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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Lego Elves: Secrets of Elvendale is an animated fantasy series about a young girl who visits a magical elf realm. Parents' chief concern may be that this show is connected to a line of Lego toys. That aside, the show has mild violence, romance, and themes that are appropriate for tweens. The main characters are heroic, often attempting to protect weaker creatures or the elves' land; they're also colorful and attractive. Their rivals, evil goblins, are small and unattractive and speak gibberish, although there's one character others call "handsome" who turns out to have iffy intentions. The goblins use cannons to shoot nets, but otherwise violence is muted: Goblins are knocked over by falling fruit, and fire threatens a village (but not living creatures). Expect references to romance -- for example, female elves flirt with and swoon over a male elf; another male elf, envious, calls him "smooth."
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What's the story?
Emily Jones (Ashleigh Ball) stumbled into Elvendale, the magical land of the LEGO ELVES, once before. That's when she learned her destiny. Her grandmother was one of five elves with elemental powers. There's Aira (Ashleigh Ball), with the power to control air; Azari (Erin Mathews), with the power of fire; Farran (Kyle Rideout), earth; and Naida (Erin Mathews), water; and then there was the power shared by Emily and her grandmother: love. Emily's fate is to live in the human world, protecting Elvendale from people who might bring them harm. But on a return trip to Elvendale, her younger sister, Sophie (Rebecca Husain), is captured by an evil king. Now Emily must team up with her friends to rescue her sister, and free a captive race of creatures from their oppressive master.
Is it any good?
The action is mild and the animation beautiful in this fantasy series linked to a line of Lego toys. The visuals in Lego Elves: Secrets of Elvendale seem custom-made to attract fairies-and-magic-mad young children: flying dragons you can ride on, pink trees, giant gems that grow out of the ground like bushes, enchanted mermaid-filled caverns, cozy tree houses. Human character Emily, meant to be the avatar for viewers (unless they're young enough to sympathize more with her pesky younger sister, Sophie) is granted access into a magical club, with a group of really fun new friends who are totally excited to do things like have a slumber party with a pillow fight -- or raid the Goblin King's secret hold in hopes of banishing him forever.
It's certainly lovely to look at -- the typical blocky Lego style has been abandoned for a rainbow-hued and glitter palette -- and it goes down smoothly enough for young viewers who like mild antics lightened up with lots of jokes and friendly repartee between characters. But even parents who buy Lego toys may want to consider how they feel about this show's marketing tie-in before letting kids watch.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about imaginary worlds like we see in Lego Elves: Secrets of Elvendale. Why is it fun to think about elves, wizards, and mythical creatures?
Kids: Did watching this show make you (more) interested in buying the Lego Elves toys? How do you know when something is an ad?
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