Hilda, a new animated children’s show on Netflix, is a perfect mix of exploration and friendship, adventure and humor.
I seriously can’t recommend this show enough.
Hilda is based on a graphic novel series written by Luke Pearson focusing on the adventures of Hilda as she explores her world, including her new home in the city of Trollberg. Hilda and her mother previously lived in the forest where Hilda’s friends were the creatures she met there (including one called Woodman. Yes, he is made entirely of wood.) They later move to Trollberg where Hilda befriends two other middle school students, Frida and David. Together, the three of them explore the city and discover some of its secrets.
This is a light-hearted series focusing on adventure, friendship, and comedy. It is perfect for anyone from young children to adults because all audiences will get something out of it.
One of the best parts of the show is the fun fantasy elements carefully woven into the daily life of the characters. Hilda meets strange and wonderful creatures, discovers secrets and explores every hidden (and unhidden) inch of the world around her.
Let’s look closer at the main themes:
Hilda’s main friends in the show are Frida and David, whom she meets in her class after she moves to Trollberg.
Hilda is also always making friends with the various creatures she meets on her adventures. She seeks to understand them and doesn’t run away from difficult or strange situations. Some of her other friends through the season include Alfie the Elf, and Tontu, a Nisse (a house spirit).
At the beginning of the series, Hilda doesn’t really know how to make friends or interact with others socially. She grew up in a very limited social environment, making friends with only the forest creatures around her house and no one her own age. After the move to the city, Hilda learns how to be a good friend to David and Frida, especially in difficult situations (interpersonal and otherwise). Her new friends must also learn to adjust to all of Hilda’s quirks and faults.
After moving to Trollberg, Hilda often feels out of place and homesick for her old house in the woods. Throughout the series we get the chance to see her connect with her new city and new friends as she begins to call this place her home. In one episode she is temporarily trapped in a suspiciously similar house in the woods (even though her house in the woods was destroyed) that grants her every wish, except for letting her leave. She finally realizes that her way out is to wish for the one thing she really wants: a door back home. The house grants this wish and she finds herself in her new apartment with her mom again, finally accepting that this is the place she now calls home.
Fantasy and Adventure:
Another thing Hilda does well is incorporating unique and fun fantasy elements in unexpected places. One of my favorite examples of this is the way they mention several times a specific weather station on the radio. This station is hosted by Victoria Van Gale, who has eerily accurate weather predictions. Somehow only about three people in the whole city tune in (because no one else except Hilda has found her station). We meet Victoria Van Gale in person in a later episode during which Trollberg experiences some crazy weather phenomena.
Hilda is consistently finding hidden secrets, meeting mysterious creatures, and going on crazy adventures while the show maintains a light-hearted whimsy that makes every episode fun. Hilda’s world is made up of Rat Kings who trade you secrets in the gutters, large flying Woffs (like puffy, floating cloud dogs- seen in the first picture of this post, along with Hilda’s deer-fox, Twig), and nightmare spirits who give you bad dreams. Using her determination and resourcefulness, Hilda and her friends find their way out of almost any situation.
The gorgeous animation, using soft, dreamy colors for the background and more intense colors on the main characters (especially Hilda’s red sweater and blue hair), bring this world to light in a way that is truly special. Hilda is a carefully created universe shown in such a heart-warming way that you are bound to rewatch it again and again.
I really loved this show and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a great cartoon show!