Xuxa e os Duendes!
A few weeks ago, while sitting over beers at a table at Lapa, I was made aware that a movie called Xuxa e os Duendes existed. Xuxa is a very famous TV host here in Brazil, with most of her work being in kid’s shows. She’s also a singer, actress, and style-icon known for her risqué outfits, especially around the kids. And she made a movie where she interacts with gnomes. So, obviously, the conversation piqued my curiosity, and I made it my mission to see Xuxa e os Duendes.
Last night, I watched it on Youtube (thanks to whomever uploaded the entire movie). I was not even remotely disappointed.
From the opening credits, featuring creepy shots of a mystical forest with an even creepier song playing in the background, until the end, where Xuxa inexplicably decides to shun her gnome heritage and stay on Earth, I was engrossed. I may have missed a few of the finer details, but I understood enough to get the idea.
From what I could tell, a misanthropic villain (whose species I couldn’t quite figure out) hires an ape-like troll to kidnap the duende (gnome) prince, and throw him into a portal of some kind. This portal is shielded by a little girl’s wall. Naturally, this girl just happens to be Xuxa’s surrogate daughter, so they team up to help the poor duende. And, about an hour into it, we find out that the gnome prince is Xuxa’s little brother! Whoa, coincidence! See, she couldn’t remember she was a duende (not sure why). But once it all came back, she was able to fight back against the duende-hating villain. Oh, and I forgot to mention the two fairy sisters that looked like Aubrey and Aundrea from Danity Kane (obscure reference, I know). They tried to help, but didn’t.
From a technical standpoint, the CGI wasn’t bad, but I noticed a number of editing errors, especially when the camera switched between two characters mid-dialogue. I know it’s a kid’s movie about gnomes, so my expectations shouldn’t be high, but continuity errors irk me.
All things considered, though, I really cannot complain. I enjoyed watching Xuxa e os Duendes, simply because, whether Leo and his friends want to admit it, Xuxa is a part of the Brazilian culture. [For the record, Leo declined to watch this with me, so Valerie, who is in New York and doesn’t speak a word of Portuguese, watched it at the same time and had a running commentary. Thanks Valerie!] It may have been campy and ridiculous, but it was fun to watch. I may never watch it again, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t curious to see Xuxa e os Duendes 2 (yes, it exists).
So thanks to a passing reference to an old Xuxa movie and my having too much time on my hands, Item #12 on my list is complete.