LEGO Elves popped up on Netflix to confuse university students everywhere too old to catch LEGO’s efforts to diversify and capture the attention of girls before they grew up. In 2015, LEGO launched a toy line of elves, and shortly after started to upload YouTube videos giving the toys elaborate backstories and their own whimsical world.
Why would this appeal to university students, you may ask? Viewers may spot many similarities between this and Avatar the Last Airbender, meaning it is perfectly poised to appeal to the class of 2017-2021 demographic.
At first glance, the show might seem too colourful and cutesy to appeal to fans of the heartwarmingly profound, soul quenching 2005-2008 Nickelodeon series. However, the level of world building and compelling character development is close enough to be a balm for anyone desperately missing Aang and Katara. The animation style and bending like element control makes this show worth watching for any student who loved Avatar, but probably nobody else.
The series focuses on a human named Emily Jones who was given an amulet by her grandmother, one of the elven sisters endowed with the power of elements.
With the amulet, Emily has the power to control the portal between Elvendale, her grandmother’s birthplace, and the human world. Once her sister accidentally passes through the portal she is forced to deal with the two worlds colliding and those who would take advantage of it.
Elvendale is full of delightful invented animals. There are dragons, colourful plants and a plethora of adorable, ingenuitive small creatures unknown to the human world. As dark forces in the world grow, the forests of Elvendale suffer and succumb to the influences of dark forces.
This mesmerising setting touches on the captivating themes of global connectivity and friendship developing in the face of adversity, and makes for an exciting start of a show with potential to positively influence the younger generations.
While the plot arc wrapped up quite neatly and perhaps too quickly at the end of the short first season, the backstory is rich with potential for additional seasons, and no doubt the characters have the versatility to make the leap. The teens are flawed, hopeful and interesting. It’s no small bonus that each episode passes the Bechdel test with flying colours.
While the LEGO branding may throw some people off, this is a show worth watching for anyone keen on seeing some excitable magical children go on an adventure to fight evil.