I found a gif with this on it and I almost started crying. Countdown to the Comet was when Nicktoons ran every episode for three days. I remember watching this. I remember being eight years old and waiting for this. I remember the countdown ticking down to five minutes. I remember seeing Zuko and Iroh’s reunion for the first time and my mom trying to hide the fact that she was crying. This brought up so many emotions because it put me back at an almost exact time. I can’t tell you how much I want to watch this like this again. Not knowing how Aang will master the elements, learning along with Zuko about the White Lotus, being flabbergasted at who Bumi really was, hanging off the edge of my seat when you hear Jet’s voice on the ferry, not knowing that Pakku and Kanna were in love, wondering how Zuko got his scar, watching Katara take down Hama, realizing who Suki was at the same time as Sokka on the docks, watching Zuko’s redemption arc, meeting Toph, watching Katara’s power grow, learning about Kya and Lu Ten, not knowing what black snow means, hating book one Zuko. Rewatching this reminds me how many great moments and plot twists and cliff hangers I’ll never get to experience again. I want to fall in love with it again.
Think about it
This has to be a thing
Someone write this
Sokka singing as Yue dies
Katara’s songs getting more and more badass
Ozai’s Angels with music?!
Iroh… well he’d be the same
Zuko opera singing about honor
Aang singing about the nomads
Suki singing while training Sokka
June having a badass theme song
Jet having a cliche musical moment in the tree house
Ember Island being purposely off key
Did you see a female superhero in action this weekend? No, we don’t mean Wonder Woman, but the real-life Amazon Jessie Graff, who set a new record on American Ninja Warrior: USA v. The World this weekend.
On the NBC special, which aired ahead of Monday’s Season 9 premiere of America Ninja Warrior on June 12, Graff became the first woman to ever complete Stage 2 of the pretty-much-impossible obstacle course.
Q&A: Guillermo del Toro announces ‘Trollhunters’ season 2
Last Christmas, sometime while you either weren’t looking or were solely focused on graver matters, Netflix released what’s shaping up to be its most-watched children’s series ever, from one of the industry’s most whimsical storytellers — and if the show’s demographic-dashing storyline didn’t catch your eye the first go-round, you’re being summoned by the storyteller himself to catch on for season 2.
Trollhunters comes from Guillermo del Toro and marks both a first for the filmmaker — a bingeable creation for Netflix — and a return to form by way of a long-standing history with DreamWorks Animation, where Del Toro cut his teeth in the medium. EW can exclusively reveal that, following the successful run of the first 26 episodes, a second season of 13 episodes will arrive later this year, with production already long underway for season 2.
The show follows the adventures of Jim (Anton Yelchin, who recorded the first season before his death in June), a teenager-turned-warrior called upon by an underground civilization of trolls to defend their way of life from both humans and evil trolls alike. The returning cast includes Charlie Saxton and Lexi Medrano as Jim’s cohorts Toby and Claire, Kelsey Grammer as his troll mentor Blinky, and Clancy Brown as the series’ big bad, Gunmar.
What’s important to know about Trollhunters and its expansive world-building is that despite the show’s impending viewership pedigree, its stunning visuals shouldn’t be construed as simply for kids. As Del Toro himself tells it, Trollhunters is for kids in the same way as Pacific Rim and Hellboy were for kids — which is to say, they straddle the optics of genre in a way that much (although definitely not all) of the director’s work does.
To announce season 2, Del Toro spoke with EW about the validation of renewal, how the show will handle the loss of Yelchin, and where the series — and Del Toro himself — will go from here.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: It seems like you have some news to share.
GUILLERMO DEL TORO: Well, we got very good news about how many people were watching the series, but we got confirmation that the next episodes are a go. We’ve been working on a second season for a while now because we knew that if everything went right, we could proceed. We’re going to go ahead and now continue, rather than start, because we’ve been doing it for more than a year. The reality and the beauty of this is that we can continue not only the storyline and the characters, but we have a huge swath of work from Anton that allows us to continue Anton through more than half the season.
