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 Marc Guggenheim and Dan and Kevin Hageman (who also produced the film).
The film 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 must reunite for the final time as they must 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.
Master wizard Douxie Casperan and former Arcane Order member Nari are ambushed by the arrival of the Arcane Order in a moving subway train, while former trollhunter Jim Lake Jr & his girlfriend Claire Nunez accompines the two but Jim is wounded in a battle against Bellroc, the leader of the order. Toby Domzaski, Jim’s best friend accidentally snaps the train’s brakes, causing the train itself to speed up and as it’s about to go off-track, Douxie conjures magical train tracks and switches bodies with Nari, who is now in Douxie’s body and the order are unaware about Douxie’s conjure. Nonetheless, the order flees with Douxie (in Nari’s body).
In a newly rebuilt Camelot, Jim recovers his wounds and his mother, Barbara reveals her engagement with Jim’s former principal, Strickler. Aja Tarron (the queen of the planet, Akiridion-5) and Eli Pepperjack (the earth ambassender) arrive in Camelot and reunite with Steve Palchuck, Aja’s lover and Krel, Aja’s brother. Blinky Galadrigal (Jim’s mentor and surrogate father) discusses about the Arcane Order’s plan of reawakening the Titans, who the order will control the beings to come to the center of the earth (which is the heroes’ hometown, Arcadia Oaks) and unite with a hearthstone (though the titans uniting with a heartstone wasn’t revealed until later on), thus the earth will be reborn back to it’s first creation, where this time, humanity will cease to exist. Elsewhere, the order discovers Douxie’s conjure and reverts the two back to their normal bodies, after Nari alerts Jim about the trollhunter must make the ninth configuration and the kronisfere will make it right. The heroes enter a roundtable and discover that the Arcane Order is already preparing a ritual to break the Genesis Seals. The heroes fail on destroying the seals, and the ritual is completed, thus the Titans, controlled by each member of the order, have been awakened.
The heroes then split up, where Claire leads a team (consisting of Blinky, Douxie’s familiar, Archie & Archie’s father, Charlemagne) to Hong Kong to acquire the kronisfere from a chinese trollmarket, which the artifact is at the hands of the leader of the TrollDragons, Zong-Shi, Krel, fellow alien, Stuart, Steve & Eli sets off to retrieve Excalibur, and the rest of the heroes tries to their best effort to defeat the titans. Both Strickler and his fellow friend Nomura are both killed in a battle against the titans, and Claire’s team manages to acquire the kronisfere, as a result Zong-Shi being killed. Jim’s team (consisting of Aja & Toby) arrives at Hong Kong after receiving no contact from Claire’s team and Varvatos Vex (inside a gigantic robotic suit) arrives but the suit is destroyed by Bellroc’s titan, but Vex manages to escape to safety. Claire’s team manages to escape the chinese trollmarket but both Archie & Charlemagne stay behind.
The heroes reunite and Douxie restores Nari’s freewill and she uses her titan to stop Skreal’s titan and they both kill each other. Bellroc’s titan is still marching to Arcadia Oaks, and the heroes arrive at the town before them, and Jim finally realises that the ninth configuration is meant to represent him and his friends, who all placed their hands on the stone, and Jim finally pulls Excalibur off the stone. The heroes come face to face with Bellorc, who proves to be more powerful for the heroes to handle and Jim is left alone, and comes to accept that the amulet never made him a hero, he already was one. Jim’s newly improved amulet begins to respond to Jim and it flies towards him, and he is given magic/akiridion armor and summons Excalibur. Toby, knowing about the anti-magic radiation generator from their first encounter with the Arcane Order, uses it on Bellorc, giving Jim the opportunity to strike Belloc with Excalibur. Jim finds a dying Toby, who has been crushed by debris and he gives his last breath, leaving all of the heroes in sorrow.
Jim, realising that the kronisfere is meant for him to travel back in time and prevent any tragic events that happened to him and his friends, gives an emotional farewell to his friends and travels in time to the morning where he found the amulet, and ultimately decides to give the mantle of the trollhunter to Toby, who finds the amulet, under the canals.
