Elena of Avalor- Series Overview

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mrdent12
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Re: Elena of Avalor- Series Overview

Post by mrdent12 »

The whole "test" was left open for a while until the end of the series. I don't think the writers really knew what it was or if they did it was planned out years in advance with alot of false leads.
Jabroniville
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Re: Elena of Avalor- Series Overview

Post by Jabroniville »

mrdent12 wrote: Fri Aug 27, 2021 4:43 pm The whole "test" was left open for a while until the end of the series. I don't think the writers really knew what it was or if they did it was planned out years in advance with alot of false leads.
It's kinda funny because Elena was nearly killed like 5 billion times between then and now, so anything could be a "test".

The showrunners do seem to have a ton of planning in place. It wasn't clear until about this point in the show's run that side characters would always be returning, and things used in one story come up later a lot. Here is the big with the "Shadows of Night" who are the villains in the Series Finale, and I'm not sure if they planned it that way or not.
Jabroniville
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Re: Elena of Avalor- Series Overview

Post by Jabroniville »

28) "Royal Rivalry". A pretty famous, notable one in the fandom, for the wild introduction of Princess Valentina, with an omega-level design (black girl with a purple dress). This episode is a very... "Girl Show" episode. The kind of episode you saw a bunch, where this cool, special rival shows up who seems to be better than the main character at everything, and is showy and boastful about it, leading to a rivalry... only they end up friends because of stuff. This one is actually good, though- Valentina is just SO over the top with her snottiness, responding to everything that her own kingdom (which has had a long-running feud with Avalor) has a better thing, immediately setting Elena on edge and making the entire council furious with her. She & her servant beat Gabe & Elena at Olaball, and she has a song about how her kingdom has "A little bit MORE". She's even got magical training, one-upping Elena AGAIN.

All this ends up making Elena competitive and insecure to match, trying for more Olaball, overdoing it with the magic, and bringing two dog statues to life. Naturally, it comes out that her arrogance comes from insecurity. She'd heard all about Avalor's magical, awesome kingdom and princess, and discovered that all the stories were TRUE. Though technically all she's done since arriving in Avalor is brag, so I don't know how she gathered any of Elena's capabilities just yet, but at least she saw the kingdom.

The dogs threaten everyone (Esteban: "Naomi, I apologize for all of the things I said behind your back!" "And I apologize for all the things I said to your face!"), but the two Princesses immediately make good and Elena gets Valentina to lure the dogs back to the podium by getting them to "fetch" a giant tree. That was pretty fast. Actually a lot of this episode is just the character stuff, which is neat. And I like how this immediately changes Valentina, who isn't as snotty in any later episode. If anything, they could have slotted her into a main role immediately and she'd have fit in just fine. And this one even matters a bit because it has her kingdom now looking out for Victor & Carla, which alters the villains' plans.
mrdent12
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Re: Elena of Avalor- Series Overview

Post by mrdent12 »

I'm surprised that after all those years with Avalor under it's previous ruler there wasn't more kingdoms that had gripes with Avalor.
Jabroniville
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Re: Elena of Avalor- Series Overview

Post by Jabroniville »

mrdent12 wrote: Sun Aug 29, 2021 6:17 pm I'm surprised that after all those years with Avalor under it's previous ruler there wasn't more kingdoms that had gripes with Avalor.
This is one thing that was always quite interesting about the show's lore, but wasn't overly dwelled upon- it was ruled for DECADES by an evil sorceress who banned magic, music and dancing (and this was a world where everyone instinctively knows how to sing & dance in large groups), yet somehow thrived economically during that time ("We are now the biggest port in the world!"). Except a lot of people in the opening special looked a fair bit poor (there's a shirtless guy in shorts- though I was once chided for assuming others looked like hobos when they were wearing traditional Mesoamerican gear, lol), which I think implied a lot of economic disparity.

But yeah, a lot of the time it was almost like they kind of ignore the "Shuriki Years" because they didn't like the notion of what life was like there. It's a bit "heavy" for a children's show, I suppose, but getting into the deeper lore, you realize things like the castle guards probably all switched over under the new ruler. People will say things like "We haven't done a Parranda [caroling] in years!" and not mention that the reason why it was illegal, lol.
mrdent12
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Re: Elena of Avalor- Series Overview

Post by mrdent12 »

The wealth I can see because Shruki had those creatures that made everything into gold. It would have likely been concentrated at the top with her and chosen few however.

If the show did address the massive problems from the Shruki years, I concur the show would be pretty dark for kids. An episode where a foreign ruler comes and says "what happen to all the black guards and people kept in line by fear?" Wouldn't play well for kids tv
Jabroniville
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Re: Elena of Avalor- Series Overview

Post by Jabroniville »

29) "The Sword of El Guapo". I was wondering when Gabe was made Captain, and it turns out it's also the "possessed by a sword" episode, haha. I don't think we've ever seen the preceding Captain before. There's a simple running gag about how he almost never talks, and takes so long to do so he ends up interrupting the person checking on him. And they immediately announce his retirement (how long was he there? It's unlikely he was a Guard under Shuriki), and he names four possible successors- Rico the Former Backgrounder, two nobodies... and Gabe. I like Elena's little "yes!" to herself, with a side-glance to make sure everyone thinks she's impartial, haha.