How did you approach the show following the loss of Anton?From the get-go, even in the first season, we knew we wanted to preserve as much of the performance of Anton as possible, both from an artistic and a human point of view, and also simply because I think it’s a tribute to what we think he brings to the role of Jim. From the beginning when we planned the writers’ room, we set out a map of 52 episodes, and created arcs that break every 13, and those were planned four years ago. So we have been recording Kelsey Grammer, Anton, Ron Perlman, Clancy Brown, everybody involved in the series for years and years. And there was a break in the arc in the right episode that allows us to preserve all the work that Anton did that was phenomenal. At the end of recording sessions, Anton did one of the most complex episodes and then he looked at the pilot, complete, and there was a great moment in which he was able to see the work and do a really complicated episode in which he did multiple voices and we were all so proud and so close when we lost him. And now I can tell you, we’re not only going to second season, but we’re going to be able to preserve a really large part of it with Anton’s voice.
Does his passing change anything in your initial plan, or are you sticking to it?Actually, coincidentally, we have an event in the last episode Anton did which allows us to sort of change his voice slightly, so the character stays — but we didn’t plan this. It was pure serendipity that we had that in the works. The beats of the second season have been set for years, and as of now, we have not altered or needed to alter a single beat.
Since Trollhunters is meticulously mapped out and you’ve been working closely on it for years, let me ask: what surprised you at the end of season 1 that you perhaps didn’t anticipate?This is a series in which I am collaborating with a guy I admire tremendously, which is Marc Guggenheim, and with Rodrigo Blaas, who has been my partner in this whole adventure. I think the thing that surprised me—but it was episode by episode—was how emotional I felt about things that we had put on paper, that we had put in pencil. We had a unique endowment. I really think Trollhunters was done in a way that I have never experienced because, unlike a $150 million animated movie, we were working with TV budgets, but we said, “We have to be ambitious to look and feel like a movie. We have to be much more ambitious than our budget.” And what was really surprising is that I promised, and offered, at every creative step, to protect my team from notes and interference. I said, “This is going to be a show done by creators.” And as we started to deliver , what I found very moving is that you ended up seeing people, seeing animators go the extra mile to animate really well. You saw cinematographers going the extra mile to light really well. We had layout and story guys going the extra mile because they knew… most of the time, the story and storyboard departments on an animated project think of the work as disposable. They know that a sequence they do is going to go through 20 incarnations. And I promised them, you’re not going to come back a month later and find out that you need to do five versions. And everybody felt this is being delivered on. We are working with freedom, so let’s go the extra mile, first time around. And it made a huge difference in the quality of the show, because our budget, monetarily, was the same, but our budget, humanly, was enormous.
Let’s talk season 2’s story. If you didn’t proceed on a second season, the cliffhanger sending Jim to the Darklands would have been brutal. I’m working with one of the best producers in animation. His name is Chad Hammes, and Christina Steinberg, whom with I had worked a couple of times in the past at DreamWorks. And we said from the beginning, we have to bet that we’re going to deliver something really good, and we’re going to get the 52. So part of the thing is, we’ve been animating and blocking, and we have a much stronger second season already in the process. We made the decision based on binge-watching, you know? As we were going through the first season — which really is two seasons because it’s 26 — I started watching the animatics, three or four in a row. I would cancel my flight and stay. I would take three episodes with me. And I started naturally finding how much, at the end of every episode, I wanted to watch the next. And we said, if we can maintain that rhythm, that sort of addictive pace, through 26 episodes, we’re going to get a second season.
Is Jim in the Darklands all season long, or is it just a quick visit?The Darklands are quite an ordeal in themselves. They are not a light walk in the park. They are not a one-action sequence and we go away. There’s a good in the Darklands. We have character recalls that were introduced in the first season that you didn’t know how they’d pay off, or you thought you’d knew how they pay off, and you reencounter them and go, “Oh, so this is who the mysterious lady that gives supernatural powers to Angor Rot is,” for example. She becomes quite a character in the second season. You reencounter a character I love — I won’t tell you who — but we reencounter that character now in the Darklands. We resolve a lot more of the backstory of Blinky and AAARRRGGHH!!!, for example. And of course, the Mexican dentist comes back.
Meanwhile, what will Toby and Claire get up to while Jim’s gone?Well, the second season gives a chance for them to become Trollhunters on their own, but the two worlds are constantly linked. We find out some of the surprisingly complex politics in the world of trolls in regards to the Darklands, and the arc is really very beautiful in the second season. Very heroic, I would say.
