Hilda and the Mountain King overview: Season 2 ends with a film about troll life

It’s exhausting to think about a state of affairs extra terrifying than rescuing your baby from sure hazard, then waking up the following morning to discover a stranger’s baby sleeping in her mattress. That’s precisely what occurs on the finish of the second season of Netflix’s essential animated show Hilda. Followers have been ready for a yr now to see that cliffhanger resolved.

At first of Hilda and the Mountain King, the movie that caps the collection’ second season, Hilda has turn into a troll, whereas Baba, the changeling troll-baby left in her place, has turn into a human toddler. Baba’s mom used troll magic to swap the 2, wanting to offer her daughter with the comfy lifetime of a human. Hilda wakes up within the trolls’ cave dwelling, with a physique product of stone. Baba wakes up in Hilda’s mattress, an important shock to Hilda’s mom, who spends the remainder of the episode desperately trying to find her daughter. The movie is a superb feature-length Hilda episode, however the 84-minute runtime additionally permits it to boost the stakes of the low-key collection appropriately, tackling among the enduring mysteries on the core of Trolberg.

It’s exhausting to not miss the acquainted galavanting-around-Trolberg antics {that a} full season of the present would provide. However troll-human battle has all the time been on the coronary heart of the present, so it’s good to see Mountain King lastly addressing the mysteries round it. The movie attracts on the acquainted rhythm of a Hilda episode — Hilda has gotten into bother, and has to make use of her bravery and crafty to work out an answer. The film focuses on a query that’s all the time underpinned the collection: why trolls reside across the metropolis of Trolberg, despite humanity’s apparent antagonism in opposition to them.

Hilda has all the time had an curiosity in trolls, beginning with the collection pilot, the place she sketches one in her forest dwelling. After shifting to Trolberg, she more and more advocates for trolls’ well-being, pushing again in opposition to the taskforce that “protects” town. Troll-human tensions have ratcheted up slowly all through Hilda’s two seasons, whether or not the conflicts are buzzing within the background, or taking middle stage as the topic of an episode.

Picture: Netflix

As a human, Hilda pushed to ask questions on issues town residents took as givens — primarily, why Trolberg makes use of bells to “defend” their residents, once they clearly trigger trolls a lot ache. In her new troll kind, Hilda will get a firsthand understanding of the grievances trolls have, and the variation — in bodily kind and beliefs — inside their neighborhood. A few of these divergences are goofy, as a lot of them acquire particular gadgets like “comfortable bedding” or “teapots and mugs.” A few of them are terrifying, as within the trolls who want to collectively destroy Trolberg, vs. those that merely want to reside undisturbed. She additionally learns that dwelling as a troll is genuinely enjoyable. They’re extremely sturdy, with our bodies which might be extra sturdy than human our bodies. Their hobbies embrace “throwing one another,” which permits them to soar via the air. As an explorer, these are all qualities Hilda prizes.

It additionally seems trolls and people have commonalities: Each the troll mom and Hilda’s mother want to reunite with their daughters, although the troll-mother made the swap within the first place. A lot of the movie hinges on this storytelling parallel, the “discovering similarities” trope that’s widespread in kids’s media, and which frequently creates the situations for a easy, optimistic decision. However the place kids’s media usually makes use of this concept to create a false sense of equality between two factions — even when one among them is the aggressor and oppressor — Mountain King pulls no punches. It refuses this false dichotomy by making it clear people have prompted trolls very actual struggling. It exhibits trolls as a broader neighborhood that deserves compassion, whilst a few of them have responded to people with violence. These people goaded the trolls into violent reprisals, making the most of them with the intention to reply with additional hurt.

Hilda continues to be a youngsters’ present, and Hilda nonetheless does save the day. Her buddies Frida and David spend a lot of the film combating a marketing campaign that seeks to painting trolls as threatening and violent, with the intention to justify deadly pressure in opposition to them. The heft and gravitas of the story spherical it out to a strong wrap for season 2, particularly in its payoff to the groundwork laid beforehand: A woman strikes to a brand new metropolis. First it adjustments her, then she and her buddies change it in flip. On this well-orchestrated narrative readability, with its sharp plotting, the film loses a little bit of the present’s spontaneity and unpredictability. Nonetheless, it’s quick and candy.

Hilda, her mom, dog Twig, Baba, and her troll mother

Picture: Netflix

It’s exhausting to not miss the goofier, out-of-pocket antics of standard episodes of Hilda, which not solely provide that selection, but in addition significantly lighten the temper. Mountain King has its jokes and moments of levity, however its total tone is extra persistently darkish, veering briefly into kid-friendly horror. (Although your entire movie is arguably a child’s horror story — being separated from a major caretaker could be a terrifying prospect for a kid, as Disney has lengthy acknowledged.)

Greater than something, Hilda and the Mountain King units the stage for Hilda’s third season, given the potential of its world. The movie opens the door to dozens of latest questions and adventures. How will the townspeople — who aren’t significantly identified for his or her open-mindedness — react to the adjustments that happen on this film? What adventures will Hilda and her buddies stand up to subsequent? All of it leaves me itching for extra ensemble adventures, extra Sparrow Scout badges, extra wild creatures to fulfill, and in the end, extra space spent on this world I’ve come to like.

Hilda and the Mountain King is now streaming on Netflix.

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