Strange Taste of Cocomak", after reading the contract Lian-Chu gave him, an ugly gurn forms on Gwizdo's face as he struggles not to cry over it, but he gives in and sobs loudly.
    • Lian-Chu has a Disney Death in "The Gland of the Mimikar". Gwizdo sobs with his face in his hands. When Lian-Chu comes to and Gwizdo looks up, his nose is running and tears are streaming from his eyes.
  • Informed Attribute: While hyping up Lian-Chu's heroic build in "A Fistful of Veggies," Gwizdo mentions his "thighs like tree trunks"...despite the art style giving Lian-Chu a very top-heavy, thin legged look.
  • In the Blood: Subverted: Lord and Lady Richmond have the same accent Gwizdo does, have some of the same catchphrases, and have a love for business and contracts. However, he's not their son.
  • It's Personal: In "The Conjuction of the Three Moons", Lian-Chu visits his now-rebuilt village in order to face off against the very same dragon that destroyed his village years ago. And succeeds in driving him away.
    • In "Farewell Lian-Chu" after hearing that Lian-Chu died fighting a dragon, Gwizdo first rushes to the battlefield to get revenge, not knowing that his friend only faked his own death in order to escape from the captivity of his evil uncle.
  • Invisible Monster: In "The Strange Taste of Cocomak", a massive invisible dragon infests the island the heroes end up on. The only visible things are the silhouette and the enormous fanged mouth.
  • Jaw Drop: Hector when he learns that Jeanneline wants to marry Gwizdo.
  • Joisey: Gwizdo either has this accent or a Brooklyn one in the English-language version. Lady Richmond also talks like this.
  • Just Desserts: The nameless but stylish Bounty Hunter who tries to feed the heroes and Chief Bigbeard to the dragon in "For a Few Veggies More" ends up eaten by said Dragon, as seen when Lian-Chu recovers his tattered clothing from the monster's mouth.
  • Kill It with Fire: How the heroes defeat the Rain Dragon. Luckily, he can revive from his ashes.
  • Kill It with Ice: A variant with the Shadow Dragon in "Dragon in the Hearth", who feeds off heat, including its victims, and makes them look like they died from cold.
  • Kill It with Water: A number of Dragons are vulnerable to water, including naturally the ones made of fire or electrically-charged. Also, two dragons who are capable of mind control (Scarlet Slayer and Drago Menta) are vulnerable to water/snow, which disrupts their hypnosis.
    • The Dogdalites could easily kill Gwizdo this way, just letting him drown in their Fountain of Youth without any help from his friends.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Prince "Charming" Granion de Bismuth. While at first he looks like a brainless, pompous fop, he's shown to be a decent person after all.
  • Koan: Lian-Chu always has one handy. Sometimes lampshaded by Gwizdo. Thanks to a single Koan, Lian-Chu's able to persuade the Red Dragon that he didn't need to gather actual treasure, but to become wise.
  • Lady Land: In "Dead Dragon Walking", we're introduced to the village of Amazoonia, a land where proud, muscle-bound women are in charge and men are meek and submissive. The episode's twist is that the "dragon", which the women are afraid of, is a puppet made of wood and dragon remains manned by the village's men and used to take the children away in a hidden village, where they can raise them in a fairer way.
  • Last Ditch Move: In "The Stuff Of Dreams", Gwizdo sinks into a lake while Lian-Chu is battling the Grimalock. As he reaches the bottom he sees Lian-Chu's sword; just before he blacks out, he cuts the dragon, whose own blood knocks it out.
  • Last of His Kind: Some dragons are, apparently, incredibly rare: the Mimikar from "Gland of the Mimikar" is said to be the last of his kind (and apparently killed off for good by the end of the episode), while other Dragons like the one from "The Family's Fortune" are said to be nearly extinct.
  • Le Parkour: At different levels Lian-Chu, Gwizdo and Hector have mastered this technique because of the huge number of obstacles that must be overcome on foot before the hunting object is discovered.
  • Literal-Minded: When Malo tells Captain Greenbeard that a book is like a key which can open any door, the pirate proceeds to try to open a nearby door by jamming a book against the padlock multiple times, before throwing it away and claiming that whoever said that didn't know the first thing about a key.
  • Living Shadow: The aptly named and nightmarish Shadow Dragon is one who feeds on the heat of people and locations, leaving a frozen wasteland wherever he goes. Lian-Chu and Gwizdo actually stumble into the frozen corpses of his previous victims (though thankfully they're not shown).