- Emile Hirsch as Jim Lake Jr.
- Lexi Medrano as Claire Nuñez
- Charlie Saxton as Toby Domzalski
- Kelsey Grammer as Blinky Galadrigal
- Fred Tatasciore as AAARRRGGHH!!!
- Colin O'Donoghue as Douxie Casperan
- Diego Luna as Krel Tarron
- Tatiana Maslany as Aja Terron
- Steven Yeun as Steve Palchuk
- Cole Sand as Eli Pepperjack
- Alfred Molina as Archie
- Nick Frost as Stuart
- Jonathan Hyde as Walter Strickler
- Amy Landecker as Barbara Lake
- Lauren Tom as Nomura
- Nick Offerman as Varvatos Vex
- Piotr Michael as Bellroc (Male voice) and Skrael
- Kay Bess as Bellroc (Female voice)
- Victor Raider-Wexler as Vendel
- Angel Lin as Nari
- Cheryl Hines as Lucy Blank/Momblank
- Tom Kenny as Ricky Blank/Dadblank
- Tom Wilson as Coach Lawrence
- Bebe Wood as Shannon Longhannon
- Brian Blessed as Charlemagne
- James Hong as Zong-Shi
- Laraine Newman as Ms. Janeth
- Grey Griffin, Stephanie Sheh, Kelly Stables and Frank Welker as additional voices
While planning the ending of the Netflix/DreamWorks Animation saga Tales of Arcadia, the producers, wanting it to finish with an Avengers-style crossover, debated on whether to conclude it with additional Wizards episodes or a feature film, and eventually choose to do it as a film due to a cinematic format allowing them to "tell this story on the scope that [they] wanted and have the story be as big as [they] aspired it to be". 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. 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. 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. The writers included references to executive-producer Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim, througth they were careful to not to overload the film with Pacific Rim easter eggs.
On August 7, 2020, it was revealed that Netflix and DreamWorks Animation are 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. 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, Grey Griffin, and Cheryl Hines were confirmed to be part of the cast of the film.
The film was produced with a higher production budget than previous entries on the franchise. The filmmakers choose to start the film with a highway speed chase sequence as a way to showcase the higher budget and animation quality to the audience. According to Guggenheim, the filmmakers treated the titans as both characters and environments, due to which they created an hybrid style of shooting scenes in which they felt as either characters or environments on determined shots.
Jeff Danna, who previously composed 3Below and Wizards, and Scott Kirkland will compose the score for the film. Dana and Kirkland composed new themes exclusive to the film, while also including themes from the previous Tales of Arcadia series in the score.
On August 7, 2020, the film was confirmed to be released in 2021. On April 27, 2021, the release date was revealed to be July 21, 2021. The project marked the first DreamWorks Animation film to be released directly on a streaming service. The movie was released on Netflix on July 21, 2021.
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."
Writer Marc Guggenheim said Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans is meant to "wrap up the trilogy and for this really to be the final chapter in the story", but that it simultaneously "also opens the door for a whole host of new storytelling possibilities", and that it was "designed to be a cap, and [he suspects] it will remain that way for at least a little bit".
- TROLLHUNTERS: RISE OF THE TITANS Writer Says "Marvel's AVENGERS Gave Them The Answers To The Test" (Exclusive)
- Murphy, Jackson (July 16, 2021). INTERVIEW: Marc Guggenheim On 'Trollhunters' Finale Film 'Rise of the Titans'.
- McNary, Dave (August 7, 2020). Guillermo del Toro's 'Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans' Movie Scheduled for 2021.
- Watch This Before You See Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans - Netflix
- Everything You Need to Know Before Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans - Netflix
- Donnelly, Matt (January 12, 2021). Netflix's Massive 2021 Film Slate Will Deliver New Movies Every Week This Year.
- D'Alessandro, Anthony (April 27, 2021). Guillermo Del Toro's 'Trollhunters: Rise Of The Titans' Gets Netflix Release Date And Teaser.
- Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans (April 27, 2021).
- Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans Review - A Finale At War With Itself (en-US) (2021-07-20).
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