DreamWorks' 3Below: Tales of Arcadia is the second installment of Guillermo del Toro's Tales of Arcadia trilogy, focusing on two royal extraterrestrial siblings, Princess Aja and Prince Krel of House Tarron, as they flee a coup on their homeworld of Akiridion-5.
Seeking refuge on Earth, they end up trying to assimilate into the town of Arcadia and its high school, while figuring out a way to save their parents, take back the planet they love and free their people from oppression. With Season 2 out this Friday, let's get refresher on the 3-D animated cosmic adventure from Netflix.
WHAT'S THE SPACE SAGA ABOUT?
In the season's opening, during the coronation ceremony for Aja (Tatiana Maslany) and Krel (Diego Luna), the royal family comes under attack from a usurper named Morando (Alon Aboutboul). Somehow, he's breached the kingdom's shields and the ensuing dogfight leads to King Fialkov (Andy Garcia) and Queen Coranda (Maslany) getting badly injured.
However, they're all placed into stasis and rushed off-planet by the royal bodyguard, Commander Varvatos Vex (Nick Offerman), and to Earth, as they think it's the last place Morando's forces will come looking. There, the kids disguise themselves as humans, and people actually think they're undocumented immigrants, playing up the show's take on refugees. They eventually meet the from the Trollhunter series and go on missions together. That said, their main goal is to find a power source to bring their parents out of stasis, fully-healed so they can return home and reclaim what's been stolen.
WHO ARE THE HEROES INVOLVED?
Aja ends up being anything but your typical princess or damsel in distress. She wants to be a warrior and trains under Varvatos, who recognized her potential. Krel, on the other hand, focused more on his genius and overall knack for science, acting more as the brains as opposed to the muscle. Varvatos takes care of them, disguising himself as their granddad, with robots called blanks mimicking parents.
Under Varvatos' watch, the kids are in pretty good hands, with their alien dog Luug also there to protect them. Another ally pops up in Stuart (Nick Frost), an alien refugee hiding out on Earth who's loyal to their parents, and who also wants to liberate his homeworld. He ends up getting them key technology from Area 49, although the government begins tracking them all. Last but not least, they have another royal protector in Zadra (Hayley Atwell), who comes to Earth to find the family. She fakes being loyal to Morando to survive and, with a resistance rising back home, it's her duty to rescue the royals and officially start the revolution on their beloved planet.
WHO ARE THE VILLAINS?
Morando, a tyrant who basically looks like an alien hammerhead shark, is the obvious villain. He wants to turn Akiridion-5 from a peace-loving planet into one driven by war, as he sees its technology as something that should have made it a colonizer and much greater empire than what House Tarron allowed. To bring the royals back, he hires a volatile group of bounty hunters known as the Zeron Brotherhood.
Of this trio, the cat-like Beta and lizard-like Omega end up perishing in various battles against the noble royals, leaving only the dog-like Alpha alive. However, Morando grows tired of these failures and sends the Omen, a killer robot under his control, to secure the assets in the finale. Omen hijacks the mothership the family disguised as a home and jets off with King Fialkov and Queen Coranda, leaving the kids on Earth to suffer.
HOW DID SEASON 1 END?
In the finale, "Bad Omen," a big twist reveals Varvatos was the one who lowered the shields for the coup. He wanted Morando to take over, as the villain promised him they'd hunt the Zeron Brotherhood. They'd killed Varvatos' family years before. Fialkov knew and forgave his friend for this treason before entering his coma.
After the kids exile him, Varvatos redeems himself by returning in the final moments of the season with his own ship, ramming the mother ship so Omen can't escape. This leads to Omen's death, as it crashes back to Earth. A revenge-seeking Alpha then seemingly murders Varvatos. Season 1 concludes with Zadra as the royals' new protector as they continue living in Arcadia and trying to revive their parents. Sadly, a frustrated Morando reveals in the final scene of the season, he's fed up and taking his army to Earth for his first full-scale invasion, which will fuel Season 2's narrative.
Season 2 of DreamWorks' 3Below: Tales of Arcadia premieres this Friday on Netflix.