I kept hearing about this series, I had seen previews for it and read the description and had decided it sounded too kiddy for me. When people continued to talk about it I was like FINE I guess I should watch.
I’m so glad I decided to try it out. It is a kids show, this is definitely a family-friendly kind of thing. However, I found it extremely charming and was upset when I figured out it was only 9 episodes! God Netflix, you’re killing me with these itty bitty seasons.
The first episode I was unsure if I would like it, the beginning starts out with a backstory to the world’s history – a long time ago humans discovered dark magic, and the rest of the races like elves were sick of humans destroying things, so they kicked them out. All of the humans were forced into moving west, and the continent was split by a river of lava separating the magical realms and the human realms. Sometime later, the humans decided to kill the Dragon King who was guarding the border between the realms and then it’s said that they destroyed his egg.
Here starts the present day story, the human king has been alerted that there are moon shadow elves coming to take revenge for the death of the Dragon King. These elves are known to be unstoppable when the moon is full, and it just so happens to be a full moon on the night they will attack. Moon Shadow Elves turn nearly invisible at night, they are faster and stronger than humans, able to run on walls and doing spinny flips – ninja shit. The king knows that he’s about to die, so he tries to send the two princes away to safety. The oldest ‘prince’ is really just a stepson, it’s not fully explained but you know that the two princes have different mothers. The younger prince is the heir, and also the target of the assassins to make it eye for an eye for the dragon egg.
You get to see both the elves side of things and the human side of things, and they’re all pretty likable characters. This story has a lot of warmth to it and a lot of silly humor, not all of the humor worked for me since it’s directed at kids, but I did smile a lot if not laughing out loud. The oldest prince, Callum, is a nerdy 14-year-old who isn’t great at the typical things princes get trained to do like sword fighting. He’s always been more drawn towards magic, and he also happens to have a crush on one of the lady mages who resides in the castle with them. Despite not being great at fighting, he is a brave young man and is willing to die for those he loves, proving that several times throughout the series. The youngest prince is probably about 7-8 years old and is a mischievous soul with an adorable magical toad pet, Bait. He’s a pretty sweet and innocent kid, but Bait is a constant source of drama and trouble since he’s prone to eating food stores, glowing when they are trying to hide, etc.
When Kayla comes to assassinate them, she finds she can’t do it, not only is it difficult for her to kill people who have done nothing wrong, but the youngest prince brings her down into a hidden room where the humans have secretly stored the dragon egg. It’s not actually destroyed, and there’s a chance to bring peace between the two realms. Their mission is now to go and get the egg to safety and stop the impending war.
Kayla has an extra burden to bear, however, when moon elves take a pact to assassinate someone they create a magical bond. There are two magical pieces of ribbon that can’t be cut by any blade and get tighter and tighter until the pact is complete. Kayla made two pacts, to assassinate the king, and the youngest prince. She now outright refuses to kill the young boy but may suffer the loss of her hand if she doesn’t.
I really loved all the characters, I felt like they were complex enough that they didn’t feel like props for the plot which can sometimes happen in kid stuff. I found myself rooting for them and invested in the story. I also felt like the villains were also pretty well fleshed out all things considered. I don’t expect much from “disney villains”, but it’s nice to see that there once had been a decent person inside the mastermind, glimpses into his descent into madness, and why he’s now trying to ruin things and kill the princes and return the egg to the humans.
The animation style took a while to get used to, it was part of the reason I wasn’t sure in the first episode if this show was going to work for me. I’ve heard others say the Scottish accent used for one of the characters was off-putting. As an American not accustomed to genuine Scottish accents I didn’t get too bothered by it. Mileage may vary.
My rating: 8.2/10
IMDB rating: 8.7/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 100% (8 ratings)