Elena of Avalor

Elena of Avalor – Finders Leapers

Oh Esteban, why are you the way you are?  Tonight’s episode really took him a step back from his character growth on the magical island a few weeks back.  However, that was over shadowed by some excellent growth for Naomi, who was able to prove that everyone’s got some special in them, regardless of their roots.  Finders Leapers saw a fight to the finish line with the mythical duende brothers, who were trying their luck at returning to the world in order to usher in the age of duenepocolypse.  With lots of adventure and excitement, this was definitely one of the best episodes this season.

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When you get invited to a birthday party for giants, the invites tend to be a bit over-sized.

The real idea here was that Naomi felt as though she needed to prove her worth.  This was partially because Esteban was such a jerk face from the start.  Okay, we need to talk about this guy.  Is he ever going to be a better human being.  I feel like we just teach him the lesson of not being mean to everyone, only for him to turn around and be mean to everyone.  Is learning just not his specialty?  I don’t understand!  I want to like him, but seriously, he was so rude in this episode.  In fact, this might just be the rudest we’ve seen this character.  That being said, the ending moments where Naomi finally puts him in his place are that much funnier and fullfilling because of Esteban’s unfair assumption that she is simply a “Girl from the port.”

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Don’t cry for me Argentina.

The duende provided a good threat and an interesting piece of mythos to the show.  Something I really like about them is that they really shouldn’t be that hard to beat.  They are tiny and not that smart.  In fact, they really are the Latino equivalent of minions.  It’s because of this weakness though that the point is really driven home that when we can’t work together, even the easiest of tasks becomes impossible.

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These three are mainly upset that they were snubbed from being cast as the Three Caballeros.  

Another high point this week was the song performed by Naomi which was one of the better pop songs of the show so far.  It was so good that I could actually see it appearing on the radio on the Disney Channel.  It was full of positivity and was very very memorable.  It was also great to have a non-Elena character get a chance to sing a bit as it makes us feel closer to her.  Elena is wonderful but I like getting to know the cast a bit better as they are all different and special in their own right.

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I’M SPECIAL!!!

Some other key moments were the epic finale as well as the moment when everyone finally tells Esteban that he is the problem.  I’m sorry, he is just going to need to hear that a few more times.  I loved Dr. Mendoza, the sassy Indiana Jones lady.  I’m always a fan of seeing women in this show that are in roles typically reserved for men.  While she didn’t provide a lot to the show, it’s always fun to get to know another character, especially a confident scientist.

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And thus the duende released the Legion into the World of Warcraft.

I really thought I’d be bored of this show by now, but I just can’t get over how great the message is for youngsters.  I will also say that the team behind the show has been doing tons of great outreach with the Girl Scouts and seems to be taking this “Making the world a better place” beyond the show itself.  I love that.  It only makes me want to support them more.  Whether you’ve got a young boy or girl at home, it’s time to give them a chance at Elena of Avalor because this fantastic Princess and her brave friends are here to stay!

For more Elena of Avalor, check here!

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4 replies »

  1. Hola Jason! i hope you’re doing well! Elena is for everyone. It’s a show for a broad audience. Elena herself has helped me emotionally over the last few months. She’s helped me gain confidence to do things that have been hard for me in the past. As for Esteban, he finally got told a truth he was long overdue to hear. Since it’s Esteban, Elena may have to drive the septar home a few more times before her message gets through. But that’s why we love her! She never gives up! I’m glad she was there to encourage Naomi. I related to the song on a very personal level. Esteban wasn’t just a jerk, he was downright bullying Naomi. Tearing someone down is never okay! He got what he deserved both from Elena and the duendes! I’m excited for Royal Retreat!

  2. I feel like I have to defend Finders Leapers a bit.

    Island of Youth established that Esteban is not a villain, merely a jerk with better or worse days. And that’s how he acts towards Naomi in FL, like a jerk. Because he has this shtick of stating valid points in a tactless way. So far his character is consistant. It may seem like a step back but don’t forget that he’s 1) dealing with a different character who’s member of his family and he feels indebted to Elena. Sure, he would like to run the kingdom on his own but he’s reasonable enough to see that she saved his butt from Shuriki 2) the episode hinted at his impatience and impulsivity but ultimately dealt with his middle age crisis, so no surprise that his wilder, heedless side pokes its head once again.

    And as much as you may dislike Naomi or Elena being underestimated by a male character, the conflict between Naomi and Esteban was unavoidable. I bet that even the target audience that is younger than me has felt that it has to come. I mean I like Naomi, she’s smart and nice (and learns quickly for the kingdom’s sake) but I get why Esteban’s miffed, too. He has collected years of education and experiences and this literal nobody who is just 14 yo has been chosen as GC member before him thanks to pure luck. Especially after Naomi helped Elena go against GC’s decision with Charoca, the conflict between those two was just a question of time. And from a storytelling point of view that’s not a bad thing, because conflict moves the plot and changes the characters. Like here: Naomi grows, Esteban learns a bit more about teamwork and all is well in the end.

    As a reward Esteban got to run the kingdom while Elena was on Royal Retreat and abuelos were taking vacation. Maybe Naomi is still digging in the ground, unless they finally repaired the road. 😛

    • Now that I e had a few days I totally agree with you. I typically write these articles the second the credits roll for the sake of timeliness, but I think everything you’re saying is super accurate. My only worry is that the status quo will never change and Esteban won’t evolve but for now I have faith. Thank you for sharing your thoughts here! I’m mostly just happy to see other people as passionate about the show as I am 🙂

      • People passionate about the show? Oh, yeah, that’s me. I’m passionate about the show. 😀 Been writing fanfictions about Elena and Sofia. Tales of Avalor is the title if you ever feel like reading it (ff.net/AO3).

        I have to tell you something: that glorious moron of a chancellor is my favorite character from the show. Though I like practically anyone of the cast. Except Fiero and Shuriki for obvious reasons.

        I think the fourth episode was the first EoA episode I’ve seen ever, too. But I’m not sure with this one. Though it’s possible, I think the same thing happened with Sofia the First, too.

        Anyway I fell in love with that bastard the moment I saw him. Not just for his looks, though in retrospect I realized he’s the third character with similar appearance I consider my fave. (LOL)

        But he’s oddly inspirational and relatable at the same time. And I feel so bad for him, for the whole family actually. They were really screwed up by the witch, it’s terrible. Anyway I appreciate Esteban’s perseverance. No matter what happens he doesn’t give up. And agility. For an almost 60 y.o. guy he’s as energetic as a squirrel on redbull, if he isn’t bored or annoyed or sulking.

        One of my guesses for his possible character development is that he gradually comes to terms with Elena’s way of ruling and after he is sure that she’s learned what she could, he retires in some spectacular way like sailing around the world or something. He would never abandon Elena or Avalor in an hour of need but seeing that she can handle herself plus is surrounded with supportive friends who have grown a significant bit themselves that could convince him to move on.

        Or something like that. I mean he mentions unfulfilled dreams but WHAT are they? What would he want to do if he didn’t have to become Elena’s regent during era of Shuriki? I’d really like to know.

        Have you seen Avatar: The Last Airbender and Legend of Korra? I feel like you may like these shows, though they aren’t Disney related and have the feel of Japanese anime rather than typical western cartoons.

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