It’s hard to imagine a more terrifying scenario than saving your child from some danger and then waking up the next morning to find a stranger’s child asleep in his bed. This is exactly what happens at the end of the second season of Netflix’s must-see animated show. Hilda. Fans have been waiting for a year now to see this cliffhanger resolved.
At the beginning of Hilda and the King of the Mountain, the film that crowns the second season of the series, Hilda became a troll, while Baba, the changeling baby troll left in her stead, became a human toddler. Baba’s mother used troll magic to swap the two, wanting to provide her daughter with the comfortable life of a human. Hilda wakes up in the cave of the trolls, with a stone body. Baba wakes up in Hilda’s bed, a great shock to Hilda’s mother, who spends the remainder of the episode desperately looking for her daughter. The film is an excellent feature film Hilda episode, but the 84-minute runtime also allows it to raise the stakes of the low-key series appropriately, addressing some of the lingering mysteries at Trolberg’s heart.
It’s hard not to miss the familiar antics around Trolberg that a full season of the show would offer. But the troll-human conflict has always been at the heart of the show, so it’s good to see King of the mountain finally solve the mysteries that surround it. The film borrows the familiar rhythm of a Hilda episode – Hilda has gotten into trouble and must use her bravery and cunning to find a solution. The film focuses on a question that has always underpinned the series: why trolls live around the town of Trolberg, despite humanity’s obvious antagonism against them.
Hilda has always had an interest in trolls, starting with the pilot of the series, where she draws one in her forest house. After moving to Trolberg, she increasingly advocates for the welfare of the trolls, pushing back the task force that “protects” the town. Troll-human tensions slowly escalated throughout HildaIt’s two seasons, whether conflict hums in the background, or takes center stage as the subject of an episode.
As a human, Hilda pushed to ask questions about things the townspeople considered to be data – primarily, why Trolberg uses bells to “protect” their inhabitants, when they obviously cause so much pain. to the trolls. In her new troll form, Hilda gains a first-hand understanding of trolls grievances and the variation – in physical form and beliefs – within their community. Some of these discrepancies are wacky, as many of them collect specific items like âsoft beddingâ or âteapots and cupsâ. Some of them are terrifying, like the trolls who wish to collectively destroy Trolberg, versus those who simply wish to live undisturbed. She also learns that living like a troll is really fun. They are incredibly strong, with more durable bodies than human bodies. Their hobbies include “throwing at each other” which allows them to fly through the air. As an explorer these are all quality Hilda prizes.
It also turns out that trolls and humans have some things in common: Troll mother and Hilda’s mother wish to reunite with their daughters, even though the troll mother made the exchange in the first place. Much of the film relies on that parallel of storytelling, the ‘finding similarities’ trope that is common in children’s media and often creates the conditions for a simple, positive resolution. But where children’s media often use this idea to create a false sense of equality between two factions – even if one of them is the aggressor and the oppressor – King of the mountain does not fire any punches. He rejects this false dichotomy by making it clear that humans have caused very real suffering to trolls. It shows the trolls as a larger community that deserves compassion, even though some of them have responded to humans with violence. These humans instigated violent retaliation on the trolls, taking advantage of them to retaliate with more evil.
Hilda is still a children’s show, and Hilda always saves the day. His friends Frida and David spend much of the film lead a campaign that seeks to portray the trolls as threatening and violent, in order to justify lethal force against them. The weight and gravity of the story rounds it off into a solid package for Season 2, especially in its contribution to the groundwork laid previously: A girl moves to a new town. First it changes her, then she and her friends change it in turn. In this well-orchestrated narrative clarity, with its sharp plot, the film loses a bit of the spontaneity and unpredictability of the show. Still, it’s short and sweet.
It’s hard not to miss some of the wackiest antics from the regular episodes of Hilda, which not only offer this variety, but also considerably lighten the mood. King of the mountain has its jokes and moments of levity, but its overall tone is more uniformly somber, briefly turning into horror for children. (While the whole movie is arguably a children’s horror story – being separated from a primary caretaker can be a terrifying prospect for a child, as Disney has long acknowledged.)
Over all, Hilda and the King of the Mountain prepares the ground for Hildathird season of, given the potential of his universe. The film opens the door to dozens of new questions and adventures. How will city dwellers – who aren’t particularly known for their open-mindedness – react to the changes taking place in this film? What adventures will Hilda and her friends have next? It all makes me want more set adventures, more Sparrow Scout badges, more wild creatures to meet, and ultimately more space spent in this world I’ve grown to love.
Hilda and the King of the Mountain is now streaming on Netflix.