Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans Parent Guide
The last ten minutes of the film not only undermines the rest of the film; it also tears down the entire franchise.
Parent Movie Review
Picking up where the TV series left off, Rise of the Titans finds Jim Lake (Emile Hirsch) without the magic amulet that gave him his powers. Without those powers, Jim faces his greatest foe yet: the Titans brought forth by the Arcane Order. With the help of his many friends, including wizards, aliens, trolls, and other humans, Jim must work fast to save not only the world, but existence as we know it.
Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans is the culmination of three different television series, totaling 88 episodes between them. I have not seen a single one of those episodes, so I went into this viewing blindly. I imagine that my experience of this film is similar to what it would have been like for someone who had never seen a Marvel movie to watch Avengers: Endgame. There were approximately 500,000 characters, countless allusions to past events, and years’ worth of lore to shift through. There is a short introduction at the beginning that tries to get the viewer up to speed with what’s happening, which I found immensely helpful, but it’s not able to explain everything or else it would be, well, 88 episodes long. If you are new to the series, I don’t recommend starting here.
My own ignorance of the property aside, I can make some guesses on how fans might react to Rise of the Titans. The plot is expansive, and the stakes are high, which culminates in a lot of satisfying moments for various characters and story lines. I think that fans will be excited for the colossal scale of story, as well as the character growth and interactions. Unfortunately, the ending is a complete let down. The whole movie focuses on sacrifice, destiny, and teamwork, and then the last 10 minutes tears the entire franchise down. I won’t spoil it, but somehow the writers thought that undoing five years’ worth of storytelling was a good idea. The messages the film had been building to become worthless, and the emotional arcs lose all meaning. I’m mad about it, and I’m not even a fan! I can’t imagine that long time viewers of the franchise are going to be satisfied. Luckily, everything leading up to that terrible decision is pretty good.
If your child is already familiar with the franchise, I imagine the level of violence is going to be similar. There’s a lot of fantasy violence, including various magic powers, swords, and hand to hand combat. One important thing to mention is that there are multiple major character deaths, which could be upsetting to more sensitive audiences. Other than fantasy violence, however, the film is about as clean as it gets. There is a side plot where a human man becomes pregnant by kissing his alien girlfriend. There’s nothing sexual about it, and it’s played for laughs, but it could lead to some questions from young viewers who are not yet familiar with how pregnancy happens.
If you’re already invested in the franchise, give Rise of the Titans a try. Even if the last ten minutes is unsatisfying, at least the journey to get there is a good time. If anything, Guillermo del Toro’s amazing creature design is worth a look.Directed by Johane Matte, Francisco Ruiz-Velasco, Andrew L Schmidt. Starring Tatiana Maslany, Emile Hirsch, Nick Offerman. Running time: 104 minutes. Theatrical release July 21, 2021. Updated October 2, 2021
Watch the trailer for Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans
Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans
Rating & Content Info
Why is Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans rated TV-PG? Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans is rated TV-PG by the MPAA
Violence: Fantasy violence throughout. Sword fights and hand to hand combat are used in many scenes. Characters with magic powers fight each other, including fire and ice powers. A helicopter shoots guns at characters. Cannons are fired. A character is turned to stone and shattered. A character is killed in an explosion. A character is crushed to death. Several characters are stabbed.
Sexual Content: Couples briefly kiss a few times. A man becomes pregnant by his alien girlfriend through a kiss.
Profanity: There are two or three minor insults, including “buttsnacks” and “stupid”.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Teens sing “99 bottles of beer on the wall” briefly.
Page last updated October 2, 2021
Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans Parents' Guide
Does Jim need the amulet to be a hero? What makes someone a hero? Do you have a personal hero? Why do you admire them?
Loved this movie? Try these books…
Magical battles to save the world are the heart of the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series follows the adventures of a teenager who’s shocked to learn that he’s a demi-god, son of the Greek god, Poseidon. Also “shocking” is Michael Vey’s discovery that he has powers over electricity. When he meets a girl with similar gifts, they go searching for the cause of their abilities in The Prisoner of Cell 25 by Richard Paul Evans.
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Most fantasy is geared at teens and adults but there are some options for young viewers. The Adventures of Rufus: The Fantastic Pet is a safe way to introduce kids to the fantasy genre. The CGI is pretty bad and the acting is flat but the story should keep viewers involved. Disney has produced some fantasy movies for its TV division that are safe viewing for kids. Zombies 2 brings zombies and werewolves together with regular humans in a High School Musical kind of setting. In Upside Down Magic, kids go to a special school to develop their magical abilities. But Nory’s “upside down magic” is considered defective and she is supposed to learn to suppress it.
A young boy finds a magical sword and with it the duty to save the world in The Kid Who Would Be King.
For more animated high stakes adventure, check out Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, in which a brand new spidey has to save the entire universe with the help of spandex-clad webslingers from other parts of the multiverse.
Of course, if you want stories about kids using magic to save the world, you’re going to want to watch the Harry Potter series. It begins with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. (Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone outside the USA.)