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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Hilda is an animated series based on the same-named graphic novels by Luke Pearson. The main character is a kindhearted human girl (voiced by Bella Ramsey) who meets and befriends many unusual creatures, including elves, trolls, and giants. She helps them solve problems and acts as a mediator of sorts when there are misunderstandings. Hilda is the show's best quality, but it also benefits from curious characters, exceptionally matched storytelling and animation, and an endearing world of fantasy.
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What's the story?
In HILDA, the main character (voiced by Bella Ramsey) is a young girl who finds all kinds of adventures among the elves, trolls, and giants nearby the secluded woodland home she shares with her mom (Daisy Haggard). But when the two of them pull up stakes and relocate to the town of Trolberg, Hilda discovers that even bigger adventures -- and more surprising new friends -- await her there.
Is it any good?
The beloved graphic novel series adapts beautifully to the screen in this whimsical fantasy about a gregarious girl who thrives on experiencing new things. Hilda's is a world where mountains awaken from eons-long naps to become giants once again, and elven communities have strict rules about who can and cannot see them. Rotund furry creatures fly in the sky like birds, and sun-sensitive trolls are turned to stone. There are surprises around every corner in this surreal place.
What also abounds here are gentle storytelling and sweet themes of tolerance and friendship. Hilda is decidedly unrushed, with music filling pauses in dialogue and characters (especially Hilda) extending kindness to others at every opportunity. Its delightful animation draws heavily on the books for inspiration and matches well the story's roots in magic and fantasy.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Hilda's fantasy world compares to the real one. Are there aspects of Hilda's experiences that are similar to your own? What place does fantasy have in entertainment? How does seeing a different perspective through the eyes of a TV character influence how you view the world?
Kids: What accounts for Hilda's eagerness to befriend the many creatures and people she meets? Is she ever hesitant because they look or act differently from her? How do stereotypes affect how we relate to new people? Are all stereotypes inherently bad, or are there instances in which they can be helpful?
Do this story and these characters transition well from book to screen? How might Hilda be received if it was live action instead of animated? What other book characters do you enjoy seeing in TV shows or movies? Which haven't made the jump but in your opinion should?
- Premiere date: September 21, 2018
- Cast: Bella Ramsey, Rasmus Hardiker, Daisy Haggard
- Network: Netflix
- Genre: Kids' Animation
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Book Characters, Great Girl Role Models
- Character strengths: Curiosity
- TV rating: NR
- Available on: Streaming
- Award: Common Sense Selection
- Last updated: September 19, 2020
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