  • Loony Fan: In "Prince Charming!", Gwizdo and Zaza get captured by a Prince Charming fanboy.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: in the episode "The Stuff of Dreams", Gwizdo breathes in spores from a dragon and falls into a coma; in his dream, he becomes a hero, everybody respects him, and Jennyline is a stunning red-haired beauty he falls in love with. The Dragon responsible does this to lure people in its tentacles.
  • Lovable Coward: Gwizdo. Borders sometimes on Dirty Coward when the Jerk side of his Jerk with a Heart of Gold personality gains the advantage. Also the fake Roger, who at first hides like a coward from the dragon but ultimately risks his life to save Zaza from him.
  • Lovable Rogue: Gwizdo again.
  • Man-Eating Plant: The dragon in "Combat spores". Highlights include Lian-Chu fighting it with a sickle and being ultimately defeated by Gwizdo's salad dressing.
  • Messy Pig: Averted with Leopold, Zaza's cherished pet, whom she sometimes brings inside the house without trouble. One episode has an entire pig farm under control of a brainwashing dragon.
  • Mind Rape: The Drago Menta uses his mental powers to do this to Lian-Chu, forcing him to fight all the previously encountered dragons and then grotesque hybrids of said dragons and his own friends.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: A few dragons. The Snow Dragon looks part snake, part shark, the one in "For a Fistful of Veggies" resembles a giant frog with elephantine legs and a whale-like throat, while the one in "Baby in the Family" looks like a hybrid of mosquito and crocodile.
  • Money Fetish: The town in "Collywoble Water" is even more money-grubbing than Gwizdo. So money-grubbing that its lord acts with indifference when Hector goes on a rampage.
    Gwizdo: Lord Aldo! It's a catastrophe! A terrifying, horrible, abominable dragon is in the midst of pillaging the inhabitants, and slaughtering the village! Uh, I mean pillaging the village and slaughtering the inhabitants.
    Lord Aldo: So I hear.
    Gwizdo: Eh... you gotta do something, old man! Here's an idea. I'm gonna do you a favor. I'm gonna sandwich you in between two contracts. Ten thousand klurks and we'll turn your dragon into a distant memory. That is an incredible price. Hunters like us usually cost twice this much. Just sign your name here, here and here.
    Lord Aldo: No. We love our money too much.
    Gwizdo: Huh? Come on. Hector- (He hastily covers his mouth) Mh-mh (He takes his hand away from his mouth) I mean, the monster's gonna eat your town.
    Lord Aldo: That's too bad.
    Gwizdo: No? You can't say that, it's, it—that's... immoral.
  • Monster of the Week: Each episode features a battle against a different "dragon"; by the end of the episode, the creature has been vanquished, proved harmless or freed. Sometimes a dragon makes a cameo in another episode (for example the Giant Spider from "Billy Thoughnut" reappears in "Farewell Lian-Chu" and "By the Book" as a minor antagonist).
  • Morton's Fork: The victims of the Grimalock's spell such as Gwizdo can only recover safely if they walk into the Grimalock's grip. Killing the Dragon will leave them forever stuck in their illusion, unable to awaken on their own, as the spell takes 30 years at least to fade on its own.
  • Motor Mouth: Gwizdo is a fast-talking con man who has a tendency to ramble when he's nervous or scared.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: Gwizdo usually haggles with desperate villagers over the price of the Hunters' services or actually tries to swindle them. However, his schemes either go wrong or his good nature prevails, effectively preventing the team from getting rich and settling down.
    • Crosses with Fatal Flaw in that he's also a coward, although most of the time he's the lovable rather than the dirty sort. Played for Drama in "Dragontagious", in which a dragon has knocked Lian-Chu's sword out of his hand and Lian-Chu is fighting for his life. Gwizdo is too terrified to even move (let alone give his friend his sword); he remains flat on the ground, hands on his ears, and cries.
  • Multi-Melee Master: Lian-Chu is mostly a swordsman, but can employ other weapons as staves, axes, clubs and sickles.
  • Mundane Utility: In "Hell around Town", Gwizdo uses the dragon captured in "City Bound" as a tourist attraction and to cook meat.
  • My Brain Is Big: Drago Menta has a seriously Body Horror one, bigger than the rest of his body and sporting a fanged mouth in the middle.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Lian-Chu often shows genuine remorse when he finds out he's just slain a harmless and innocent dragon.
