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Set in New York City (specifically the borough of Manhattan), this animated series tells the story of thirteen-year-old Asian-American Jake Long who must balance ordinary adolescent transformation with the amazing power and ability to change into a dragon. When he eventually unlocks his full potential and turns into the American Dragon, he will overcome obstacles to protect the magical creatures living in the city, but as his ordinary self, Jake Long can't conquer his huge romantic crush on the pretty blond schoolmate Rose who, unbeknownst to Jake, has a dark, magical secret of her own. She's a natural dragon slayer named Huntsgirl, a member of the Huntsclan that slay dragons. Jake navigates the city with fellow skateboarders Trixie Carter and Arthur P. Spudinski (A.K.A Spud), and when he gets home, it's to an extended family: a businessman dad originally from the Midwest who doesn't know he's married into a family of dragons from his Chinese wife named Susan. Jake's maternal grandfather Lao Shi (who recently immigrated to train his grandson in the magical, mystical ways of the ancient dragons), younger seven-year-old sister Haley (a nascent dragon), and Grandpa's gruff sidekick, a magical Shar-Pei named Fu Dog.
Jacob "Jake" Luke Long (Voiced by Dante Basco): Jake is a proud and lazy, yet loving thirteen-year-old skateboarder who is, in secret, a dragon. He uses his duties as a dragon to help defend the underground magical world of New York City, while continuing his training into becoming the first American Dragon. He's initially a very big show off and lacks in his responsibilities, but when it really matters, he always displays a strong sense of responsibility and maturity. Jake is famous for being the second dragon to survive an encounter with the Dark Dragon and the first to do so twice. Due to this and his other adventures, Jake becomes a popular and well-known figure in the magical world. His catchphrase is "Awww Man". By the end of the series, Jake graduates from Millard Fillmore Middle School and he is dating his romantic crush and love interest Rose, whom he has genuinely strong and enduring romantic feelings for. Jake appears to have a very controlled temper and is often very calm in situations. He has a red sweater with a zipper, blue longer shorts, and high-tops.
Lao Shi "Grandpa" (Voiced by Keone Young): Lao Shi, Jake and Haley's Chinese Dragon maternal grandfather, is a Dragon Master who teaches Jake the necessary skills in becoming a protector of magical creatures. Lao Shi has reluctantly supported Susan's strong and close romantic relationship with Jonathan, often calling him "daughter's husband." The two eventually work out their major differences during a family reunion. He runs the Canal Street Electronics shop, which is infamous for never having any customers (the shop's slogan is "Never had a customer, never had a sale"). Nonetheless, Lao Shi has an intense rivalry with another electronics store. Regardless, his store is the main headquarters for all magical operations. His friend Fu Dog is his guardian who can create magical potions to assist in these missions. Lao Shi's attempts at training Jake can, at times, cause more damage than help. However, Jake learns and puts into use the skills that are essential in becoming the American Dragon. He is the first dragon to mentor a blood relative – a break from tradition that he insisted on should Jake ever have to face the Dark Dragon. Lao Shi is actually the first dragon to face the Dark Dragon and survive. According to Fu, Lao Shi was very laid back (much like Jake had originally been) before this encounter, but matured immensely after defeating him.
Fu Dog (Voiced by John DiMaggio): Fu is a six hundred-year-old talking Shar Pei and Lao Shi's only companion, who speaks with a Brooklyn accent. The two actually met when Fu was a petty thief, but (with much insistence from Fu) the two became a team shortly before Lao Shi's first encounter with the Dark Dragon. Like many magical animals, Fu is able to walk upright, and has no trouble using his front paws as hands despite the apparent absence of opposable thumbs. He is highly skilled at brewing potions and casting spells, which constantly proves to be an asset. Despite his age, he frequently keeps up-to-date with current trends and events that will occasionally put him at odds with Lao Shi. He is somewhat lecherous, and is infamous for constantly gambling and placing bets on Jake in battles (bets that often change depending on how the battle is going); he owes an immense amount of money to many magical beings as a result.
