3Below: Tales of Arcadia

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3Below: Tales of Arcadia
3Below.png
Promotional poster
Genre
Created byGuillermo del Toro
Based oncharacters by Guillermo del Toro and Daniel Kraus
Voices of
Theme music composerThe Crystal Method
Opening theme"3 Below"
ComposerJeff Danna
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes26 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producers
Producers
  • Steven Schweickart
  • Jaena Sta. Ana
Running time24 minutes
Production companies
DistributorNBCUniversal Television Distribution
Netflix
Release
Original networkNetflix
Picture formatHDTV 1080p
Audio formatStereo
Original releaseDecember 21, 2018 (2018-12-21) –
July 12, 2019 (2019-07-12)
Chronology
Preceded byTrollhunters: Tales of Arcadia
Followed byWizards: Tales of Arcadia
External links
Website

3Below: Tales of Arcadia (or simply 3Below) is an American computer-animated science fantasy television series produced by DreamWorks Animation, and is the second installment of Guillermo del Toro's Tales of Arcadia trilogy.[2]

The series was announced on December 12, 2017 by Netflix and DreamWorks. On October 5, 2018, the premiere date was announced and the first teaser was released. The 13-episode first season was released on December 21, 2018 on Netflix. The series concluded with the release of the second season on July 12, 2019.[3][4]

A third and final installment of Tales of Arcadia, titled Wizards, was released on August 7, 2020. The full-length feature film, Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans was released on Netflix on July 21, 2021.[5]

Plot[edit]

Two royal extraterrestrial siblings, Crown Princess Aja and Crown Prince Krel of House Tarron, their doglike pet named Luug, and their bodyguard, Varvatos Vex, escape from their home planet of Akiridion-5 after a coup and crash-land on Earth, specifically in the city of Arcadia Oaks, California. There, the aliens adjust to human culture and try to fix their spaceship (as well as to restore their nearly-dead parents King Fialkov and Queen Coranda) to return and take back Akiridion-5, which is being taken over by an evil dictator known as General Val Morando, who has already sent out a team of intergalactic bounty hunters, called the Zeron Brotherhood, to find and catch the alien prince and princess.[6]

After investigating a way to stop Val Morando and find the hiding place of Aja and Krel, Zadra, one of the noble protectors of the royals from Akiridion-5, arrives on Earth. Meanwhile, after learning of his involvement in Morando's coup, Aja and Krel decide to exile Vex. During his exile, Vex is captured by the Zeron Brotherhood and imprisoned at a bounty hunter outpost located on Earth's moon. In Season 2, Aja and Krel learn of his capture and launch a rescue mission. Soon after the rescue, however the gang discovers that Morando is heading for Earth. After successfully defeating him, Aja (now Queen), Vex, Zadra, Luug and the rest finally return home, joined by Eli, who has volunteered to be Earth's ambassador on Akiridion 5. Crown Prince Krel decides that Earth has become his home, and decides to stay with his new human best friends.

Voice cast[edit]

Princess Aja and Crown Prince Krel also appeared in the Trollhunters episodes "In Good Hands", and "The Eternal Knight Pt. 1" in their borrowed human forms.

Episodes[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally released
113December 21, 2018 (2018-12-21)
213July 12, 2019 (2019-07-12)