  • Never Learned to Read: It makes sense for the setting and isn't really harped upon one way or the other, but few people actually know how to read in this society except those that can afford the schooling or have jobs that require it. For the most part being able to read or write isn't needed in order to function on a daily basis in this world. In fact most people that sign the contracts are literally just scratching an 'X' on the line because they can't write their own names.
    • This is also why Gwizdo is invaluable as a teammate despite being basically useless in battle. On the rare occasions he isn't there to do it finding someone that can read for them is a mini-quest in and of itself.
    • It's also the only reason the guys were even included in the episode "Treasure Rock". Zoria had to swing by the Inn to pick up the guys for the adventure because she needed someone that would willingly read a book for her (though he did try to charge her by the page). Lian-Chu was just a bonus for that one; Zoria specifically went there to pick up Gwizdo.
  • Never Say "Die": Averted. The Real Song Theme Tune by The Cure says it as much as it can, for one.
  • No Accounting for Taste: The beautiful princess from "The High Life" seems to genuinely prefer the dorky, gap-toothed Gwizdo over Prince Granion. Gwizdo has no problem with this, until he learns that she's ready to give up her status to be with him.
  • Non-Action Guy: Gwizdo. He's still willing to put his life on the line for Lian-Chu though, including facing dangerous dragons like the Mimikar and the Drago Menta.
  • Non-Malicious Monster: A handful of Dragons are actually harmless or even benefical to human if left alone, like the Rain Dragon, Dungeon Dragons or the Sun Dragon.
  • Off with His Head!: In "Who's Lost his Head Now?", Gwizdo brings Jennyline the head of a dragon Lian-Chu has just killed as a trophy. The inn is promptly haunted by the dragon who's looking for his head and eventually re-attaches it.
  • Oh, Crap!: In the show's intro, Gwizdo, Lian-Chu, and Hector get this expression once they realize that they're standing in a large dragon's mouth.
  • Older Than They Look: Gwizdo is in his early 30's but looks like he's in his early to mid 20's or sometimes he even reminds one of an impatient teenager. His emotional development that of a twelve year old boy (for example, his experience of falling in love is minimal), but he's a shrewd businessman.
  • One-Winged Angel: The Scarlet Slayer from "Porkfester's Pigfarm Island" first appear as a grotesque blob with many tendrils and a massive maw on a thin neck. After they seemingly kill it, it turns out it was only its larval stage and proceeds to break the cocoon and turn into a larger wyvern-like monster with tentacles on its belly.
  • Only in It for the Money: Most of the time. Subverted for an heartwarming moment in "The Orphan Farm", where Gwizdo not only helps the orphanage's children and Mother Hubbard for free, but also willingfully gives them the large bag of money they already had to rebuild the orphanage.
  • Only Six Faces: Mostly averted, although some of the villagers are clearly the same from one episode to another.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Oh yes. Gwizdo and Lian-Chu go after a number of different kinds of dragons over the course of the series, and no two are alike. With all the variety, it seems most likely that any creature that is threatening enough to make a village hire hunters to get rid of it is labeled a "dragon" for simplicity's sake. Noticeably, the Dragons who look more like traditional Oriental Dragons tend to be good and attack only when provoked. Meanwhile the Red Dragon looks like the standard western Dragon, including being intelligent, kidnapping princesses and stealing gold for his hoard.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Gwizdo and Lian-Chu's bounty hunter disguises only consist of a mustache and a wig, respectively. The only ones not fooled by the disguise are Jennyline and Zaza.
  • Person as Verb: "Pulling a Gwizdo" at Mother Hubbard's farm is their term for chickening out.
  • Pet the Dog: In "Billy Toughnut", not only Gwizdo is moved by Billy's love story, but when it comes time to get payed he willingfully tears the contract in half.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: The Perfect Storm Dragon from "The Shipwrecker" looks very small and Ugly Cute... then you see ''why'' he's known as "The Perfect Storm Dragon".
  • Plucky Girl: Zaza.
  • Power Pincers: The Dragon who destroyed Lian-Chu's village sports a pair of massive, powerful pincers in lieu of arms. Lian-Chu manages to force it to flee by cutting the pincers' arms.
  • Proverbial Wisdom: Lian-Chu is wise in spite of his naivety, and has a Koan for nearly every occasion.
  • Quicksand Sucks: Gwizdo gets caught in quicksand in "By the Book".
  • Raptor Attack: Jimbobs from "There's no Place like Home" are a pack of raptor-like electrified Dragons who hunt in packs, live on an island filled with jungles and tall grass fields. The only other atypical tract is, they taste delicious if they're cooked right after being killed. Also, "The Borback Cemetery" has a pack of ferocious, raptor-like dragons living on the secret island where Borbacks come to die, in order to eat their remains.
