Blu-ray/DVD, Disney, Television

[REVIEW] ‘Elena and the Secret of Avalor’ DVD Release

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A few days ago I reviewed the soundtrack to the new Disney Channel series, Elena of Avalor. I mentioned in that article how much I loved Elena as a character and enjoyed her show. Well, today I am looking at her latest TV movie and DVD release entitled Elena and the Secret of Avalor.

For Elena fans, this TV movie was actually a long time coming. The series kind of awkwardly starts without much of a backstory or explanation of how Elena became frozen and then unfrozen from the Amulet of Avalor. Now, in this TV movie, we finally get that backstory and it definitely helps flesh out the show in a satisfying if imperfect way.

Plot

The basic story of Elena and the Secret of Avalor is that Sofia the First finds the amulet and is finally a brave enough princess to set Elena free. To do that, she must convince her parents to travel to Avalor so she can confront Shuriki, the evil enchantress who imprisoned Elena. Once Elena is free, she and Sofia must work with their families and the Jaquins (which are like flying cheetahs) to fight Shuriki and return Avalor to its rightful ruler.

Elena and the Secret of Avalor is an entertaining film. I really enjoy Elena as a character and will watch just about anything she is in. However, there is one big downside. For a good chunk of the film it feels like a Sofia movie. This makes the movie feel much more skewed to a younger demographic than the series typically does. Sofia is cute, don’t get me wrong, but not quite as enjoyable for an adult as Elena.

That said, there are still some nice moments and I particularly liked the songs, with “My Time” being one of the best in the series:

There are also some nice messages about family and teamwork, which will be good for children. On the whole, it is harmless, even if not quite as good as the show is.

Bonus Features

As far as the DVD, that’s a little disappointing as well. There are only 3 special features:

First, there is a “My Time” music video, which can be easily obtained online (see above).

Then, it has 2 episodes of the show, which are very good but feel a little random as they don’t have anything to do with the TV movie and are better if watched within the context of the series:

  • Royal Retreat – Elena tries to reunite a sea creature with its mother much to the chagrin of King Hector.
  • Prince Too Charming – This is a really good episode where Elena has to deal with a spoiled Prince from a neighboring kingdom whose arrogance has drastic consequences.

Overall Thoughts

While I still enjoyed Elena and the Secret of Avalor on DVD, I don’t think it is as good as the previous release, Elena: Ready to Rule. The backstory is great but this focuses a bit too much on Sofia over Elena. Plus, the special features were very lacking.

✮✮1/2

Purchase Elena and the Secret of Avalor on DVD at Amazon!

Edited by: Kajsa Rain Forden

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About Rachel Wagner

Rachel has loved animation since she was a little girl singing songs from The Little Mermaid at the top of her lungs. She currently works in social media marketing and loves to blog and vlog about Disney, Pixar and all kinds of movies in her free time. Her favorite movie is Up and she considers herself quite the Cinderella aficionado seeing every version she can get her hands on. She also loves animated TV shows like Simpsons, Gravity Falls, Star Wars Rebels and more. Follow her on twitter @smilingldsgirl
  • Definitely agree on the Sofia moments, they’re nice but I love Elena so much and her history is just so fasinating would have loved more of her….
    But this show and this special is still really good to me 🙂

    • Rachel Wagner

      Yeah I still love anything Elena! So I guess this is a positive 2 1/2 stars if that makes sense.

  • The film belongs more to Sofia than Elena. Despite the Disney marketing and the film being Elena’s backstory. That said, Sofia is the greatest character of the movie, not the biggest downside. Elena became a lovely and intrepid character in her own show, but on leaving the amulet (so in this crossover), Elena was a 16-years-old teenager (plus the 41 years in the amulet) but she seemed to be a younger, more immature character than Sofia, an precocious princess. A normal 9 or 10-year-old child would not be able to join that dangerous journey to free Elena. I can not tell spoilers from the film, but I can recommend everyone to see what Elena did as soon as she left the Maruvian temple and how Sofia advised Elena shortly after.

    On the DVD, it should have been a mixed DVD of both franchises, not a Elena of Avalor DVD. The bonus could have been the episodes ‘A Day To Remember’ (from Elena of Avalor) and ‘Dads and Daughters Day’ (from Sofia the First).

    • Rachel Wagner

      Good point. They should have included a Sofia episode on the dvd. Plus, some behind the scenes or character introductions might have been nice. A little more effort. I must say I didn’t notice those differences in Elena’s personality in this

  • Juuchan17

    If anything, this movie was for both princesses, as it clearly connected Sofia to Elena. However, calling it Elena’s movie [due to that title… #ThanksDisney] is really hurting it as a whole in my opinion.

    Sofia is definitely the shining star here, and it’s probably her bravest feat. I do wish that the first Elena episode was after this film – which would have made more sense overall – but since I saw the debut episode first, I was hyped to find out the backstory of Elena, Shuriki as a whole, and how Sofia connected with Elena [since it was revealed when Elena was revealed that her show was a spin-off of “Sofia the First”], so I won’t lie… I liked where it went. Predictable, yes… but it was decent overall.

    Would probably watch again though! I hope these two get another crossover [or a sequel story, considering the ending] in the future, if Disney knows what’s best for their Disney Junior [and sometimes older] audience!