The Daily Stream: Hilda Is A Wondrous, Good-Natured Dose Of Animated Magic

(Welcome to The Daily Stream, an ongoing series in which the /Film team shares what they've been watching, why it's worth checking out, and where you can stream it.)

The Series: "Hilda"

Where You Can Stream It: Netflix

The Pitch: An adventurous young girl named Hilda (voiced by "Game of Thrones" and upcoming "The Last of Us" actress Bella Ramsey) and her mother move from their secluded home in the woods to the bustling city of Trolberg, where Hilda experiences culture shock, makes new friends, and encounters dozens of supernatural and fantastical creatures and mysteries along the way. It is a pure delight.

Why It's Essential Viewing

You know that feeling you get when you discover something great and all you want to do is tell people about it? That's the feeling I've had about "Hilda" ever since the first episode. It's the type of show that scratches a specific itch I didn't even know I had, and it rapidly became a staple of my viewing diet.

The simplest way to describe "Hilda" is it's like the terrific Cartoon Saloon movie "Wolfwalkers," but in reverse. But whereas the magic in "Wolfwalkers" is limited to a few specific characters and elements, the magical aspects of "Hilda" permeates most of Hilda's waking life. In the first episode, she stumbles across a community of elves that have lived outside her house for generations, and she quickly befriends a paperwork-loving elf named Alfur who accompanies Hilda to the city so he can report back to his community. Supernatural beings like trolls and giants roam free in the woods, and while the city initially appears to be free of such magical influences, Hilda discovers a host of new creatures and characters: witches, a dragon, a water spirit, and something called a nisse, a being that lives in a realm comprised of all of the small spaces you can't quite reach in your home or apartment. That's just the tip of the iceberg – practically every episode introduces a new species, frequently leading to a problem for Hilda and her friends to cleverly solve. (The best character might be Twig, Hilda's beloved pet "deerfox" who is one of the cutest characters I've ever seen in any medium.)

"Hilda" is ostensibly aimed at children, but the writing, direction, animation, design work, and soundtrack (the enchanting, ethereal music is created by Grimes) are all of such incredibly high quality that it has become one of my favorite shows, period. (I have not yet mentioned that the show is laugh-out-loud funny, but that's another big selling point.) Watching this good-hearted show is akin to sipping a warm mug of cocoa on a cool winter evening, and the series radiates a combination of warmth, compassion, inclusion, friendliness, kindness, and a love for myth and nature that is unlike any show I've seen. The overarching themes are relatable regardless of age, and the Scandinavian folklore feels like a deeply ingrained element of the show's identity, which gives it a specificity that makes it stand out from other animated projects in this genre.

To go into too much detail about the richness of this show's characterizations would be to rob viewers of experiencing one of the show's best facets, but suffice it to say there are satisfying dramatic arcs that occur for multiple characters over the first two seasons. (As of this writing, a third season has been rumored but not yet officially confirmed.)

"Hilda" has cast a spell on me, and I've been mesmerized by it ever since. (I really love this show.) If you need some extra magic in your life, this gets my absolute highest recommendation.