Set in the New York City borough of Manhattan, this animated series tells the story of a laid back thirteen-year-old Chinese-American, Jake Long (voiced by Dante Basco), who must balance ordinary adolescent transformation with the 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 has trouble with his crush on his schoolmate Rose (Mae Whitman) who, unbeknownst to Jake, has a dark, magical secret of her own. She is a natural dragon slayer known as the Huntsgirl, a member of the Huntsclan that slay dragons. The leader of the Huntsclan is the Huntsman (Jeff Bennett).
Jake navigates the city with fellow skateboarders Trixie Carter (Miss Kittie), a sassy, vivacious, and judgmental girl who is usually the most level-headed and responsible of the group; and Arthur P. “Spud” Spudinski (Charlie Finn), who appears to be slow-witted but is actually a genius, and when he gets home, it is to an extended family: Jonathan (Jeff Bennett), a businessman dad originally from the Midwest who is unaware that he is married into a family of dragons from his Chinese wife named Susan (Lauren Tom). Jake’s maternal grandfather Lao Shi (Keone Young) trains his grandson in the magical, mystical ways of the ancient dragons. Other characters include Jake`s younger eight-year-old sister Haley (Amy Bruckner) (a nascent dragon), and Grandpa’s gruff sidekick, a magical Shar-Pei named Fu Dog (John DiMaggio).