Season 1 (2018)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
Part 1
1–21–2"Terra Incognita"Guillermo del Toro and Rodrigo BlaasGuillermo del Toro and Marc GuggenheimDecember 21, 2018 (2018-12-21)
After a tyrant invades their parents' monarchy and their home planet, teenage aliens Crown Prince Krel and Princess Aja and their bodyguard Varvatos Vex land for safety on Earth.
After crash-landing in the town of Arcadia, California, the royal siblings search for useful technology in order to power their spaceship.
33"Mind Over Matter"Johane MatteMatthew Chauncey, Aaron Eisenberg, Will Eisenberg, and Lila ScottDecember 21, 2018 (2018-12-21)
Crown Prince Krel builds a mind-reading device in hopes of blending in with humans. Elsewhere, General Morando dispatches bounty hunters to track down the royals. Princess Aja and Crown Prince Krel find another alien.
44"Beetle Mania"Elaine BoganAaron Eisenberg and Will EisenbergDecember 21, 2018 (2018-12-21)
Royal super-fan Stuart offers to help eradicate an infestation of technology-eating alien beetles called Skeltegs before it exposes the siblings' true identities.
55"Collision Course"Andrew SchmidtMatthew ChaunceyDecember 21, 2018 (2018-12-21)
The royals take a driver's ed class, hoping to find parts for their ship. Instead, they're led on a high-speed chase with the Zeron Brotherhood.
66"D'aja Vu"Johane MatteA.C. BradleyDecember 21, 2018 (2018-12-21)
A time-traveling giant troll wreaks havoc at the school science fair, threatening to expose both the troll world – and the royals' true identities.
77"Flying the Coop"Johane MatteLila ScottDecember 21, 2018 (2018-12-21)
Krel and Dadblank are attacked by a mysterious bounty hunter, injuring Dadblank. Princess Aja and Crown Prince Krel are summoned by a member of the school board to produce proper identification. Dadblank and Momblank are renamed Ricky and Lucy. The member of the school board attacks and is revealed to be the bounty hunter who attacked Krel and Dadblank earlier. Zadra and the resistance discover the identity of the traitor who aided the coup.
88"Party Crashers"Elaine BoganA.C. BradleyDecember 21, 2018 (2018-12-21)
An incoming message from Akiridion-5 alarms Vex. Meanwhile, the arrival of the zerons ruins the royals' outing in the woods with friends.
99"Lightning in a Bottle"Andrew SchmidtAaron Eisenberg and Will EisenbergDecember 21, 2018 (2018-12-21)

Aja & Krel are searching for Aja’s missing serrator in the forest until Aja spots something glowing in Jim Lake Jr’s bag, believing it to be her missing weapon. At school, Steve Palchick (who is the one that has Aja’s missing weapon) tries to figure out how the weapon works but is taken away by Principal Senior Uhl, who assigns Jim to show both Aja & Krel around Arcadia. Gnome Chompsky ultimately finds the serrator, alerting Varvatos Vex, who tries to retrieve it. Aja & Krel help Jim and his friends by putting lighting inside a bottle, in which they do so. Stuart manages to retrieve the serrator and leaves it on the door steps of the house of Tarrons, making it look like it was Steve, who did it. Krel & classmate Seamus begin a math duel, where Krel ultimately allows to Seamus win. On Akiradion-5, General Morando presents the new blanks, Ocular Mechanically Engineered Neutralizers (O.M.E.N).

1010"The Arcadian Job"Johane Matte and John LausMatthew ChaunceyDecember 21, 2018 (2018-12-21)
In a daring heist, the royals and Stuart infiltrate high-security military base Area 49-B in hopes of stealing the final part to power the mothership.
1111"Truth Be Told"Elaine BoganLila ScottDecember 21, 2018 (2018-12-21)
Princess Aja decides to tell Steve she's actually an alien, but her confession is cut short by a visit from the Zeron Brotherhood. Zadra arrives on Earth, unwittingly bringing the O.M.E.N. with her.
1212"Last Night on Earth"Andrew SchmidtMatthew Chauncey, Aaron Eisenberg, and Will EisenbergDecember 21, 2018 (2018-12-21)
The royals celebrate their last day on school – and on Earth – with friends, but Zadra's arrival with revelations of Varvatos's betrayal shakes them to the core. Meanwhile, Gunmar and Morgana attack Arcadia and the alien royals help Steve and Eli take out some goblins.
1313"Bad Omen"Rodrigo BlaasA.C. Bradley and Lila ScottDecember 21, 2018 (2018-12-21)
The last Zeron (Zeron Alpha) unleashes a barrage of attacks on the siblings, enabling Omen to hijack the ship and take the royal cores. Alpha Akiridion-naps Varvatos Vex.