Interesting little debate in the barracks (with some of the only "guys joshing each other in locker-room talk" moments I recall from the show). Rico is from a military family and shows off his fancy sword, which he got from his father. Funny bit as Gabe goes all "You don't need a fancy sword to win" and draws his, and everyone goes "awwww..." with disappointment at it. "WHAT!? It's standard issue! We all have the same one!". Gabe's "snappy comeback" actually draws nods of disapproval from the other guards in a funny background bit. And I have to say fencing using REAL SWORDS in the barracks is horrendously dangerous and probably not the thing a future Captain should be doing! Though their big "contest" for Captain (an obstacle course) is also horribly unsafe, with guys wading through a forest of artificial trees, swinging swords right next to each other.

So Gabe DROPS this important package he's to bring to the museum (which is pretty bad- I mean, most Disney characters don't drop stuff when they sing), finds it's a fancy sword, and decides he's going to "borrow" it. And of course it's magic and possesses him, so "El Guapo" takes him over repeatedly. With a smarmy smirk and lowering his jaw and emphasizing his cheekbones to indicate which is in control at any moment. Gabe soon announces himself as "Guapo" to everyone.

Naomi: "Doesn't Guapo mean handsome?"
Mateo: "yessssss..."
Naomi: "Well he does have a point!"
(it's fashioned as a pun about swords that makes the others shake their heads, but ALSO works for a certain pairing, lol)

So Guapo makes Gabe an elite, acrobatic swordsman, but also makes him act selfishly and egotistically. When he accidentally trips Rico, he just forges on and wins on the first day- the second sees them against each other again. Gabe realizes what's wrong when he acts like a douche to Elena (who REALLY hates having him touch her lips to shush her, lol), and desperately tries to get rid of the sword, which just returns to his hand in a series of funny visual gags (he tosses it off a bridge, and it appears behind him; he throws it into the museum and locks the door, but it manages to open it and STILL get at him). Finally Professor Mendoza explains the whole deal, and that nobody's found the cure.

I like how Gabe has to confess to Mateo, THEN Elena. Mateo first nerds out over a cursed object ("I've read about cursed objects, but never SEEN one!") but manages to make a potion: but the trick is that Gabe can't use the sword again. Then Elena of course gives him the "the soldier makes the sword" speech and he makes good on the last event, going back to help the injured Rico instead of abandoning him. And at least this time, Rico hurt HIMSELF.

This leads to all the guards taking back all their "baker boy" stuff and endorse him for Captain of the Royal Guard. He's offered the Captain's Sword, but in the funniest bit, hesitates. Elena: "It isn't cursed. Mateo checked". Mateo: *from the stands* "IT'S GOOD!". Love Elena's quick delivery there, and Mateo's calling from the stands.

Overall, a pretty good one, like most Gabe ones tend to be. Very fun stuff with Gabe doing cartoony things to get rid of the sword. It's interesting that the Guapo blade stuff is pretty much all on him- he actually dropped the sword while doing his job, then decided to go against Professor Mendoza's orders and use it, then kept allowing himself to be goaded by the others. It's kind of an interesting thing with Gabe where he has the same issue with confidence that Mateo does, but it manifests differently. Mateo in self-pity and introspection and Gabe with anger- both usually need a talking to from Elena about it. Like, Gabe was ALWAYS good enough for the jobs he has, and doesn't have to do three seasons of on-screen training the way Mateo does- it's like it was always in him. He just lacked the confidence to trust himself. All his bad decisions here come from thinking about his lack of lineage, thinking he needs a cool sword to win, and letting the boys' heckling of him get to him.

I just noticed the horses all have eyebrows. A great "cheat" to give them human expressions. lol just checking but a ton of animated horses do this. Max in Tangled kinda has light ones that are subtle, but in TTS they're pitch black.
Jabroniville
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Re: Elena of Avalor- Series Overview

Post by Jabroniville »

30) "Three Jacquins and a Princess". I still remember watching this the first time and being kind of stunned by how much it dumped on the show right away, lol. Like "Oh yeah so major character Miggs now has a mate and three eggs and oh look they're hatching, so here's four brand-new characters". Like he just flies in, announces he has a "new mate" (did he have an old one?), and Dulce is played by Rosie Perez. But she has like five lines in the whole thing, because both parents-to-be bail and leave Isabel in charge of the eggs since she's been wanting more responsibility and to not be treated like a kid.

So immediately the eggs hatch and instead of getting help, she tries to control the babies, who are adorbz but mischievous, and soon it's a disaster, especially once Mateo's enlarging potion makes the pink one huge. She learns a quick lesson, then helps save the day.

Meanwhile, there's a bake-off and Armando's chances are insulted by Dona Paloma, which makes Esteban, who usually picks on Armando, suddenly defend him. I love how Paloma's just horrible to Armando the whole time and thinks Lady Yolanda (one of those awful twins from an earlier episode) will automatically win, but still refuses to lie and say that her cake was the best. She's straight-up mad that Armando's is so good. Armando's cake looks rad, though. Haha and I forgot Dona Paloma got frozen by Mateo by accident.

So, um, the name of the game here is "Merch". I recall the baby Jacquins appearing in a TON of merch right away- they were all over Toys R Us and I think even the Disney Store got some. Like, they were everywhere, to the point where you could be forgiven for thinking Elena of Avalor was a show entirely about flying jaguars. So this episode comes off as a shameless "Merch Delivery System" in every way- just flagrantly pushing these new collectable cute things. The episode is pretty good despite that- mostly thanks to it being largely about Isa trying to control them.

Rosie Perez has such a neat voice and acting style. I'm kinda bummed I don't remember anything Dulce does in this or elsewhere. Like, she gets all of FIVE LINES and she doesn't even matter to the episode, despite becoming a mother in it!
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