The so-called Heinzelmännchen are probably known to most people from their guest appearances as Mainzelmännchen on Second USA Television, where the cute fellows occasionally enrich the commercial breaks. Certainly not many people know their actual origins. Through her latest appearance in the 3D animated film The Elfkins – Baking a Difference (de. DIE HEINZELS – RÜCKKEHR DER HEINZELMÄNNCHEN) That could change a bit. We reveal more about this in our review.
Things go haywire in the pastry shop.
The plot summary
Helvi (Jella Haase) is not a brownie, but a pretty girl! Maybe that’s part of the reason why she really wants to prove it to the other Heinzels. But all of Helvi’s attempts at crafting have failed so far and so she sees no other way out than to venture to the human surface. Here she meets the bitter pastry chef Theo (Detlef Bierstedt), who years ago had a falling out with his brother, who has now opened a modern baking factory across the street. Of course, Theo has no chance of convincing customers with his handmade tarts and cakes. Helvi, on the other hand, finally discovers her true purpose in the colorful and sweet delicacies and wants to learn to bake from Theo. In return, she and her two friends Kipp (Louis Hofmann) and Butz (Leon Seidel) help Theo get his bakery back into shape. The Elfkins realize that people are actually not as evil as they were always taught underground – and that you can achieve anything if you believe hard enough.
The Elfkins – Baking a Difference Movie Meaning
The Heinzelmännchen, known as Mainzelmännchen, are not an invention of ZDF, but come from an ancient legend, according to which The Elfkins are peaceful house spirits of the city of Cologne. According to this same legend, the brownies did manual work for people at night, but were never allowed to be seen doing it. If someone on earth were to observe the tiny hat-wearers at work, The Elfkins would disappear from the earth forever. The Heinzelmännchen are now primarily known as advertising characters on public television. But now they are getting their first really big appearance. The director Ute von Münchow-Pohl, who has already gained a lot of experience in the segment of small children’s and children’s films with the first two “Rabe Socke” films and “The Bunny School” , among others , took the brownie characters for her 3D animated feature film The Elfkins – Baking a Difference as the main characters and focuses primarily on a female creature of these goblin-like fellows.
Helvi and her friends help the baker bake.
Helvi is a Heinzel girl (which would also explain why the film is called “The Elfkins” and the characteristic addition “male” is only mentioned in the subtitle) and the heroine of the story, who really wants to prove it to her almost exclusively male environment by choose a craft and impress everyone with their skills. But the search for her special skill takes some time before she finds it in baking and decorating tasty cakes and tarts. The lovingly animated bakery with all sorts of delicacies and tarts is full of life and has a remarkable level of detail for a production in this price range. Only a few scenes in which a world outside the bakery is animated – for example, there is a flight over the Cologne Cathedral – are visually very limited.
However, this is not significant in terms of narrative, because screenwriter Jan Strathmann (“The Sandman – Adventure in Dreamland”) has created a heartfelt adventure story that gives young viewers self-confidence and encourages them to become aware of their own strengths. He also packs the message of belief in oneself and peaceful coexistence, which is common in the family and children’s film segment, which basically takes you further than a life as a lone fighter, in a pleasantly lively way. However, the subplot surrounding Theo’s bakery and his brother’s baking factory is particularly impressive. Here the art of baking is illustrated in a very child-friendly way and it is also shown that a good product requires love, dedication and time; and that small craft businesses often suffer from competition from large companies. A sophisticated, but never difficult to understand message outside of the children’s film mainstream, which suits “The Elfkins”, which is spiced up with plenty of music and slapstick, as well as the strong speaking performances of Jella Haase, Louis Hofmann and Co.
Conclusion: At 74 minutes, “The Elfkins – Baking a Difference” is a pleasantly entertaining animated adventure that gives even the youngest viewers encouraging words about self-determination and self-discovery.
“The Elfkins – Baking a Difference” can be seen in USA cinemas from January 30th.