Season 2 (2019)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
Part 2
141"Moving Day"Andrew SchmidtLila ScottJuly 12, 2019 (2019-07-12)
Left vulnerable after Omen's attack (and following defeat and return of the royal cores of the Queen and King), the extraterrestrial heirs look to conceal their damaged ship but are soon confronted by the bounty hunter Magmatron.
152"Moonlight Run"Johane MatteMatthew ChaunceyJuly 12, 2019 (2019-07-12)
Princess Aja and Crown Prince Krel enlist Stuart to help find their former ally Vex, who's being held prisoner at a bounty hunter outpost on the moon. A secretly defected Loth Saborian reveals that Morando has made an army of Omen robots and is heading for Earth.
163"Dogfight Days of Summer"Elaine BoganAaron Eisenberg & Will EisenbergJuly 12, 2019 (2019-07-12)
With General Morando's invasion of Earth imminent, Crown Prince Krel tries to stop the fleet's advance with a video game and unwitting help from the kids of Arcadia. Right at the end, a new bounty hunter arrives on Earth.
174"Mother's Day"Andrew L. SchmidtMatthew ChaunceyJuly 12, 2019 (2019-07-12)
Mother, the AI controlling the royals' ship, reflects on keeping the peace between her quarreling family. Morando discovers a secret hidden on Earth and captures Loth Saborian. Colonel Kubritz from Area 49-B teams up with the captured bounty hunter after she noticed it causing problems as it looked for Princess Aja and Crown Prince Krel.
185"Ill Gotten Gains"Elaine Bogan & Francisco Ruiz VelascoIan RickettJuly 12, 2019 (2019-07-12)
Colonel Kubritz stages a phony quarantine of Arcadia Oaks High School in a ploy to capture the royals -- and their advanced weapons technology with help from the bounty hunter, Tronos. After she fires on him so she can get the royals to study first (allowing them to escape), Morando make contact with her.
196"There's Something About Gwen (of Gorbon)"Johane MatteAaron Eisenberg & Will EisenbergJuly 12, 2019 (2019-07-12)
Stuart gets an unexpected visit from his bounty hunter ex-girlfriend, Gwendolen; Crown Prince Krel helps Toby and Eli produce a short film, "Kleb or Alive," for a local contest.
207"Asteroid Rage"Andrew SchmidtMatthew Chauncey, Aaron Eisenberg & Will Eisenberg & Lila ScottJuly 12, 2019 (2019-07-12)
Unable to stop an asteroid hurtling toward Earth, Kubritz pleads with the royals to help destroy it by offering stored alien technology from Area 49-B, before betraying them to King Morando.
218"Luug's Day Out"Johane MatteLila ScottJuly 12, 2019 (2019-07-12)
Crown Prince Krel finally builds a prototype device that will create a wormhole back to Akiridion-5, but Luug swallows it whole before it can be tested further and transports himself all over Arcadia.
229"The Fall of House Tarron"Francisco Ruiz Velasco & Elaine BoganAC BradleyJuly 12, 2019 (2019-07-12)
The last defenders of House Tarron face off against General Morando and his army of Omen blanks in an all-out battle for survival in the Mothership. Mother is destroyed and downloads herself into an OMEN.
2310"The Big Sleep"Rodrigo BlaasMatthew ChaunceyJuly 12, 2019 (2019-07-12)
With General Morando searching for Gaylen's core, Princess Aja and Crown Prince Krel must travel into their parents' own subconscious to learn the Core's location first before their archenemy does.
2411"Race to Trollmarket"Andrew SchmidtAaron Eisenberg & Will Eisenberg & Lila ScottJuly 12, 2019 (2019-07-12)
After learning that Kanjigar was given Gaylen's Core by the Royals' parents centuries ago on Earth, Toby calls Trollhunter Jim Lake, and Blinky advises the royals to consult the Soothscryer, which sends them to the Deep.
25–2612–13"A Glorious End"Francisco Ruiz Velasco (Part 1) Rodrigo Blaas & Johane Matte (Part 2)AC Bradley, Marc Guggenheim, Ian Rickett & Lila ScottJuly 12, 2019 (2019-07-12)

As the town of Arcadia gathers for the premiere of Kleb or Alive, an army of Omens, led by an armored Kubritz, make plans to lure out the royals. With the fate of the whole universe at stake, the royal heirs and their allies must gather their forces for the ultimate battle to defeat General Morando, who has gained immense extraterrestrial power from Gaylen's Core.

