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Kirikou and the Sorceress

111 customer reviews

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(May 24, 2005)
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Editorial Reviews

This animated film exquisitely recounts the tale of tiny Kirikou -- a clever, courageous little boy born in an African village in which Karaba the Sorceress has placed a terrible curse -- as he sets out on a quest to free his village of the curse and find out the secret of why Karaba is so wicked. Kirikou depicts a precocious newborn infant who battles ignorance, and so-called evil, with endearing perseverance. This film speaks to the child within us all who yearns to express and defend the best in others and ourselves. Kirikou's stunning visuals are accented by a traditional music soundtrack by African music giant Youssou N' Dour.

Special Features

  • Colors Game
  • Director's comments
  • Character presentation

Product Details

  • Actors: Doudou Gueye Thiaw, Maimouna N'Diaye, Awa Sene Sarr, Robert Liensol, William Nadylam
  • Directors: Michel Ocelot
  • Writers: Michel Ocelot
  • Producers: Arlette Zylberberg, Bénédicte Galup, Didier Brunner, Jacques Vercruyssen, Paul Thiltges
  • Format: Animated, Color, Letterboxed, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English, French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Facets
  • DVD Release Date: May 24, 2005
  • Run Time: 74 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007Z9QSA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,756 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Kirikou and the Sorceress" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Robert Pratte on August 6, 2005
Format: DVD
This is a wonderful movie that follows the adventures of Kirikou, a precocious infant who saves his village, outwits his foes, and befriends all. Born into a village apparently cursed by the Sorceress Karaba, Kirikou sets out to undo her mischief and understand the reason for her evil. Like Kate Dicamillo's character Despereaux, Kirikou is a hero who belies his small stature, using it to his advantage with brash bravado. While many of the themes - overcoming obstacles, how propoganda can be used to oppress - are universal, there is a distinct flavor of African myth and folk-tale. That being said, I am not sure if this is an authentic folk-tale, or just a well-crafted imitation of one. Either way, it is delightful.

In terms of the animation, dialog, and music, everything is top-notch. There is a slight disparity between the english-language track and the english subtitles, though nothing distracting. One note on the animation: this film is authentic to its location in Africa. That is, young children are drawn nude, and women topless. Thus, this is an authentic depiction of people of a region - think National Geographic, if you have no other reference. Thus, if natural, non-titillating depictions of semi-nudity make you uneasy (particularly if watching with your children), then you might want to pre-view this one first. That being said, there is nothing sexy here - Sailor Moon is far more over the top.

In summary, I feel that this is an excellent film and highly recommend viewing it.
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Format: DVD
This is a wonderful film, that can be enjoyed equally by parents and children. Kirikou is a small and precocious boy who never lets prejudice get in the way of his fierce determination to protect his people from an evil sorceress. He is driven by curiosity and courage but also admits his own feelings of vulnerability; he is a wonderful example to children, a much more compelling hero than most of the whiny characters that dominate most Hollywood animation. Whether or not it is a traditional folktale, it captures the feel of many of the African folk legends I have heard, and depicts a vibrant culture that is both suffused with ordinary magic and yet deeply human. The animation of this humorous and touching film is both simple and delightful, a perfect match for the story.

What is perhaps most intriguing is that it is an example of the kind of story so prevalent among folk legends that show how traditional societies are aware of the dangers of fixed traditions and open to the possibility of new ideas. There is a longstanding prejudice within cultures based on change and "progress" that traditional cultures are backwards and unable to accommodate appropriate change -- in this story (and in fact in many traditional folk stories), this problem is faced and dealt with from an internal standpoint -- in other words, this story is about how change can be accommodated within traditional societies and how such change can be encouraged by traditional storytelling, and that such change does not require a rejection of tradition. Criticisms of dogmatism are embraced within this story, that depicts many of the tribal people as resisting inquiry and assuming they already know what is best even when their traditional methods of trying to defeat the enemy in battle are no longer working.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By wiredweird HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 9, 2009
Format: DVD
This two-disc set features Kirikou and the Sorceress, on one disc. The second disc holds a second treasure from Ocelot: Princes and Princesses. Unfortunately, the product page shows that only when you read the fine print on the photo of the DVD case.

Kirikou's story draws on African folk culture, a resource barely tapped in the main stream of animation. It also favors a cartoony style in representing aged sages, evil witches, deadly serpents, and lots more. It's a safe story where the little guy (very little) saves the village, and wins rewards of his own in the end. I consider this completely kid-safe, but National Geographic kinds of nudity appear throughout - that might not suit some households. Well, that's their loss, I found it charming.

The second disc, Princes and Princesses, represents thoroughly modern imagery and imagination. It also pays homage to the oldest extant feature-length animation, The Adventures of Prince Achmed. The silhouetted characters in this draw directly from that older movie, even if the characters and magic gadget are quite contemporary.

A half-dozen vignettes form this feature, with a little story-telling glue between them. In that outer story, a boy and girl share a fantasy. Then, with the help of the gadget, they enter into it. One of those stories has the flavor of a Japanese folktale, another shows the magic kiss gone terribly, humorously, and repeatedly wrong, another shows a science fiction variation on the quest for the princess's hand, and so on. They're all easy to enjoy, but that tribute to animation history adds a pleasant overtone as well.

-- wiredweird
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Larkitten on July 2, 2005
Format: DVD
I just saw this movie and found the experience to be a breath of fresh air! The animation is gorgeous (the backgrounds reminded me of the Vienna Secession), the character designs are interesting, the content is strong, the music is excellent, and the movie manages to keep the feel of story-telling.

I highly recommend this film!!
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