RELATED: Hear more of the latest TV news from this week
Is there a single piece of Trollhunters merchandise you hold most dear?We created a couple characters to pitch the series to Jeffrey , and they were done in 3-D, and Jeffrey gave them to me after the consumer products department was done with them, and they were really battered. They were missing a hand, a nose… they were really broken. So I bought some epoxy clay and I repaired them and repainted them in my garage. Now they are on my desk because they were always two of my favorite three-dimensional pieces when we were pitching the series. It’s AAARRRGGHH!!! with Toby in his hand, and one of my favorite characters, which is Not Enrique.
The show is unofficially tracking as Netflix’s most-watched kids’ series ever. What does that mean to you considering this is not just a project, but one of deep passion for you?All of my life I’ve been doing animation. I did it as a teenager. That’s how I started. I started doing clay animation. I went and did this really prolonged sort of internship at DreamWorks for six or seven years, getting my footing on Puss in Boots, Kung Fu Panda2 and 3, Megamind, Rise of the Guardians… and I really feel that it’s a world that is integral to who I am. If you know my collection, a large portion of my collection is original Disney concept art, and a large portion of my library is an animation library. Forty minutes or more of Pacific Rim was basically animation. I was directing an animated movie within that movie. And I think it’s not a side interest. I know how integral it is to who I want to be as a storyteller and the rest of my immediate future.
Do you feel pulled more towards family-friendly fare now?I’ve done movies that I would definitely not recommend to children. But I’ve done movies that I wholeheartedly always thought they were for young kids. Not 7 or 8, but certainly 10 or older, like Hellboy or Pacific Rim. I really wanted them to have heroes and adventures that were un-ironic, not post-modern, and heartfelt. I think in many ways, the Charlie Hunnam character in Pacific Rim is a little bit like Jim. He’s not a complicated guy. He’s good-hearted. They don’t need to be complicated by post-modern winking or ironic satiric logic. They are really earnest and heartfelt.
What’s coming up next for you?I’m finishing The Shape of Water, and that is not a kids’ movie at all. I would never dream of that. And I want to finish or continue other projects that are of a completely different nature. The thing is, I am not a brand. I am an acquired taste. And as such, I don’t want to be defined by what I’ve done, but what I do next.
Trollhunters season 1 is currently available to stream on Netflix.
The Calendar Woman for 4th June is Gwenllian ferch Gruffydd (1097-1136)
Gwenllian ferch Gruffydd was the Princess consort of
Deheubarth in Wales who became famous for her revolt against the Normans. The youngest
daughter of Prince Gruffud ap Cynan of Gwynedd, the young Gwenllian eloped with
a visiting Prince, Gruffydd ap Rhys, at the age of 16 and joined him in Deheubarth,
South Wales. The Norman invasion of South Wales was putting pressure on her new
family and they were often on the move. Gwenllian would travel with her husband
in mountain or forest strongholds, joining him on retaliatory strikes against
the Norman-held posts in Deheubarth, redistributing their goods and money among
the Deheubarth Welsh who had been dispossessed.
In 1136 conflict over the English throne weakened the
central authority in England and offered the chance for a revolt, which began
in South Wales lead by Hywel ap Maredudd, Lord of Brycheiniog. He was initially
successful, inspiring Gwenllian’s husband to meet with her father and secure
aid to further the revolt. In his absence, the Nomans led raids in Deheubarth,
prompting Gwenllian to raise an army for their defence. The battle, fought near
Kidwelly Castle, ended in defeat for Gwenllian – she was captured in battle and
beheaded along with two of her sons.
As news of her death spread, others in South Wales were
inspired to rise up and overthrow Norman controlled areas of Wales. Her brother’s
also took up arms, invading several Norman-controlled regions in her name and
for centuries after her death, Welshmen cried out ‘revenge for Gwenllian’ when
fighting in battle.
I love how Avatar makes the nonbenders just as cool and powerful. It’s like saying “hey you don’t have these cool powers but you can still be like these awesome characters” Korra fell in love with a nonbender. The fire lord fell in love with a nonbender. The self proclaimed greatest earthbender of all time had a crush on a nonbender. Some people argue that the fire princess fell in love with a nonbender. The avatars son was (for most of his life) a nonbender. The two greatest warriors to come out of the water tribe were nonbenders. The universes greatest bounty hunter was a nonbender. The fire princess chose two nonbenders for her small elite team. Two thirds of the gaang were nonbenders. I just think it’s really cool.