  • Read the Fine Print: In "The Strange Taste of Cocomak", Lian-Chu and Hector arrange a contract to bring Gwizdo out of a deep depression. However, because neither Lian-Chu nor Hector can read, they overlook the fine print which says that the gold can only be handed over until the dragon hunters are dead.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Lian-Chu is a very skilled swordfighter, a badass, something of a Genius Bruiser and a generally big muscular giant of a guy. He's also very fond of knitting.
  • Red Right Hand: Even if it can take human form, an Aratog can be betrayed by his sideway-closing eyelids.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Agheegoo from the titular episode. Even a greedy jerk like Gwizdo ends up genuinely loving him.
  • Rude Hero, Nice Sidekick: Gwizdo and Lian-Chu tend to alternate between hero and sidekick, although sometimes Gwizdo is the Rude Hero and Lian-Chu is the Nice Sidekick.
  • Samus Is a Girl: Zoria in the episode The Kiwajel Thrust. Also the commander in "Treasure Rock", who after being left by her lover cried so much she's left with a terribly husky voice.
  • Shorter Means Smarter: Zig-Zagged, as Gwizdo clearly is the most skilled when it comes to getting jobs (and money - Lian-Chu and Hector usually don't really make a lot when he's not around), but Lian-Chu is often more sensible than Gwizdo.
  • Shark Fin of Doom: The Snow Dragon (resembling a hybrid of snake and shark) plays this trope straigth in snowfields.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The flying machine that Gwizdo, Lian-Chu, and Hector use to travel from place to place is called the St. George. Given the subject of the series, this a likely reference to the dragon-killing Catholic saint of the same name.
    • "The Master of the Dragon" is a nod to the legend of Yamata-no-Orochi, including having a vaguely Japanese village, a eight-headed Dragon named Orodi and a young boy named (Sus)Anowo.
    • The pirate in "Treasure Rock" is called Malo.
  • Sky Pirate: In one episode, Zoria joins a crew of Sky Pirates, whose ship is powered by a massive red dragon resembling a winged snake tied to the hull.
  • Sleep Cute: In one scene in "The Kiwajel Thrust", Gwizdo is curled up asleep on the ground, with Hector collapsed on top of him. The novelization describes them as ending up "squarely in each other's arms".
  • Spanner in the Works: In "For a Few Veggies More", Gwizdo pretends he and Lian-Chu are bounty hunters hunting themselves. When they introduce themselves to the Zimbrenelle dwarves, who had tried to eat the duo when they last saw them, Chief Big Beard decides to go with them, which puts Gwizdo's plan in jeopardy and annoys him so much that he's stopped short of murdering him.
  • Standard Hero Reward: In "The High Life", Gwizdo tricks Prince Charming and has the chance to marry a beautiful princess (who's actually head over heels for him) and inherit a kingdom, but has to defeat the terrible Blaster dragon. Even if the dragon is killed, his hoax is uncovered, and while the Princess is still willing to marry him she's also ready to give up all her money, which turns Gwizdo off.
  • Status Quo Is God:
    • Sometimes the two hunters get to fly home with the reward money, but by the start of the next episode, they are invariably flat broke, but then again it probably wasn't enough to pay the rent.
    • In the episode "Hell around Town", after the duo makes enough money to settle down in the city, Gwizdo loses all the money he earned in a scam. Faced with huge debts, they are forced to flee and by the end of the episode they are again doing chores.
  • Suddenly Shouting:
    • In "Don't Look Now", when Hector mischievously tickles a dozing Gwizdo's nose with what he thinks is a feather, the dragon hunter is unappreciative of this.
      Gwizdo: Stop it, Hector, I was tryin' to take a nap. You want me to SHOVE THAT STUPID FEATHER DOWN YOUR THROAT?!
    • In "Little Rumble on the Prairie", Zaza tries to steer the St. George towards the island but Gwizdo is taking them off course, so she grabs the gear shift and almost crashes everyone, to Gwizdo's extreme chagrin.
      Gwizdo: Zaza, sweetheart, we've been really good sports. We even let you play co-pilot. But pretty please, let us handle the rest. UNDERSTAND?!? Or else it's back to the inn.
