Tales of the Night
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From renowned animator and storyteller Michel Ocelot (Kirikou and the Sorceress, Azur & Asmar) comes a magical new film that is certain to delight children, families and animation fans of all ages.
Silhouetted characters are set off against exquisitely detailed backgrounds bursting with color and kaleidoscopic patterns, as the film weaves together six exotic fables each unfolding in a unique locale, from Tibet, to medieval Europe, the African plains, and even the Land of the Dead. In Ocelot s celebrated storytelling, history blends with fairytale as viewers are whisked off to visit enchanted lands full of dragons, sorcerers, shape-shifting werewolves, captive princesses, and enormous talking bees--and each fable ends with its own ironic twist.
- An Interview with Filmmaker Michel Ocelot; The Festival of Color: Storytelling Through Animation Feaurette with Filmmaker Michel Ocelot; Original French Audio Track with English Subtitles; US Trailer
Top customer reviews
It is a matter of taste, but the story set in Africa was the most unusually beautiful and the one set in Tibet was the most conventionally pretty. I found no appreciable difference in visual quality between the Blu Ray and the DVD. What I have to discuss is the choice of voice options. There are three - English dubbed, French original, and French with subtitles. My strong recommendation is French WITHOUT subtitles...even for younger children. Why so? The English version is spoken by untalented actors - like most dubbed films. And the subtitles for the French version interfere with the visuals. This leaves only the French stand alone option. Lest one think this is unacceptable...the stories are simple enough to understand in a foreign language with the help of the animation...and the French is spoken beautifully. After all, when I was young, I went to the opera and listened to the music without worrying so much about plot. Michel Ocelot - as an inventor of stunning cartoons - is all about the VISUALS - as no animator has ever reproduced the kind of bold color designs he delights in.
Recommended, yes...but oddly enough, this movie does not even come close to the first full length animation film ever made. That movie (almost 90 years old) is a must see - it's titled "The Adventures of Prince Achmed." Both use clever silhouettes against multi-colored backgrounds. But the imperfections of the cut-outs in the older film give it a greater earthiness.
On top of wonderful stories, Ocelot presents animation in a wonderful and distinctive style. In an open tribute to the first feature-length animation, Ocelot updates Lotte Reiniger's shadow-puppet style of animation - black silhouettes against gloriously colored but generally static backgrounds. But, rather than pure shadow figures, he adorns them with spot colors for eyes, jewels, or other significant features. It adds beautifully to the tradition that was already millenia old when Reiniger adapted it to a new medium in the 1920s.
Good story-telling and brilliant artwork, with a real sense of culture and history. This collection truly stands out.
The format was used by Michel Ocelot previously in his French TV series "Cine Si" (Cinema If), that was broadcast in 1989. Most of those stories have been released on DVD under the title of "Princes and Princesses." The difference between the two sets is how the animation was done. "Princes and Princesses" looks like it was done using traditional 2D cell animation. "Tales of the Night" looks like it was done using computer generated animation. All the stories have some plot twists, that will keep you guessing what happens next. The silhouetted characters do remind me of certain other animated characters (reportedly from Mars).
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This film was produced in 3D and the French pressing is available on 3D Anaglyph pressings and Blu-Ray 3D...Read more