If I’m being completely honest, I almost forgot that Elena of Avalor was having a new episode this week. The release schedule has been anything but predictable for the show. However, I am happy to report that not only did I realize in time to watch it, BUT that it may just have been the best episode of the show so far. Elena of Avalor is quickly becoming one of the best shows for kids on television and there are a lot of reasons for that. This episode exemplified all of them and took the series to a new high with great music, a fun puzzle and some great action, coupled with very cool effects. Let’s take a closer look at this wizard of a tale.
Spellbound took more of a focus of Mateo as he became the palace’s royal wizard. Mateo’s problem is that he constantly doubts his own abilities. And because of this, others also doubt him. Especially Gabe, the captain of the royal guard. It’s easy to look at this back and forth and see Gabe as a bully, but we have to remember that Mateo’s worries that he is not a very good wizard are bound to lead other’s to think the same. If you don’t believe in yourself, why should others?
Luckily, Elena is on the case. With what is easily the best song of the season so far, Elena proves once again that she is a fantastic character and Princess by telling Mateo that even if he doesn’t believe in himself, she does. It’s equally powerful, because she speaks to the fact that all we need to be successful is already within ourselves. Not from books or external sources. Even for an adult, this is a wonderfully empowering message. I love that even as things get hairy throughout the episode, she never waivers in her respect and trust for her friend. Yet of course, the only one who can really make the change inside of Mateo is Mateo himself.
This all comes to the forefront as an evil wizard invades the palace. After turning most of the palace guests into stone statues, Fiero goes to find a mystical book which has several powerful spells within it so that, and I’m just guessing here, he can reign chaos down on everyone and everything. As our heroes try to find the book first, they are led through a twisty puzzle that is something in the form of a good Escape the Room as they solve riddles and look for keys.
Eventually, things come to a head as Mateo must face off against Fiero and prove to his friends that he is a competent wizard. I love the wands that are used here, because like everything in the show, they have a Latin flair to them. This gives the fight a fun feeling because even though we’ve seen this sort of wizard duel before, it still feels fresh and new. It’s great to see some magic enter the show and it’s also great to see spells being slung back and forth in a great action sequence. Because of this, I also once again feel like this could be a great show for both young boys and girls.
This episode did a great job of offering us all the best of the show. All the characters were here and adding to the story. There was a great song, some awesome action and we once again had a lesson that was very worth learning. Elena of Avalor continues to prove that it is more than just a spin off of Sofia the First by being full of great ideas for youngsters while having enough quality story-telling to make adults want to join in on the fun as well. The addition of this magical element can only ramp up as the show continues towards inevitably showing us Elena’s true destiny. In the meantime, I can’t wait to see what happens next.