Arthur P. "Spud" Spudinski (Voiced by Charlie Finn): Spud is one of Jake's best human friends. Though often appearing to be slow-witted, he is actually a genius. He just preferred to keep it a secret to avoid the related pressure, but the truth came out in the second season, and he found it wasn't so bad that everyone knew. He owns a laptop computer with sports surveillance capabilities and other functions that assist him in the field. His philosophy is that he believes that all play and no work is just as bad as all work and no play and he wants to be the medium. He apparently has magical potential and may have a wizard heritage (e.g. being able to use Panderis' wand, his grandfather knowing how to seal away the genie in Taranushis Chalice and his grandfather also telling him stories about the mermaid city). In "Something Fishy This Way Comes," it is revealed that he has a fascination with the advanced mermaid city. In the episode, "Homecoming," after questions over being more than just friends, he and Trixie finally decide they are only "just friends" on a strictly platonic level and nothing more.
Trixie Carter (Voiced by Miss Kittie): As one of Jake's human best friends, she is sassy, vivacious andis a judgmental character. Of the three friends, Trixie is usually the most level-headed and responsible. She is a fashion enthusiast. Her father being a pilot gives her access to fashions from overseas, but she usually prefers her regular clothes. In the situation of Jake and Rose's relationship, Trixie has always shown a dislike and distrust towards Rose, advising Jake to be wary around her. But over time, she started to be more supportive of their relationship, and even tried to help Jake move on once she was gone.
Haley Long (Voiced by Amy Bruckner): Haley is Jake's seven-year-old younger (eight years old in the second season) sister who is quite intelligent, talented, a bit of a perfectionist, and a goody-two-shoes (much to Jake's consistent annoyance). Haley goes to a school for advanced youths and actually tries hard to succeed. She is also quick to point out Jake's faults and make herself look superior to him. Yet, deep down, she looks up to him. Unlike Jake, she began developing her dragon powers at an earlier age. In the first season she is a purple dragon, in the second season she is electric pink. As his sister, she is actually next in line to be the American Dragon. Her mentor is Sun Park, though her training is quite different from Jake's. In "Being Human," Jake purposely gets a one-week suspension from his dragon duties, so Haley became his replacement. Though thinking she's up to the task, she quickly realizes how hard Jake has to work and how much pressure it creates. Nonetheless, Sun praises Haley's service and feels she can start pitching in to help Jake.
The Huntsman and Huntsgirl in the second season.
Rose Killdragonosa/The Huntsgirl (Voiced by Mae Whitman): Rose is Jake's huge romantic crush and is also part of the Huntsclan, a clan that wants to destroy magical creatures, particularly dragons, like Jake. She is Jake's main love interest. Rose is the Huntsgirl and needs to kill the American dragon to become part of the Huntsclan. Rose has a Chinese dragon-shaped birthmark on her hand to show that she is part of the Huntsclan, which was revealed in the episode "The Ski Trip" when Jake realizes that Huntsgirl and Rose is the same person with the same tattoo, he dumps her at the end of the episode.
Later on in the series, Rose finds out that Jake is the American Dragon, and since then, she starts helping him, but still trying to show that she still "hates and despises" him. In the episode, "Dreamscape", Rose finds out that she has a mother, a father, and an unnamed identical twin sister but she was taken away by the Huntsclan because of the Chinese dragon-shaped birthmark on her left wrist and hand, which is referred to as "the Mark of the Huntsclan." Throughout the entire series, she develops mutually genuine, strong and enduring romantic feelings for Jake, despite him being a dragon, and eventually works as a double-agent because of them. In order to protect her one true love/boyfriend, Jake, she destroys all of the Huntsclan even if it would kill her as well, but Jake is able to save her and make it so she never was taken as a baby which shows he truly, madly, strongly loves Rose with all his heart. As a result she loses her memory of him and moves to Hong Kong, China, with her parents. But in the series finale, "Hong Kong Longs," after seeing a photo of them at a dance with their arms around each other, part of her memory returns, and she aids Jake against the Dark Dragon, and the two apparently get back together and begin to date as a full romantic couple in a long-term romantic relationship in full-bloom.