  • Suddenly Speaking: Normally, dragons don't talk (Hector is a Speech-Impaired Animal), but the Salamango in "Who's Lost Their Head Now?" suddenly gloats to Lian-Chu in an ominous, deep voice, warning him that no matter how many times they kill him, he'll come back. It's unclear if Lian-Chu is hallucinating or if Salamango Dragons can actually talk. In the same episode, Gwizdo mentions offhand that dragons talk with their mouths full, but again it's unclear if Lian-Chu was just hearing things, while the Aratog can apparently talk, but only when in human form. The Red Dragon is also highly intelligent and capable of speech.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Gwizdo can't swim. If he's plunged into a body of water he'll sink straight to the bottom. Lian-Chu actually has to revive him with chest compressions in "The Stuff of Dreams".
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: In "Don't Look Now", Gwizdo and Lian-Chu have been paid in food, which they bring back to the inn, but they find it's been attacked by a dragon and everybody is petrified. When they come back with the cure, it's been a couple of days, the food has gone bad, and Jennyline adamantly refuses that the rent be paid in stinky, rotten food.
  • Taken for Granite: In a rather unusual case, Dungeon Dragons hunt by blocking their prey between their long limbs, neck and tail before turning to stone, trapping their victims in an unbreakable cage where they'll starve and dry to death. The dragon then turns back to flesh and eat the remains.
  • Those Magnificent Flying Machines: The St. George.
  • Those Two Guys: The Forrestall brothers, rival dragon hunters.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: From time to time the Dragon Hunters actually manage to sail home with some gold from their journey.
  • Tickle Torture: Happens to Gwizdo in the episode "Desperately Seeking Zoria", right after the camera showed a bigger array of nastier torture instruments.
  • Tsundere: Jeanneline browbeats Gwizdo about his unpaid tab on a regular basis. She's also head over heels in love with him and wishes to marry him.
  • The Unfavorite: In "The Orphan Farm", Gwizdo was bullied by all the children while he was at the orphanage with name-calling, pranks and sometimes serious physical harm (the bully at the orphanage tried to seriously burn him by setting his bed on fire). Even Mother Hubbard told future generations what a scared little kid he was.
  • The Unintelligible: Hector mostly speaks in gibberish with a few comprehensible words thrown in here and there. Downplayed in the original French, where his speech is clipped and garbled but somewhat comprehensible.
  • The Unishment: Played for laughs and subverted in "The Grand Tournament": the punishment for the heroes consist in being thrown from the highest cliff of the island... which is barely two feet tall. The subversion comes when it's revealed that they'll also be rolled over by a giant spiked boulder at least five times in a row.
  • Unit Confusion: Apparently there was a decree 30 years ago that changed all units of measurement throughout the kingdom(s). Gwizdo and Lian-Chu once agreed to a contract for a dragon that was stated as being five feet high only to discover that the isolated people hadn't heard of that decree; thus the dragon was far larger than either of them expected it to be since they had been referring to the old feet and not the new feet.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Prince Charming. He gets better in later episodes.
  • Wacky Wayside Tribe: The one that worships the Mimikar in "The Gland of Mimikmar". Hilariously enough, since the gland under the dragon's mouth is so big he cannot lower his jaw to breathe fire at ground level, it's composed of people short enough to avoid the fire breath alltogether.
  • Weasel Mascot: Hector. Also The Unintelligible and a Deadpan Snarker.
  • Were Dragon: The Dragontagious can turn people he infects with his venom in another, tailless Dragontagious. The victim can be saved if the dragon bite is punctured and all the venom flows away.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Zaza is very intelligent and mature, and a good listener. Especially during times when Gwizdo is acting particularly immature.
  • World in the Sky: The setting of the series.
  • Would Hurt a Child: "No Place Like Home", while all the adults are on a hunting trip, the inn is intruded by two shady thieves who're willing to drop Zaza from the island.
  • Wutai: There are a few villages with a heavy Chinese/Japanese atmosphere. The dragons living nearby tend to look like Oriental dragons as well.
  • Youkai: "Billy Thoughnut" has a Dragon in the form of a shapeshifting Giant Spider who bears an overall striking resemblance to the youkai Jorogumo. Also, "The Master of the Dragon" has an oriental village under attack from a eight-headed, oriental-looking dragon called "Orodi".
  • You Are Not Alone: Gwizdo, of all people, says this in essence to Lian-Chu after his long-lost uncle turned out to be a Jerkass who deliberately let a dragon destroy Lian-Chu's village and his family because he was jealous.
    Gwizdo (when they're back at the inn with Zaza and Jennylin): "You see, big guy? Your family's right here."
