Home Top News The family films that ask the big questions - The Day

The family films that ask the big questions – The Day

The range of animated film is wide today. But the basis of the stories is strikingly often the same as in the classic fairy tales: Our place in the human community and our longing for more magic in life.

Throughout the ages, man seems to have had a need for stories. Not least fictional, fairy tales, where the imagination can have free rein.

Today we are flooded with fairy tales of various kinds; on film, the range for both children and adults is huge. Developments in animation technology have revolutionized both the ordinary feature film – where it is hardly possible to distinguish what is created in a computer from what is filmed – and the genre that was formerly called “cartoon”.

But despite new technology and new format, the basis of all these imaginative stories and tales often seems to be the same as it always has been. Constantly recurring themes are the question of our place in life and in the human community, as well as our longing for it

ska: the belief and hope that the world is bigger and more colorful than the “gray” reality.

Encanto, press image


In Disney’s latest animated musical adventure Encanto we meet the Madrigal family who live in a village in the Colombian mountains. The family’s matriarch Abuela came here after fleeing the war with his husband Pedro and his three children, Julieta, Pepa and Bruno.

During the escape, Pedro became killed by soldiers, but by a miracle Abuela and her children were saved. A light appeared and led them to the sanctuary where they have lived ever since – in a house that has a life of its own. The candle is still burning and everyone born in the family receives various magical gifts. Gifts they use to serve the villagers. Julieta’s daughter Mirabel is the only one who has not received a gift, which worries the others in the family, especially her grandmother Abuela.

When signs begin to emerge that the magical power is about to leave the house and the family, some want to blame Mirabel. She herself begins to search for the cause, to try to prevent the coming catastrophe. What really happened to her uncle Bruno, who left the family a long time ago? Where is he now? She increasingly realizes that she herself has an important role to play in what is happening.

Even if it is to be considered as an “intermediate film” in Disney’s flow of animated blockbusters – and after the smash hit with Frostthe movies – are anyway Encanto well invested time for us viewers. It is entertaining and exciting with an emphasis on pleasant. There are also some human lessons about things like trust, community and not holding on too tight to what you love.

Anyone who wants to can also see here a thought-provoking problem that some people – such as refugees and immigrants – often have to perform more and better than others in order to gain recognition and value in society and our communities.

Hilda and Bergakungen, press photo

Hilda and the Mountain King

The British author and illustrator Luke Pearson’s comic books about the girl Hilda have become acclaimed and popular, as have the TV series based on them. (Two seasons, 26 episodes.) The stories place themselves in their own way in a classic tradition of fantasy and fairy tales, where we humans share the world with other beings. Hilda is also looking for the magic in life, after discovering that there are different fairy tale creatures around her. She and her friends go through a series of different adventures.

The first was recently released the feature film, Hilda and the Mountain King, on Netflix. It picks up where the second season ends. Hilda wakes up in a cave and realizes that she has been transformed into a troll. At home in the town of Trollberg, her mother Johanna also discovers a baby in Hilda’s bed. She realizes that it is a magic child in the human body, some kind of exchange has taken place.

At the same time as the inhabitants of Trollberg worry about an attack from the trolls that live in the mountains outside the city walls, Johanna goes out there to find her daughter. While Hilda learns the benefits of her new life, she seeks a way to break the spell – to become human again and be reunited with family and friends. She gets tips from a large troll who is trapped in a cave. But who is he and what is his real purpose?

Its low-key message that the secret of diversity can be about compromise is liberating in a time of polarization and one-sided solutions

Magnus Sundell

Hilda and the Mountain King is a fast-paced, charming and funny tale that otherwise it does not have to be dangerous and the importance of both curiosity and respect. Its low-key message that the secret of diversity can be about compromise is liberating in a time of polarization and one-sided solutions.

Ron stirs, press photo

Ron stirs

In the movie Ron stirs the magic of existence is created in a technical way – which is something we recognize. For how should we describe digital development and the function of technology in our daily lives if not as magic? Sometimes it feels like we have stepped straight into a fantasy world.

In the not too distant future The technology company Bubble has created a B-bot, an AI-controlled robot designed to both be a friend of children and help them make more friends. It is programmed with a friendship algorithm and is both friend and supercomputer, constantly connected to the internet and social media.

12-year-old Barney is the only one in his class who does not have a B-fine, which leaves him alone. When he finally gets his own robot, it’s a defective copy that his dad came across cheaply. Since it is not pre-programmed or connected to Bubble, Barney herself must try to teach it how to behave – how to become a friend. He gives it the name Ron.

Of course, many adventures await and deadly situations, because Ron has a hard time fitting in and also does not have the security barriers that a B-fine should have… It all leads to them being chased by Bubble, who wants to recall and destroy the copy. Along the way, Barney and Ron develop something that can actually be called true friendship.

Some people probably think that the film moralizes about children’s use of technology, but I see it rather as a fun and engaging laughter mirror, a contemporary satire, which reminds us of things we are unfortunately often tempted to forget. Like what’s really important in life and what real friendship is all about.

For the real magic is of course that we live and that we have each other.



Directed by: Jared Bush, Byron Howard

Screenplay: Charise Castro Smith, Jared Bush et al

Genre: Animated / Family film

Voices: Stephanie Beatriz, Angie Cepeda, John Leguizamo and others (Swedish: Sandra Kassman, Hanna Hedlund, Rennie Mirro and others

Shown: Bio, Disney +, SF Anytime

Age: From 6 years

Rating: 3

“Hilda and the Mountain King”

Director: Andy Cole

Screenplay: Luke Pearson, Stephanie Simpson, Kurt Mueller

Genre: Animated / Family film

Voices: Bella Ramsey, Daisy Haggard, Oliver Nelson and others (Swedish: Selma Backman, Therese Hedlund, Adil Backman and others)

Shown: Netflix

Age: From 7 years

Rating: 4

“Ron stirs”

Directed by: Sarah Smith, Jean-Philippe Vine

Screenplay: Peter Baynham, Sarah Smith

Genre: Animated / Family film

Voices: Jack Dylan Grazer, Zach Galifiankis, Olivia Colman and others (Swedish: Adil Backman, Magdi Saleh, Yamineth Dyall and others)

Shown: Bio, Disney +, SF Anytime

Age: From 6 years

Rating: 4


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