Hilda and The Mountain King is an 85-minute movie special of the animated series that has been adapted from the Hilda and the Mountain King graphic novel and produced by Silvergate Media. It was released on December 30, 2021.. It is preceded by Season 2 and is followed by Season 3.
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Picking up from "Chapter 13: The Stone Forest", Hilda is now a troll living in the Stone Forest with Trylla, while Baba is now human living with Johanna. In the opening scene, Hilda, who hasn't fully grasped yet what happened to her and wants to escape the Stone Forest, runs out into the sun and is petrified. Meanwhile, in Trolberg, Johanna recognizes the human Baba as the Troll child she met before, and Tontu deduces Hilda had become the victim of a changeling spell. Realizing that this means Hilda must now be in the Stone Forest, Johanna, Baba, Tontu, Alfur, and Twig attempt to find her. However, they are unable to locate the entrance to the Stone Forest.
Elsewhere, Erik Ahlberg holds a press conference in which he announces a curfew because of the increasing troll activity outside Trolberg. He also asks for volunteers to help man the belltowers, and sends officer Selby to the Edmund Ahlberg Elementary School to show the students a safety video about Trolls. The video greatly exaggerates the dangers of Trolls, painting them as bloodthirsty monsters. Frida, who knows trolls aren't actively malicious, loudly protests against the inaccurate information, and David joins in. They manage to convince several of their classmates that what the Safety patrol does is wrong, and they even organize a protest (which Ms. Hallgrim even supports). David, however, has to bail out when he learns his mother has joined the Safety Patrol as a volunteer bellringer.
As evening approaches with still no sign of Hilda, Johanna runs into a group of Safety Patrol officers who are putting bells on all the petrified trolls. One of them warns Johanna about the curfew and orders her to go home, which Johanna reluctantly does. After sunset, Hilda unpetrifies, and finds a bell attached to her nose. The bell's ringing is painful to her, and she struggles to get rid of it. She then approaches Trolberg, and realizes the threat that the belltowers pose. As she retreats, Hilda stumbles upon a huge cave with dozens of bells hanging from the ceiling of the entrance. Inside she finds a gigantic troll with no eyes, who calls himself Trundle. He tells Hilda that there is a way she can become human again, which he will show her if she helps him with some tasks. He also assures her that Trylla means no harm since she considers Hilda her daughter now. Hilda reluctantly returns to Trylla, who explains that she did what she did to give Baba a better life, away from the violence of both humans and trolls. She also explains that trolls stay close to the city because even though they are unwelcome, something is calling them towards it. Hilda can feel it too. With sunrise approaching, they retreat back into the stone forest.
The next day, Ahlberg presents the Safety Patrol’s latest weapon for hunting trolls; a raygun that can instantly petrify Trolls. They currently have both a handheld and a gigantic version of this weapon. Johanna realizes Hilda is in danger if the Safety Patrol decides to engage the Trolls in a fight. She undertakes a second attempt to find Hilda with Alfur. She leaves Baba with Tontu in the apartment. Baba escapes from the house and wanders off into the street, forcing Tontu to chase her. They run into Frida and David, and Tontu brings them up to speed about the situation. Determined to find a way to help Hilda, the two visit Kaisa at the Library to see if there's a spell to restore Hilda, but she warns them witch magic cannot undo troll magic. Frida nevertheless attempts a body swap spell, but it goes haywire.
Night falls again, and the Trolls have their breakfast. Hilda is offered a cup of troll-mead, the first thing that Trundle asked her for, and slips away from the campfire to bring it to him. He then asks her to remove the bells that are keeping him trapped in the cave. While Hilda ponders how to do that, Trylla shows Hilda more about Troll society, including trolls' small, specialized hoards of items, and the ruins of the castle of the Mountain King. Trylla explains that the only time the trolls united under a leader, that troll tried to rally everyone into attacking the city, but was defeated. For a moment, Hilda begins to appreciate her new life. Being a Troll gives her supernatural strength and freedom to roam the wilderness again. But she still longs for her home and convinces Trylla that using the Changeling Spell was wrong and that she should undo the spell put on Hilda. Unfortunately, Trylla doesn't know how. Seeing no other way out, Hilda decides to help Trundle. She uses pillows (which she steals from a Troll's treasure collection) to silence the bells, and can thus safely remove them. Trundle compliments her human trickery and sends Hilda on her final errant; to bring him a big, crimson object, hidden among the treasure of the Mountain King's ruined castle.
Elsewhere, Johanna and Alfur are still searching for Hilda. This time, they do find the entrance to the Stone Forest, but the trolls close it before they can enter. The two then come under attack from another, more aggressive group of Trolls. They narrowly escape them.