Jonathan Long (Jeff Bennett): As Jake and Haley's well-meaning American father, he's a normal human who has no clue that he's married into a whole family of magical and mystical fire-breathing dragons. Though often near feats of magic, he either mistakes them for something else or is completely oblivious to them. (In one occurrence, he chalked up Haley's brief Krylock mutation to an allergic reaction to chocolate.) He has a sister (Patchouli "Patty" Long) and can speak Norwegian. Though Jonathan often comes off as naive or goofy, it has been shown he always has his family's best interests at heart and that some of Jake's best qualities were inherited from him. Jonathan fought the Jersey Devil (mistaking it for a bear) and vampires (who were masquerading as humans) to protect Jake from harm. Jonathan has no actual Chinese ancestry, however he feels that he does because he claims to be 1/16 Navajo – rationalizing that Native Americans came to the continent on land bridges connected to Asia. In the series finale, he sees Haley's dragon form and finally learns the truth. While initially overwhelmed and full of questions, he is also completely accepting, noting that he always felt there was something magical about his family. He participates in the final battle against the Dark Dragon and destroys his Shade Demons.
Susan Long (Lauren Tom): Jake and Haley's Chinese human-born to Dragon ancestry mother and the daughter of Lao Shi. She does not appear to have inherited any natural dragon powers and abilities, saying it skipped her generation. She works as a caterer. She also has a penchant to photograph milestones in her children's lives, such as Jake's first date and Haley's first lost tooth. Throughout the series, she keeps the family secret from Jonathan out of fears that he would freak out and (possibly) leave her; yet, this does not occur. However, on the last day of twelfth grade, she wrote a letter explaining her family's dragon powers and abilities, but never gave it to him. In one episode, Jake went back in time, took the note and put it in his father's locker causing him to actually leave her but he solved this problem. In the last episode, her husband finally finds out of his wife's family history. While unlike Jonathan who helped Jake out unknowingly a few times, Susan never took a direct role in his missions until Hong Kong Longs when she and Jonathan join Trixie, Spud, Haley and Fu Dog in helping to battle the Dark Dragon. During the battle, Susan manages to destroy a few Shade Demons and helps Jonathan destroy the rest.
Sun Park (Sandra Oh): She is the Korean Dragon as well as Haley's dragon master and Jake's Home Economics teacher. She appears to be a pacifist, though she is quite adept at fighting if required. According to executive producers Eddie Guzelian and Matt Negrete, Sun was originally set to die in "Homecoming", however the scene was cut for being too dark.
Kara and Sara (Tara Strong): Identical twin sisters who are descended from the Oracle of Delphi, each possessing the ability to see into the future. Kara only sees good things occur but is very moody and sullen, while Sara only sees bad things occur but is very happy and cheerful. When questioned by Jake over this, Kara states foreseeing all of life's good moments renders them without meaning for her, while Sara states that only foreseeing bad moments leaves her constantly looking at the positives of things and being cheerful at any good news. In the first season, they are identicalredheads. The two are part of Jake's army against the Dark Dragon and help him temporarily destroy him. In the second season, Sara is a blonde in white and Kara is a goth with black hair. The two are also featured in the opening credits of the second season.
Veronica (Tara Strong): An arachnoid human hybrid and love interest of Fu during the first season. She runs a stand in Magus Bazaar, a magical shopping district in New York.
Silver (Kari Wahlgren): A highly intelligent mermaid and ally of Jake, first shown as one of the prisoners for the Huntsclan's Grand Equinox Hunt. Strangely, despite her species, she suffers from aquaphobia in her first appearance. She overcomes this by the end of that episode, but later suffers a relapse in the second season.
Dolores Derceto (Susan Blakeslee): The first principal of Jake's school. She once noted that she saw Jake more often than her own secretary. Though initially appearing to be a paraplegic, she is revealed in the second season to be an undercover mermaid detective, seeking out the Kelpie. She also developed a relationship with Lao Shi, but when her assignment concluded, she had to leave – much to the regret of both. Her job went to Professor Rottwood.
