|Posted by Moviefan12 on December 4, 2013 at 8:00 AM|
Hello & welcome back to A Look at Disney. Well, it's that most wonderful time of year again. Christmas. And that means per usual, this becomes A Look at Disney Christmas. In which I review Christmas specials, shorts or anything from Disney. Starting with a new Christmas episode from the Disney Junior episode of Sofia The First. So join me as I take a look at Holiday In Enchancia. With that out of the way, let's begin.
Holiday In Enchancia
I do believe that this is the first time that the name of Sofia's kingdom has been used in an episode of the show. It's not a bad title and it does make sense considering that they don't celebrate Christmas but instead, a fictional holiday called Wassiailia. When I heard this, I was a little thrown off but it was a decent episode, all around.
Now, I'll admit that the plot is a wee bit predictable but that does not make it bad. We start the episode as Sofia awakes in her bedroom and looks out her window to see it snowing.
It's the heaviest snow of winter meaning that it's Wassiailia Day. (How does measurement of snow indicate that it's a holiday?) Sofia is excited about this as it's first Wassiailia Day in the castle with her new family. To think, my new favorite little princess went from being a humble peasant girl to a princess over night. And then we get the song of the episode (Wassiailia), where Sofia sings about what the holiday was like in her old life and the traditions back before her sister, Amber and brother, James come in and sing about the traditions at the castle such as a big party, lighting the Wassiailia candle, and then opening presents.
James and Amber decide to go through theirs and see if they can figure out what they got. Amber wanted a unicorn. A unicorn, well, here's two...
Nah, maybe not but that'd be super cute but here is a picture of Twilight Sparkle singing a part of the "Sofia The First" theme song.
Yes well, back on topic. And come to think of it, the show hasn't shown any magical type horses other then pegasi, which they just refer to as flying horses. Which one of these will come into play, later. Back to the episode, the children go to their mother, Queen Miranda to find out, where their dad, King Roland is. She tells them that he had some royal business to attend to. In reality, he was doing some last minute gift shopping in town for the kids. Dude, I love spoiling my nephew and niece but I'm pretty sure, your kids already more then enough gifts for the holiday.
Which, this leads to the main conflict of the episode, King Roland along with his men get trapped in trapped in the terrible snowstorm. Meaning that, Roland may not be able to make it back to the castle in time to spend the holiday. The storm gets so bad that it causes the two horses carrying the royal carriage to run off and cause the carriage to tip over in the snow. And I have to be honest, and say that the scene where the royal carriage tipped over was intense.
Meanwhile back at the castle, Sofia's family starts to worry about her dad's safety. But before, the worrying kicks in, Sofia goes to the stable to take a present to her horse, Minimus. Candied carrots, and we learn that all of the other horses in the stable have come down with an unknown sickness.
This'll come into play later. Back in the terrible snowstorm, we see a simple peasant come across the king and his men. Roland asks him, if the man has a horse can get him to the castle. The peasant man offers him his horse but mentions that this horse that we do not see is fat and old. And could not make it to the castle in this weather. Instead, the peasant man offers the king shelter in his house. At first Roland turns it down because he wants to try and make it back to the castle but then his servant, Baileywick (voiced by Project Runway star, Tim Gunn) that it'd be better to take the gentlemen's offer. Roland reluctantly agrees and when they get to the house, Roland is introduced to the family. The poor man's kids and wife are excited to see the king. Back at the castle, Miranda is starting to worry about the safety of her husband and where he could be. Understandable, so when their Constable, Constable Miles comes in and suggests that he can go looking for him, Sofia and James want to go as well. Amber, on the other hand wants to stay behind but Queen Miranda decided that it'd be best, if they all went. So, when the Constable goes to the stable to hook a horse to the flying sleigh. Only one is available, Minimus. Before Sofia leaves, she heads to her room to grab something and we see that her other animal friends have decorated the room for the holiday. They wonder where she's going and Sofia tells them. At this point, Clover, Robin, and Mia (the other animals) decide to sneak out and go with Sofia without her knowing. The storm gets worse and forces the family to land in the middle of a forest causing Minimus to panic. Something to note: Minimus is a horse that panics a lot. Back in the poor man's house, we see Roland lament over not spending time with his family. In how, this would be the first Wassiailia without James or Amber and this was going to be his first Wassiailia Day with Miranda and Sofia. Back at the carriage, we learn that the family may have to spend the night in the forest. This is when Sofia learns that her other animal friends have stowed away on the carriage with her. She goes outside of the carriage and Minimus notices that Sofia's necklace is glowing. Sofa says that she'll be right back as she meets Princess Aurora.
