Whether it’s a theme park attraction, a comic strip or a video game – these days you can make a movie out of just about anything. This also applies to a popular collection of figures from the well-known Schleich group. The result: BAYALA – THE MAGIC ELF ADVENTURE, an animated fantasy story that is far superior to the competition for small children’s films. We reveal more about this in our review.
Nuray and her aunt, the evil shadow elf queen Ophira.
The plot summary
In the magical elven world of Bayala, many different elven tribes live together peacefully and in harmony with nature. Regardless of whether they are sun elves, rainbow elves or ice elves – you help each other where you can or get out of each other’s way. Only the shadow elves have always been enemies with the rest of the country and do not shy away from dark magic. When the ruler of the shadow elves is not invited to the coronation of the new sun elf queen Eyela, old enmities flare up again. But there is also something that gives Princess Surah and her friends hope: the encounter with a huge dragon, many of whom already thought that the magical creatures were long extinct, and a real dragon egg lay the foundation for a magical dragon festival that the world of Bayala and also prevent the wilting of the miraculous Bayala plants. But to do this, Surah and her friends have to face the evil shadow queen Ophira, who had already taken Surah hostage…
Bayala – A Magical Adventure Film Meaning
The toy manufacturer Schleich is based in Schwäbisch Gmünd and supplies children and collectors around the world with replicas of all kinds of animals and figures. Starting with hard plastic replicas of the Smurfs, “Maya the Bee” figures and collectibles from the “Muppet Show”, there is now a Schleich figure for just about every animal imaginable. The fantasy toy series “Bayala” has also been part of it since 2003. There are fairy figures, unicorns, dragons and all sorts of other magical mythical creatures that have built up their own fan base – also thanks to the many marketing options. There are now not only all sorts of everyday objects with “Bayala” print as well as our own “Bayala” magazine, but from October this year there will also be our first cinema film about the enchanted world of elves. A consistent step, as various other toddler franchises have already proven. Just think of “Captain Scharky”, “Princess Emmy” or “Fireman Sam”.
Raccoon Piuh, the wolf Lykos and baby dragon Nugur.
In all of these examples, “Bayala – The Magical Elf Adventure” not only has a well-thought-out, conflict-free and therefore pleasantly harmonious story, but also damn cute characters and a beautiful animated world. Contrary to what probably first comes to mind when you think of unicorns and fairies, it is not brightly colored and pink (“Greetings from Princess Emmy”), but rather pleasantly reserved despite its colorful flowers and wildlife. It’s wonderful to indulge in the flower-strewn expanses of the Bayala world, but you never feel overwhelmed by the pictures. This makes “Bayala – The Magical Elf Adventure” much more bearable for adult viewers and accompanying persons than so many other films for small children, which is partly due to the very solid animation. Of course, it can’t even begin to keep up with the CGI front runners from Disney, Pixar and Dreamworks Animation. But where so many comparable projects look like afternoon television programs, the images here fill the screen with their wealth of detail. Above all, the design of the many different four-legged friends is adorable.
Ultimately, it is the conflict-averse implementation of the story that makes “Bayala – The Magical Elf Adventure” most convincing. The adventure story about a few elf friends who bring a baby dragon to its parents and seek contact with the evil Shadow Queen offers enough motivation to keep the young audience from getting bored over the 84 minutes. But it never gets really scary. Whenever things threaten to get dark and evil, the screenwriters Pamela Hickey and Dennys McCoy (“Sabrina: Secrets of a Teenage Witch”) immediately put a stop to the excessive hysteria. This means the film doesn’t spend endless time on showdowns and has a lot more time to concentrate on the film’s many advantages. And these are cute animals, magical dragons and an intoxicating world of elves.
Conclusion: An atmospheric animated film that focuses on the positive and immediately nips negative conflicts in the bud – it’s hard to believe that something like this still exists!
“Bayala – A Magical Adventure” can be seen in USA cinemas from October 24th.