The following morning, Johanna, still startled from last night's event, sees no other option than to ask Erik Ahlberg for help in finding Hilda. David and Frida also offer to help search, but Johanna turns them down, not wanting to endanger their lives. She offers Erik to show him the entrance to the Stone Forest if he escorts her that night. Erik agrees and puts Gerda Gustav in command during his absence, meaning she can't help Frida and David either. Frustrated that nobody can or will help them, Frida suggests they try to find Hilda on their own. She wants to sneak out of the city and find a troll to magically talk to (like she did with the Kraken).
Hilda walks down into the Mountain King's castle and looks through vast piles of gold and treasure before finding a bright red orb at the back of the room, floating above the floor. When Hilda touches the orb, it shows her a vision of herself as human, in a strange-looking city inhabited by tiny trolls. When the trolls attack her, a giant creature resembling her mom bursts out of the ground and destroys the entire city. When the vision ends, Hilda leaves the ruins but is seen by a massive, bearded troll(thinking it was the Mountain King). She panics and flees the cave with the orb, chased by the troll. Outside, in the woods, Erik, Johanna, Baba, Alfur, and Tontu approach the entrance to the Stone Forest, Erik easily keeping any trolls at bay using his new raygun. Just as Baba opens the entrance to the cave, Hilda comes storming out, chased by the giant troll. Erik tries to fight him off, but his raygun malfunctions, and the troll simply swats him aside. When the troll turns his attention on Johanna next, Hilda punches it in the nose, causing it to lose its balance, step on Johanna's car, and stumble into a ravine. Hilda climbs up the side of the ravine and jumps over to reunite with her mom. Hilda brings the orb to Trundle’s cave with her mom, Baba, Alfur, and Tontu in tow, unaware that Trylla and Erik have followed them. Before Trylla and Baba can reunite, Ahlberg grabs Baba, and points his raygun towards Trylla and Hilda. Johanna disarms him as Baba bites down on Ahlberg's arm. Baba finally reaches Trylla, and steps on Ahlberg's raygun as she threatens Ahlberg. Once Hilda and Baba are both back with their true mothers, the spell lifts and they become their old selves again. All seems well until Trylla notices the bells are gone. She informs Hilda that those bells were put there by the trolls to keep Trundle a prisoner because he is the dreaded Mountain King. The orb Hilda just returned to him was his missing eye. Trundle walks out of his cave, rallies the other Trolls, and heads towards Trolberg.
In Trolberg, David distracts his mom in the belltower so Frida can sneak out of the city. She finds a troll with a bell tied to its nose and removes it. Unfortunately, at that moment Trundle and his army arrive. Frida manages to make a mental connection to one of the attacking trolls and ends up seeing a similar vision to when Hilda touched the orb, only this time she sees her mom rise from the city. Once the connection ends, Frida runs for her life and barely makes it into the city before the gates are closed. Trundle first takes out the belltowers by wrecking them with rocks. The giant troll that had guarded the Mountain King's treasure and fallen into the ravine shows up and reveals himself to be Trundle's brother. He is willing to fight Trundle, but Trundle easily has his followers restrain him before he continues his attack. He easily breaks through the wall and lets the Trolls into the city.
The Safety Patrol arrives to fight off the attack, with Erik taking back control. Hilda realizes the scenario is similar to what she saw in her vision and understands there must be a gigantic Troll underneath Trolberg, who will rise up to defend her fellow Trolls if the Safety Patrol attacks them. The Safety Patrol readies the giant version of the raygun against Trundle. Hilda tries to warn them not to harm the trolls. Gerda is willing to listen and refuses to attack Trundle, but Erik is not. He fires the weapon. Hit by the ray, Trundle’s body petrifies and crumbles, leaving only some rocks and his red eye. Trundle shows little emotion, a slight smile on his face as he dies according to his plan. Hilda again tries in vain to convince Ahlberg to stop the attack, while the ground begins to tremble, signaling that the giant mother troll is awakening. When Erik still won’t listen, Hilda takes the red orb and throws it at Ahlberg. He sees a vision of his mother rising from Trolberg, and understands the danger and the trolls' motivation in the situation, He orders the Safety Patrol to stand down and let the trolls into the city.
No longer opposed by the safety patrol, the trolls peacefully walk to the center of Trolberg, and then pause. Using her magic, Frida learns that Hilda was right, there is a giant troll underneath the city: Amma, the mother of all Trolls. It was her that called the trolls to Trolberg. She had been lying dormant for centuries in order not to hurt the humans who built their city above her. Trundle tried to provoke her into rising up to defend her children to destroy Trolberg. Now that the Trolls are in the city, they finally hear Amma’s voice again. They all sprout plants all over their bodies. Hilda recounts that the best translation of Amma's words to the trolls would be, "My children, I am proud of you. You may not remember me, but I have never, and will never, forget you. Take care of one another. Be strong, be good, and know that I am never far away."
