Now every first and third Thursday each month,  ANIMATED INSIGHTS BY SHANNON MUIR takes you inside Shannon’s latest reflections on her passion for animation as a medium, and other animated insights about life. To catch up on all posts, check out the Animated Insights portion of the website!  This week, Shannon shares some spoiler-free thoughts about 3BELOW: TALES OF ARCADIA. 3BELOW goes further in-depth about two characters that are introduced in the sister TALES OF ARCADIA series TROLLHUNTERS… or so I’m told. For a variety of reasons, I couldn’t keep up with watching TROLLHUNTERS but my husband watched the entire series, which turned out to be very fortunate.

Early in the series, we get the chance to get to know the two teenagers as their true selves… an alien prince and princess. Right at the point where they are to get their rite of passage (a coronation of sorts to King and Queen in waiting), another alien called Morondo who was banished from their planet comes back when the shields are mysteriously lowered and attacks the planet. Aja and her brother Krel escape along with Vex, another alien who serves as their bodyguard and protector. They crash-land on Earth, where the ship uses its technology to disguise as a house and find forms for the trio to hide as that “generally go unnoticed”… the choice of girl, Latino, and senior citizen weave in a little politics.

I won’t say more about the series because then I’d start spoiling, except this recommendation… don’t watch 3BELOW without seeing TROLLHUNTERS first. The further I got into the season, the more and more the show crossed over with the TROLLHUNTERS timeline and I only understood it because my husband could explain things to me. Not a great way to get into a series, and a challenge that it is so dependent on the main series to be enjoyed. That said, if you do understand what’s going on, it is well-written characters and story.