Councilor Andam (Clarence Williams III): One of the members of the Dragon Council. He is the African Dragon and is from Kenya.
Councilor Kulde (Jeff Bennett): One of the members of the Dragon Council. He is the European Dragon and is from Norway. He has expressed particular interest in Jake's training and future, feeling he has great promise. It is noted that he is the only dragon in the series that breathes ice instead of fire.
Councilor Omina: One of the members of the Dragon Council. She is the Dragon of Atlantis.
Councilor Kukulkan: One of the members of the Dragon Council. He is the Central American Dragon and is from Guatemala.
Danika Hunnicutt (Jessica DiCicco): Jake's second love interest, who wins him at their school's fund-raising Bachelor Auction. When Jake starts to act dangerously self-destructive, a siren is believed to be the cause and Danika is the main suspect. It turns out that she was actually a pawn for the actual siren, but not before she is accused of wrongdoing by Jake and friends, which deeply upsets her. She admits she later forgave Jake and the two were graduation partners.
Nigel Thrall (Adam Wylie): Millard Fillmore Middle School's new foreign exchange student from the United Kingdom who turns out to be a wizard who came to America to complete his training. He and Jake immediately become rivals, as Nigel outdoes Jake at skateboarding and rapping, but eventually settle into a competitive friendship. Nigel later helps save Jake from the Gorgon sisters.
Stacy : The head cheerleader of Fillmore Middle School in season 2 whom Spud has a crush on.
The Huntsman (Voiced by Jeff Bennett): The Huntsman (referred to as "Huntsmaster" by his subordinates) is the leader of the Huntsclan and the main antagonist of the series. The Dragon Council rates him as the #4 threat to the magical community. He is fanatically devoted to destroying all magical creatures (especially dragons), viewing them as disgusting and unnatural, and has no qualms against killing any humans who get in his way. Though he typically leaves his henchmen to do the fighting for him, he has proven quite powerful on his own. When Jake travels back in time to reveal the truth about dragons to his father, he encounters a teenaged Huntsman, who (while dedicated to the Huntsclan) is shown to be quite wimpy, bullied by his peers and speaking with a cracking voice. However, after Jake knocks him into a pit with a dangerous monster, the battered Huntsman displays a new intensity that terrifies his peers and vows to destroy every last dragon on Earth. He ultimately meets his demise when Rose's wish to destroy all Huntsclan is granted. The Huntsman was originally Rose's first guardian, stealing her from her parents as an infant and claiming her parents were deceased. (He did, however, know who and where her real parents were to maintain potential leverage.) Throughout the series, The Huntsman was a masked character always wearing a dragon skull helmet with a balaclava covering his face, only showing his eyes. His face is finally shown in his final appearance when Jake kicks him into an elevator, smashing his helmet. In rage, he tears off half of his shirt and balaclava showing that he has a huge dragon birthmark on his chest and face and that he is bald. In a running gag, he is often defeated in a comical fashion, such as Jake's flaming flatulence and being humiliated in front of his peers.
Huntsboys #88 and #89 (Voiced by Kyle Massey and Nicholas Brendon): Two Huntsclan students that become the Huntsman's apprentices in the second season. It was confirmed, that they were admitted into the Huntsclan because of their impressive skills in a fantasy video game (killing three dragons, a giant leech and a pack of Manticores.) which the Huntsman took literally, as shown in one of Fu's "rap-ups". They both act brave and arrogant, when in reality, they are cowards who run in fear at the sight of a dragon. Other than Rose, #88 and #89 are the only known Huntsclan members that were left alive after Rose's wish for the destruction of all Huntsclan was granted due to them quickly resigning before they were eliminated (and ran off with their masks being the only part of their uniform, in their boxers). However, they made a return in "Shaggy Frog".