The story concludes with Hilda narrating how Erik Ahlberg was given a medal for his bravery and diplomatic skills, and promptly announced his retirement, making Gerda the new head of safety patrol. She created the annual Night of the Trolls, where Trolls would be allowed to go into the city to hear Amma and get a chance to bloom. Baba continues to visit Hilda's house to be with a tranquil family, and Hilda visits Baba and her mom so she can spend a night outside in the wilderness.
- Trolberg Safety Patrol
- Enid Hallgrim
- David's dad
- Frida's mom (cameo)
- Frida's dad (cameo)
- Trevor's friends
Originally, the graphic novel "Hilda and the Mountain King" was going to be adapted into Season 3, divided over multiple episodes. Producer Kurt Mueller and head writer + co-exec producer Stephanie Simpson however felt it would be better to adapt the graphic novel into a movie, so the whole story could be told in a single installment, and it could be produced faster (and thus provide fans with a quiker resolution to the cliffhanger of season 2) then when it was adapted as part of a season. Netflix agreed to this plan after seeing a short plot synopsis and artwork. As a movie, it was originally scheduled to be 70 minutes long, but with some negotiations from Netflix, it eventually became 85 minutes as the final length.
The project overall took 3 years to complete. The animation of the movie is largely done by Silvergate Media and Mercury Filmworks, the same companies responsible for creating the animated series. The intro however, which blends 3D animation with traditional 2D animation, was done by Giant Ant. According to director Andy Coyle, special care was taken to ensure the movie would not come off as just an extra long episode of the series, but rather a special event. One of the tools used to achieve this was the use of new aspect ratio's and angles. Rather than use stock footage from the show for places like the Library and Hilda's apartment, the animators would create new establishing shots with a different angle.
The movie provided several challenges for the animation team, including the fact that production had to stay on schedule despite the ongoing COVID 19-pandemic. At any given time, the movie had just over 100 crewmembers working on the project. Production on the movie wrapped up on June 23, 2021. On November 19, 2021, Silvergate revealed its official title, Hilda and the Mountain King. On November 23, 2021, it was confirmed that the film would release on December 30, 2021. The trailer was released on December 2, 2021.
The movie features two songs:
- When I Can't Sleep by Icelandic folk-pop band Pascal Pinon.
- Another Road by British musician Rachel Aggs (a song exclusively for the film).
Additional music and the opening sequence for the movie were composed by Ryan Carlson.
- The movie has been nominated for two Annie Awards: Best Direction (Andy Coyle) and Best Music(Ryan Carlson).
- The movie was made in memory of Terry O'Reilley (who served as a layout supervisor for the movie and layout assistant for the series, and passed away on April 21, 2021) and Kevin Kocvar (who was assistant editor for the series, and passed away on April 13, 2020).
- This is the second time Johanna’s white shirt is shown, the first was Chapter 6: The Old Bells of Trolberg.
- Director Andy Coyle confirmed on his Twitter on the 4th of January 2022 that the Hilda that is shown at the end of the film, is indeed a year older and shall remain so for the upcoming final season. This will also be the case for David and Frida as he told: ''It's a show about growing up, so it'd feel kind of weird if the characters remained static and frozen in time''.
- Megan Ferguson considered the scene where Amma begins to awaken, causing two cars to crash, the most difficult scene in the movie to make.
- According to the tv commercial seen on David's television, the phone number of the Safety Patrol is 020-7627-9245. In real life, this phone number does exist and is a special number to report lost dogs and cats to Battersea, a United Kingdom based animal care organisation specialised in dogs and cats.
- According to director Andy Coyle, the Bellkeeper was intended to appear in the movie. He would be the one trainig David's mother in the tower and seeing Hilda run towards the gates. He also would be the one ringing the bell and fleeing from the tower when the rock was being throwed at the at. After he would have escaped, he would join the rest of the Saftey Patrol team at the gun. He was cut from the film, because the animation team thought it was too much to bring the voice actor back for a few sentences and since his role in the previous season was too small to include him. For his scenes in the tower and it's destruction he was replaced by David.
Goofs / Animation errors
- When David leaves his house to go to school, he wears his normal clothing instead of his school uniform, but at the school he suddenly wears the uniform.
- When David and Frida are in the library talking to Kaisa, they suddenly switch places after Kaisa had a close-up on screen.
- When David and his mother are escaping the belltower the're in, David's mom let's him go down first, before going throug the hatch. But when they are running downstairs, she is in front of him instead of behind him.
- Although all of Trevor's friends appear in the film, Trevor himself is absent, even in the scene set in Ms. Hallgrimm's classroom, where he logically should appear since he is one of her students.
- During the last scene at the parade, where the trolls enter the town, the story takes place a year later after the events. Both Hilda and Frida are shown to be taller and have grown, with Hilda wearing a new outfit. David however, is looking shorter then his normal appearance. It also could be that Hilda and Frida got taller, but David never changed height.