The unique cryptid-filled animated series.
Hilda (Bella Ramsey) was a little girl raised in the woods by her mum, Johanna (Daisy Haggard) along with a deerfox, Twig, and an elf named Alfur (Rasmus Hardiker), until they moved to the troll-besieged town of Trolberg. She quickly befriends two locals named Frida and David (Ameerah Falzon-Ojo and Oliver Nelson). The group get into a ton of adventures with the residents and cryptids that occupy Trolberg, but in the second season they have to deal with the incompetent town safety patrol captain Erik (John Hopkins) and his deputy Gerda (Lucy Montgomery).
This show is a weird blend of creepy and adorable that somehow works perfectly. It routinely features monsters that, in a different art style, would be horrifying, and instead makes them the appropriate amount of threatening to be dealt with by a young girl. The situations she encounters in this season are likewise: They’d be horrifying if you really thought about it too hard, but instead they’re done in such a way that they can be approached by younger minds without trauma. The show walks a fine line, but it walks it with the same determination as its main character and manages to make it work.
The first season is mostly a fish out of water and adventure story, showing off the creative designs. The second season, though, is largely about self-reflection and humility. The main antagonist, Erik, is a person who is so caught up in the glory of being head of the town safety patrol that he frequently exposes the town to more danger and never seems capable of recognizing that fact. However, the show mirrors that with having Hilda frequently commit similarly selfish or reckless acts, albeit out of more noble desires, without learning from her errors. This reaches a pinnacle halfway through the season when an episode flat-out ends with an alternate song of Hilda saying “My name is Hilda and I don’t learn from my mistakes.” It’s a good lesson to teach kids and adults: Think about how your actions will affect others before you do them.
Overall, a fun show. If you’ve got small kids, they’ll love it.
If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All Time, Collection of TV Episodes, Collection of Movie Reviews, or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.
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