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


    It’s laborious to think about a state of affairs extra terrifying than rescuing your youngster from sure hazard, then waking up the following morning to discover a stranger’s youngster 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 the beginning of Hilda and the Mountain King, the movie that caps the sequence’ 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 snug lifetime of a human. Hilda wakes up within the trolls’ cave dwelling, with a physique made from stone. Baba wakes up in Hilda’s mattress, a fantastic 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 sequence appropriately, tackling a few of the enduring mysteries on the core of Trolberg.

    It’s laborious to not miss the acquainted galavanting-around-Trolberg antics {that a} full season of the present would supply. However troll-human battle has at all times 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 at all times underpinned the sequence: why trolls reside across the metropolis of Trolberg, regardless of humanity’s apparent antagonism in opposition to them.

    Hilda has at all times had an curiosity in trolls, beginning with the sequence pilot, the place she sketches one in her forest residence. After transferring 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 “shield” 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 lots of them acquire particular objects like “tender 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 can be extra sturdy than human our bodies. Their hobbies embody “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, regardless that 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 frequent in kids’s media, and which regularly creates the circumstances for a easy, constructive decision. However the place kids’s media typically makes use of this concept to create a false sense of equality between two factions — even when considered one of them is the aggressor and oppressor — Mountain King pulls no punches. It refuses this false dichotomy by making it clear people have brought on trolls very actual struggling. It exhibits trolls as a broader neighborhood that deserves compassion, at the same time as a few of them have responded to people with violence. These people goaded the trolls into violent reprisals, making the most of them with a view to reply with additional hurt.

    Hilda remains to be a children’ present, and Hilda nonetheless does save the day. Her buddies Frida and David spend a lot of the film preventing a marketing campaign that seeks to painting trolls as threatening and violent, with a view to justify deadly drive in opposition to them. The heft and gravitas of the story spherical it out to a stable 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 laborious to not miss the goofier, out-of-pocket antics of standard episodes of Hilda, which not solely supply that selection, but in addition significantly lighten the temper. Mountain King has its jokes and moments of levity, however its general tone is extra constantly darkish, veering briefly into kid-friendly horror. (Although your entire movie is arguably a child’s horror story — being separated from a main caretaker generally is 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 notably identified for his or her open-mindedness — react to the adjustments that happen on this film? What adventures will Hilda and her buddies rise up to subsequent? All of it leaves me itching for extra ensemble adventures, extra Sparrow Scout badges, extra wild creatures to fulfill, and finally, 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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