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Hulu's 'Dragons: The Nine Realms' Provides Overwhelmed Parents with Two Hours of Peace

By James Field | TV | December 29, 2021 |

By James Field | TV | December 29, 2021 |


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Dreamworks’ How to Train Your Dragon franchise, based on the writings of Cressida Cowell, has always been a step above most other children’s entertainment. The tale of Vikings and dragons learning to live together put kids in charge, but had them face real danger and consequences for their actions. The various television series under the Dreamworks Dragons umbrella were solid in their own right, expanding the main story in ways that made sense. Most of these including their new series aimed at preschoolers, Rescue Riders, are on Netflix. Now from Peacock and Hulu comes Dragons: The Nine Realms, a modern-day addition to the original tale.

Set in modern times, The Nine Realms is suitable entertainment for younger kids up to 9 or so. Tom Kullerson (Jeremy Shada) is a young teen on a mission with his mother Olivia (Julia Stiles) and her fellow scientists to explore and document a strange fissure. It turns out to be an entrance into the dragons’ realm, where Toothless and his fellow dragons retreated after the events of The Hidden World. Needless to say, Tom soon discovers the winged creatures still exist and together with his friends Alexandria (Aimee Garcia), D’Angelo (Marcus Scribner), and Jun (Ashley Liao) works to keep them safe from their parents and the base’s security personnel.

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The original series is improved upon in several ways. Not that the original series was bad, but the color palette was decidedly monochromatic. That makes sense in Viking times, perhaps, but not today, and so the team is much more diverse. One kid has a pair of moms as well. Small changes, but welcome. The animation is not good; with a blocky and stiff look and yet soft edges, it scrapes the bottom of the CGI barrel. The writing is somewhere between Rescue Riders and Dragons. Not great, not godawful.

At only 6 episodes, this first batch is short enough to be an afternoon’s distraction from bad weather. The peril is mild enough for kids of all ages, though anyone over the age of 10 will swiftly become bored with the show. Still, it’s a good match for smaller kids, and a good way to get them out of your hair for a few short hours. Sometimes during a holiday break, that’s all you can ask for.






Header Image Source: Hulu screenshots