In the end, the King and Queen sacrifice themselves, and Steve, Toby & AAARRRGGHH!!! are approached by Archie, who warns them about the world as they know it is about to end, setting up the stage for the Wizards saga.

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

The series currently holds a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.[7] It has been praised for its depiction of immigration through a sci-fi lens, with Dave Trumbore of Collider writing, "... the subtext here, which is hard to miss even for younger viewers, is that Aja, Krel, and Vex are stand-ins for immigrants, refugees, and "illegal aliens" ... the show is re-examining the actions of the anti-immigrant government agents and the aliens' allies alike."[8]

Accolades[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result
2019 Annie Awards Outstanding Achievement for Directing in an Animated Television / Broadcast Production Guillermo del Toro and Rodrigo Blaas, "Terra Incognita, Part 1" Nominated
Outstanding Achievement for Editorial in an Animated Television / Broadcast Production John Laus, Graham Fisher, "Terra Incognita, Part 1" Nominated
Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Main Title and Graphic Design for an Animated Program Rodrigo Blaas, Michael Smukavic, Alfonso Blaas, Brandon Tyra, Greg Lev, Igor Lodeiro, John Laus Nominated
Outstanding Sound Mixing for an Animated Program Carlos Sanches, Aran Tanchum Won
Outstanding Sound Editing for an Animated Program Otis Van Osten, James Miller, Jason Oliver, Vincent Guisetti Nominated
2020 Annie Awards Outstanding Achievement for Animated Effects in an Animated Television/Broadcast Production Greg Lev, Igor Lodeiro, Chen Ling, Brandon Tyra Nominated
Best Animated Television/Broadcast Production for Children Guillermo del Toro, Rodrigo Blaas, Chad Hammes, Marc Guggenheim Nominated
Daytime Emmy Awards Outstanding Sound Editing for an Animated Program Otis Van Osten, Jason Oliver, Carlos Sanchez, Tommy Sarioglou, Aran Tanchum, Vincent Guisetti, James Miller Nominated
Golden Reel Awards Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing - Animation Short Form Supervising Sound Editor: Otis Van Osten, Foley Editor: Tommy Sarioglou, Dialogue Editors: Carlos Sanches, Jason Oliver, Foley Artist: Aran Tanchum, Vincent Guisetti, "3Below: Tales of Arcadia" Won

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Trumbore, Dave (12 December 2018). "Exclusive: Official Trailer for Netflix's '3 Below' Brings the Aliens to Arcadia". Collider. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  2. ^ Milligan, Mercedes (December 12, 2017). "DreamWorks & Netflix Plan 6 New Series, Date 'Trolls' Toon". Animation Magazine. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  3. ^ Moore, Kasey (June 20, 2019). "Part 2 of '3Below: Tales of Arcadia' Coming to Netflix in July 2019". What's on Netflix. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  4. ^ "3Below Season 2's Ending Sets Up New Arcadia Show Wizards". ScreenRant. July 13, 2019.
  5. ^ Trumbore, Dave (July 7, 2020). "'Wizards' Brings Guillermo del Toro's 'Tales of Arcadia' Trilogy to a Close Next Month". Collider.com. Retrieved July 7, 2020.
  6. ^ "'Trollhunters' Universe Will Expand Into The Trilogy Series 'Tales of Arcadia'". Cartoon Brew. November 7, 2017. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
  7. ^ "Tales of Arcadia: 3Below". Retrieved 22 July 2019 – via www.rottentomatoes.com.
  8. ^ "3Below season 2 review". Retrieved 23 February 2021 – via Collider.

External links[edit]