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Archive for Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Berk’ cartoon has dragons

September 4, 2012

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Is there a downside to peace? In the Viking kingdom featured in the animated series “Dragons: Riders of Berk” (6:30 p.m., Cartoon Network), the price of tranquility runs high. Inspired by the movie “How to Train Your Dragon,” “Berk” asks us to imagine a world where dragons and people have become friends. This seems like a plus, until the friendly giant lizards start scaring the barnyard animals.

The kids know the dragons mean no harm and can be fun playmates — particularly while sledding down mountains — but try telling that to sheep.

Lead characters Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and Astrid (America Ferrera) are old enough to ride fire-breathing monsters like all-terrain vehicles, but too young to find the opposite gender anything but icky. Give them a few years, and they’ll probably outgrow their lizard-loving and start fixating on each other. Gosh, that sounds like the real meaning of “Puff, the Magic Dragon”!

The animation has that crisp, cold, video-game quality you’ve come to expect of these productions. The animals and the Viking-like adults seem bulbous and top-heavy, as if waiting for some 3-D effect to kick in. They stand on tiny legs and frequently fall over. They also speak in a confusing array of accents that shift from Scotland to Norway by way of Minnesota.

If you listen hard, you can hear Tim Conway, Stephen Root and Mark Hamill among those providing voices.

• Folks who enjoyed ABC’s “NY Med” can shift locations to “Chicago Trauma” (9 p.m., National Geographic).

• Coverage of the Democratic National Convention (6 p.m., CNN, Current; 8 p.m., PBS, Fox News, MSNBC; and 10 p.m., ABC, CBS and NBC) begins in earnest. Continuous live feeds of the gathering can be found on Internet sites maintained by YouTube and C-SPAN.

Tonight’s other highlights

• A fixture on “The View” and former HLN talk show host gets a new perch on “Joy Behar: Say Anything!” (6 p.m., Current).

•The four-hour miniseries “Coma” (8 p.m., A&E) concludes.

• Museum thieves target rare artifacts on “White Collar” (8 p.m., USA).

• Annie tells Arthur (Peter Gallagher) that she’ll personally retrieve Simon on “Covert Affairs” (9 p.m., USA).

• A pop culture archive 30 years in the making needs pruning and prioritizing on “Collection Intervention” (9 p.m., Syfy).

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