If you read my initial post on Elena of Avalor, which you can check out HERE you’ll know that I loved the first outing. In fact, I was utterly surprised and delighted by it. That being said, I thought we’d continue down this road and see where it takes us. The second episode was more of a family affair and had less of the magical antics of the first episode, but perhaps that’s not a bad thing? Let’s take a look.
The second episode has Elena dealing with the mounting responsibilities in her life. As her first royal visit looms ever closer, she also tries to make time for her younger sister, Isabel, who is entering a machine that dresses you into the Avalor version of a science fair. Of course, like any story that involves responsibilities, Elena is pulled in two opposing directions until she must choose what is the right path for herself.
Once again, I found that I really liked Elena’s character. She’s funny and resourceful with a heart of gold. I like that she has a really open mind about people and always sort of goes with it, understanding that she has a lot to learn. The trouble with this is that it leaves her open to be manipulated by her cousin, Chancellor Esteban. What’s up with that guy, by the way? In many ways, he sort of feels like the main villain. He’s got lots of schemes and doesn’t have anyone else’s well being in mind but his own. Yet, he’s quite foolish and at the end of the day, he does want the kingdom to be well respected. It’s hard to say where his character will go, but I certainly hope he has a progression at some point.
There are two very key things that I loved about this episode. First of all, once again, the diversity it truly to be celebrated. I love these two cultures finding things in common and really celebrating the differences. And best of all, neither of the two cultures involved is white. Believe it or not, people of ALL races can learn from and respect each other. I DO believe in fairies! Alright, let’s all calm down. But seriously, this is so fantastic. The respect and open-mindedness is exactly what I am happy to see kids today are being taught.
The other thing I love is that Isabelle is an inventor. Sure, she’s inventing something that puts on your clothes. But it’s still science. Can you think of the last time you saw a little girl in a dress working on a machine with tools which she was fully competent using? It’s so subtle yet brilliant. It’s empowering. I grew up being taught that when a tire went flat, a man was meant to fix it. Obviously this is crazy talk, but it’s great to see the implementation here. The point is that these aren’t just beautiful, loving caring princesses. They’re princesses with a lot of mental fortitude who create and imagine in ways that I are different from each other. Elena and her sister are very different but they still manage to understand each other.
While I do wish we’d seen a bit more magic and whimsy in this episode, I really loved the subtle things that the show introduced. I love that the relationships feel organic and that the show is really showing acceptance and ingenuity as the norm. Avalor seems like an extremely tolerant, thought provoking place. I’d love to live there! The music and animation continues to be great. I just hope we get a little bit more of that magical spark that made the first episode so special. In the meantime, this show is full of great lessons and characters who represent excellent role models for young girls and boys alike. I say this with not a bit of sarcasm: I cannot wait to see the next episode!
Are you guys watching yet? Please say yes! Let me know what you think in the comments.