Professor Hans Rotwood (Voiced by Paul Rugg): Rotwood used to be a famous professor, until his theories on magical creatures humiliated him in front of his peers, destroyed his credibility as a scientific researcher, got him fired from his job at the Hoboken Science Institute and reduced him to his current position at Jake's school. As a believer of magical creatures, he teaches a class about them. However, because his facts are all wrong, Jake is always hopelessly confused and suffering from low grades in the class. He has a noted dislike of Jake, largely due to a frequent lack of respect. Rotwood eventually develops a suspicion of Jake and keeps a close eye on him. By Season 2, he becomes principal and tricks Jake into revealing himself as a dragon to him. In Season 2's "Magic Enemy #1.", he attempts to make Jake reveal himself as being a dragon by humiliating him at school. By the end of the episode, Rotwood gets a personal look at the magical world and is quite delighted, though Jake ensures he has no proof of what he saw. Though wanting to be famous for proving magical creatures exist, Rotwood appears to have a true affinity for them. At graduation, he and Jake seem to have put their differences aside as they shake hands. In "Dreamscape," it is suggested he encountered a Chimera while a baby.
The Dark Dragon (Voiced by Clancy Brown): The number one threat to the magical world. His human form is never seen in the series. The Dark Dragon is shown to be stronger than other dragons, as well as capable of creating and controlling shade demons. Very little is known about him or his origins, but it is mentioned that he is consumed by dark magic. Few dragons have faced him and lived; Lao Shi was the only one before Jake encountered him, and Jake is the first dragon to do so twice. He feels that magical creatures are superior to humans and should be the dominant species of Earth instead. He appeared twice in the first season, in which he tried to get Jake to join him. He was destroyed by the Tooth Fairy during a battle with Jake and his "army," but is resurrected in season 2 even more powerful than ever. The resurrection required Jake's own chi or blood to succeed. Chang also gave him even more power than before. In the series finale, he captured Lao Shi in order to blackmail Jake into serving the dragons of the world a mind control potion. Jake tricked him and after Haley saved Lao Shi, the dragons of the world, Johnathon, Trixie, Spud, Fu Dog and Rose battled him. In the end, he was defeated by Jake and Rose when he was sucked into a portal, where he will be imprisoned for, at least, one thousand years.
Councilor Chang (Voiced by Lauren Tom): A member of the Dragon Council that was secretly working for the Dark Dragon. Her cover was revealed in "Hong Kong Nights," and she was imprisoned. However, in the second season, she escapes from prison to get revenge on Jake and revive the Dark Dragon. In the first season, Chang is seen breathing lightning. During the final battle of the series, she is defeated by Haley and Sun Park and recaptured.
Bananas B (Voiced by Adam Wylie): The first ever "hip-hop helper monkey" who replaces Fu as Jake's animal guardian. However, when Chang escapes from prison, Bananas joins her out of fear for his life. His betrayal nearly costs Jake his life, but Fu saves him. Bananas remains as Chang's sidekick until the final battle where he decides that he doesn't want to take part as he hates violence. He is then chased off by a gleeful Fu.
Shade Demons: Minions of the Dark Dragon. Creatures that are basically living shadows. Act as the Dark Dragon's minions, but are easily destroyed. In the final episode, Johnathon discovers that they have a weakness to light and destroys all of them by reflecting moonlight at them.
Brad Morton (Voiced by Matt Nolan): A bully at Jake's school. He is noticeably bigger than the other students due to the fact that he was held back twice in the third grade, as mentioned in the episode Young at Heart. He is also noticeably dim, such as taking twelve years of piano lessons and being unable to play well in the slightest.
Eli Pandarus (Voiced by Jonathan Freeman): The Wizard of Wall Street. Pandarus desires to be the most powerful magical being. In Season 1, Pandarus is fairly cowardly, as he cowers and begs not to be hurt after he is defeated in "Eye of the Beholder." In Season 2, he appears less cowardly and is much more wicked, being more willing to kill his enemies or those who get in his way.
Jake Long and his allies come to Hawaii in an episode of Lilo & Stitch: The Series entitled "Morpholemew" to investigate one of Jumba's experiments, while Lilo enters a skateboarding competition in an attempt to impress her crush.
Although there are some unofficial DVDs available for sale online, the releases from Disney are currently unprepared.