‘3Below: Tales of Arcadia’ Season 2 Review: Home Is Where The Heart Is
The first season of Dreamworks Animation Television’s 3Below posed a powerful question with political undertones concerning children caught up in undocumented immigration. Where exactly is home? Is it where you’re born and your parents are from? Or is it where you ultimately reside to survive?
For alien refugees Princess Aja and Prince Krel, that question looms even larger in 3Below Season 2 as they fight to save Akiridion 5 and Earth from overzealous General Morando.
Guillermo del Toro, Rodrigo Blass, Marc Guggenheim, A.C. Bradley and a host of other talented individuals have kept the Tales of Arcadia train firmly on its tracks with 3Below Season 2 as it barrels closer toward a conclusion. If anything they’ve successfully broadened the Season 1 tonal range without compromising storytelling.
Laughs get a boost when Toby pops up early on in a family scene you may have seen part of before. Whereas Toby was a cameo character in Season 1, he’s joins Eli as a regular in Season 2 to help the Akiridions in their fight. It’s virtually impossible not to love Toby and his wingman AAARRRGGHH!!! anytime they appear. Toss in more screen-time for Stuart and other familiar faces, and there’s more than enough laughs to go around.
Stakes are raised when General Morando and new villains arrive on Earth to continue their hunt for the royals. Making matters worse for Aja and Krel is a nefarious assist Colonel Kubritz gets in her misguided plight to cleanse Earth of all illegal aliens regardless of their intentions.
Where these new 3Below episodes veer furthest from their predecessors is by expanding the greater Tales of Arcadia mythology. Rather than merely dip into Trollhunters for a one-off crossover, Season 2 weaves through it to fuel the biggest reveals and plant a couple seeds for what’s next.
We all know Tales of Arcadia will conclude with Wizards sometime later this year. There’s an obvious setup for the big finale series featuring all the main Trollhunters and 3Below characters. But there’s also a potential hint in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it reveal before the final episode. Get that pause button ready.
Before 3Below signs off, the answer to the question about “where home is” will be revealed. Ultimately Krel and Aja’s respective fates are determined in a touching conclusion evoking the Trollhunters finale. Everything about this conclusion wonderfully wraps up the two-season arc.
All 13 episodes of 3Below Season 2 will premiere exclusively on Netflix beginning Friday, July 12th.
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