After reading the title of this film, I know what you are thinking. What’s an Elfkin? And are they related to Christmas? Well, the definite answer is Elfkins are not connected to Christmas. They are something far more significant than anyone could imagine. Elfkins are gnome-like creatures who live underground, hidden from the world above. Once upon a time, Elfkins were well known for helping people without being seen. Life for the Elkins changed when an elderly lady started being aware of the Elfkins’ presence and even attempted to capture them! Since this moment, Elfkins believe that humans are not good people and that they are better off hiding from them forever.
Each Elfkins has their craft and critical ability. But one Elfkin named Helvi (voiced by Jella Haase) struggles to find her primary skill and each attempt results in failure. Helvi, feeling annoyed and hopeless, soon discovers an old newspaper clipping which gives her the idea that a human could perhaps teach her a new craft to call her own. Being rebellious, Helvi makes her way to the surface and is joined by two other Elfkins. Now Helvi is unable to return to her home underground and soon discovers a bakery on the street.
The bakery owner is an older man named Theo (Detlef Bierstedt) who is currently unmotivated to bake and is consistently turning customers away with his rude attitude. Theo once had one of the most fabulous bakeries in town until his brother decided to open a similar shop across the road that was more focused on food being created by machines than one’s hand and heart. The Elfkins soon bump into Theo and naturally have desires to help him. But for the Elfkin Helvi, this encounter also births an interest and passion for learning more about baking. The plot and story are a heart-warming one, and I was surprised to see several positive messages making this film family perfect.
While no significant belly laughs were had on my end, there are certainly jokes which will obtain laughter from a younger audience. As an adult, I found myself smiling for most of the duration as I was having a great time watching this film. The runtime is quick, and the plot never drags on.
The animation of the leading characters is somewhat basic. Still, I was incredibly impressed with the animation level regarding minor details such as backgrounds, cakes, buildings and even the Elfkins hideout underground. The film’s audio track was lively, fun, and impressive to hear. The movie sneaks in one musical number which is also welcomed. Voice work is pleasing and fresh as an animation film.
Overall, I found this film to be fantastic. It is a light-hearted family film which had me smiling from start to finish with positive messages, short duration and one musical number. The lead animation may seem somewhat basic, but the level of detail in other areas, including the film’s backgrounds and audio track, is undoubtedly stunning. The Elfkins – Baking a Difference is a cute family film which feels freshly made for all ages to enjoy and share.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden