Netflix’s Trollhunters is the latest of many successful original series for the streaming giant and another fine production for fantasy master Guillermo del Toro. The series boasts a wealth of childlike wonder and imagination, as well as plenty of mythical beasts. Trollhunters tells the story of ordinary kids in a small town who find themselves thrust into an extraordinary situation as they battle strange creatures hidden from the real world.
Sound familiar? It should, if you’re an avid viewer of Netflix series - namely, Stranger Things. Trollhunters is mainly geared toward children and families, and isn’t nearly as dark, visceral, or violent as the Duffer Brothers’ cultural phenomenon. But del Toro’s series certainly bears some general similarities to Stranger Things in how it features kids who come of age as they deal with supernatural forces. Some of the similarities are also oddly specific - and Netflix itself surely took notice of that.
The network is well aware of the parallels between the two series, as evidenced by a new “trailer” for Trollhunters that places the animated series in the ‘80s setting of Stranger Things. The official Netflix YouTube channel posted the re-cut trailer on Friday, showcasing clips from Trollhunters awash in the atmospheric synths of the Stranger Things theme song.
The title is also stylized in Stranger Things’ distinctive retro font, making the re-cut trailer a virtually seamless marriage between the two shows. The trailer pulls moments and elements from the first season of Trollhunters that are strikingly similar to that of Stranger Things, including the brother of Claire (Lexi Medrano) getting trapped in another dimension and even a truck that flies through the air.
Of course, Trollhunters is more of a light-hearted adventure, sprinkled with the kind of madcap humor that kids can enjoy. Stranger Things is far more heart-wrenching and mature, but still tackles the same general ideas. Del Toro's Trollhunters is clearly inspired by many of the same fantastical ‘80s adventure movies from Amblin Entertainment that inspired Stranger Things, such as The Goonies. So it should come as no surprise that the two shows share some of the same elements.
Ultimately, Trollhunters and Stranger Things are largely disparate shows, despite their similarities. Their target audiences, and the maturity levels of each show’s content, are wildly different. It may be hard to find huge fans of both series in the first place - save for, perhaps, del Toro’s biggest fans. But it’s nonetheless an amusing, ironically dark take on the decidedly more light-hearted Trollhunters. All that’s left is for Stranger Things to be re-cut for kids.
Trollhunters season 1 is now available on Netflix.