Who suggests to the little princess that she should turn to her animal friends to help her find her dad. Okay, putting aside my disdain for Sleeping Beauty, I have to say that this was odd choice to use for this because Aurora is not the princess, I think of when I think of animal friends helping a princess. My mind goes to Snow White for that but ah well. Secondly, I felt like this was something that Sofia could've come up with this on her own. Ah, well. Anyways, Sofia's animal friends go to work looking for King Roland as Robin and Mia take to the skies and talk to other various animals around the forest. And after the montage, we see the animals come back to the carriage and Robin and Mia try to tell Sofia that they know where her dad is. At first, Sofia's mom is unconvinced but then she sees the animals including a bear with the royal flag. They lead the family to the carriage and then they find Roland at the shelter and the family is reunited. They are happy to be together and while Amber discovers the presents, her dad was going to give her and her siblings but decides upon seeing the two peasant children only have one toy to play with between the two of them, they decide to give their toys to the children. Sweet but I kinda saw that coming and then it's end with a reprise of Wassiailia. And I loved the end credits had the castle covered in snow. All in all, as a Christmas episode, I liked it very much. This was enjoyable. This episode's theme was heavy on family but I'm okay with that because of the presentation.
This'll be broken down into Main & Supporting. With that out of the way, let's get started. Now, I won't be talking about all of the characters. Just the ones that I feel are important enough to mention.
Sofia voiced by Ariel Winter
Per usual, Sofia was just adorable in this episode and I loved her never give up spirit. She wanted to find her dad and nothing would get in her way. Also, this is I believe the 4th outfit, we've seen Sofia aside from her average purple dress and I love little touches like that. But that's minor, something else really great is that it was clear that after Sofia's dad went missing, her feeling for him went to the forefront because she recognized that being with family is more important then gifts and as stated up top, she didn't give up because she wanted to find her dad, so that they could be together for the holiday. The people behind this show have done a great job of making Sofia, a wonderful role model for all of the young girls that watch this show.
King Roland voiced by Travis Willingham
Just as much as this was a Sofia episode, this was also an episode about her dad. And realizing that even if things keep us apart from our loved ones, we are never to far apart from them.
Amber voiced by Darcy Rose Byrnes
Perhaps the one that had the biggest lesson to learn was Amber as she came to terms that the holidays aren't about presents as we saw at the end, she willingly gave up one of her presents to children that were worse off then her.
Minimus voiced by Eric Stonestreet
This was also a huge episode for Minimus as he had to prove himself and the little guy did pretty well. He's still one of the more annoying but likable characters on the show but when Sofia needed help. Minimus pulled through.
Clover, Robin, & Mia voiced by Wayne Brady, Meghan Strange, & Amy Eckstein
I liked seeing Sofia's animal friends, mainly Robin and Mia getting to play a big part because they are really the reason that the family was reunited. And while Clover gets a lot of airtime in the show, Robin and Mia haven't had much to do to help Sofia since the episode where Sofia lost her amulet.
Queen Miranda voiced by Sara Ramirez
This was also a big episode for Queen Miranda and perhaps the most active that he has been in the entire series and I liked that because, I felt it was about time, we saw some of her. Now I'll admit that there was one line that annoyed me when Miranda told Sofia that the birds don't know where her dad is. I think that annoyed me because I knew she was wrong.
James voiced by Zach Callison
Yeah, James didn't have much to do.
Baileywick voiced by Tim Gunn
Baileywick's outfit just makes me chuckle and he had an important role in keeping the king safe.
Constable Miles voiced by Clancy Brown
Sadly, there isn't much to say here except that....
Lex Luthor is in a Disney Junior show in a minor role. That's really cool.
The Peasant Family
I liked the Peasant family but the voice acting did seem a bit off but it was a good contrast and to show that the most important thing about holidays is spending time with family and not presents.
Princess Aurora voiced by Kate Higgins
If you know me, you know that I'm not the biggest Sleeping Beauty fan. So, I wasn't really looking forward to this guest appearance but thankfully for me, it was brief and short. It's interesting to not but on the Sofia board at TGWTG, a fellow Sofia fan pointed out that it almost seemed as though Disney execs knew that Aurora is a bland character and that's there not much that could be done with her. And that does seem partially true with this episode. I mean Aurora is the first princess to not get a song in her appearance and what's even odder is that Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather are supporting characters on this show. I would've like to see them interact with Aurora. Make no mistake, Aurora is my least favorite princess but this is just a key sign of the biggest issue with the show. It's a great show but it needs to find a better way to use the princesses. Back when I reviewed The Floating Palace, I had the same complaint with Ariel but I take that back because at least Sofia got to swim with Ariel. And who wouldn't want to do that. And she lifted Sofia's spirits out the dumps and taught the little princess not to give up. Still, the best use of a princess goes all the way back the series premiere movie, when Cinderella showed up and through one of my favorite songs from the show basically told Sofia to avoid having the relationship with her step sister that Cinderella and sisters have. That was beautiful. Every other princess, I've complained about to a certain extent but Cinderella, Jasmine, Belle, and Ariel have all served a purpose. Looking back in retrospect but Aurora, just gave Sofia advice and then disappeared like Batman. Man, that's a weird reference for a Disney Junior show. Again, this did not take me out of the show and I'm glad that the princesses don't appear in every episode but when Snow White shows up next year, please make her appearance something special.
This is a cute little number that I enjoyed during the episode. It feels me with that holiday spirit. I already added it to my Christmas playlist. This was a great song.
My Final Thoughts
All in all, this was a fun episode. One that I enjoyed very much. It was a cute little holiday episode. Though, I'm still baffled as to why the show decided to create it's own fictional holiday but no matter, that didn't deter from my enjoyment. Join me next time for Christmas Shorts Showcase of the season as I look at...