  • You Have Failed Me: The Scarlet Slayer uses a herd of brainwashed pigs to gather food from nearby islands. When one of the pigs returns empty-handed (figure of speech), the Dragon promptly snatchs him and devours him.

     Tropes the movie provides examples of 
  • Adaptational Ugliness: In the animated series, Gwizdo is presented as charismatic and moderately attractive. The film portrays him as exhausted by many hard wanderings, grimy and unpleasant, with myopic, slightly beadier eyes and faint acne scars, even having him describe himself as "mean and ugly" during a breakdown.
  • Animalistic Abomination: The World Gobbler, which causes great destruction every time it wakes up.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Lian-Chu destroys the World Gobbler by throwing his needles at the beast's eyes.
  • Big Bad: The World Gobbler
  • Big Damn Movie
  • Brick Joke: At the beginning of the film's third act, Gwizdo snarks, "Oh, right, the great knight Lian-Chu is gonna say to the World Gobbler, 'I do not fear you, ugly thing', and poof! The World Gobbler's dead, and we're all happy as piss!... And then nature blossoms, everything's green, and there are little white bunnies flyin' all over the place!" That's exactly what happens at the end of the film.
  • Call-Forward:
    • When the heroes are shown the calendar with a picture of the World Gobbler, Gwizdo asks what the picture of the tree is for, and Lord Arnold answers that it's for scale. This is an echo to a similar situation in "Gland of the Mimikar".
    • Lian-Chu kills the World Gobbler with knitting needles; he kills the Hammerleg the same way in "A Fistful of Veggies", only with the World Gobbler he aims at the eyes and not the sole of the foot.
  • Catchphrase: Zoe finds Gwizdo and Lian-Chu's adventures to be consistently "Unreal!"
  • Curtains Match the Window: In the movie, Gwizdo's eyes are brown; his eyes are blue in the TV series.
    • Same situation with blue-haired Hector whose eyes in the movie are blue; his eyes are brown in the TV series.
  • Dope Slap: Gwizdo smacks Hector upside the head when the dragon laughs at him for demonstrating how fearsome Lian-Chu should be.
  • Dracolich: The World Gobbler, again.
  • Hard Cut: Several examples, but the most obvious is Zoe's Curse Cut Short (at least in original French) at the end of the film. Gwizdo, Lian-Chu, and Zoe are singing, and the camera pans toward Zoe. When Zoe's face almost fills the screen, the film immediately cuts to the end credits before she can finish the verse on what is presumably a very rude word.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Gwizdo often doesn't know when to stop talking. However, when Zoe talks non-stop, she's such a pest to him that it makes him want to kill himself.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • One occurs when Gwizdo, Lian-Chu, and Zoe crash-land on the surface at the End of the World, and Zoe fakes a Disney Death to find out if Gwizdo really cared for her.
    • Then there's the ending: Lian-chu defeats the villain of the film, the World-Gobbler, while Gwizdo, Hector, and Zoe are terrified and trying to save their lives. The World-Gobbler explodes, Fade to White... And then there's floating bunnies everywhere, and Gwizdo, Lian-Chu, and Zoe planning their dream farm, all the while with bright green planetoids straight out of Super Mario Galaxy float around. The joke being that it confirms Gwizdo's earlier sarcastic rant about everything being just hunky-dory should Lian-Chu ever defeat the dragon.
  • The Movie: And it is The Prequel, too.
  • One to Million to One: The "Red Swarm". Constituted of many small red flying creatures (looking like a cross of toad and bat), it can assemble into a large, fire-breathing dragon/ogre. Once, the dragon reconstitutes while the swarm is separated in several places; its head ends up stuck inside a barn, the body outside and one leg farther away, but still mobile and aware of its other body parts.
  • Suddenly Shouting: Gwizdo does this when he, Lian-Chu and Zoe set up camp.
    Gwizdo: I can't take it. I'm gonna hang myself.
    Lian-Chu: They're only blisters. Put some herbs on them.
    Gwizdo: I'm not talkin' about my blisters, I'm talkin' about PRINCESS BLABBERMOUTH!!
  • This Is No Time for Knitting: At the beginning of The Movie, Gwizdo berates Lian-Chu for knitting (although he admits that he still values Lian-Chu as a friend). Later, Zoe (thinking the needles she found were Gwizdo's) points out that it's not very knight-like to knit, yet in the end, Lian-Chu uses the knitting needles to blind and destroy the world-eating monster they were after.