Azur et Asmar (2006)
Animation | Adventure | Family
Movie Release :
25 October 2006 (France)
7,3/10 from 1.541 users
Cyril Mourali, Karim M’Riba, Hiam Abbass
France | Belgium | Spain | Italy
Arabic | French
More Movie Info : http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0439123/
Once upon a time there were two children nursed by same woman. Azur, a blonde, blue-eyed son of a noblewoman and Asmar, the dark skinned and dark-eyed child of the nurse. As kids, they fought and loved each other as brothers do. As grown ups, they mercilessly become rivals in the quest years later, when Azur is being haunted by memories of the legendary Djinn-fairy, and takes it upon himself to journey all the way to Asmar’s homeland to seek it out. Now reunited, he finds that she has since become a successful merchant, while Asmar is now a member of the royal guard. However, Asmar also longs to find the Djinn-fairy, and only one of the two youths can be successful in their quest.
I saw this today as part of the London Children’s Film Festival 2006 at the Barbican Centre and found it completely and utterly satisfying. Every second of screen time is mind-blowingly beautiful to the point of being painful – from the wild flowers on the field where the title characters played as boys, to the starlit silhouette of Azur and the Princess on a treetop. But don’t let the sumptuous visuals make you think this film is just eye candy. The story is engaging and yet profound, the characters vivid, and the message (yes, it has a message, but what’s wrong with that?) is inspirational; a quality that the English-language animated films of the last decade has completely eschewed. Ocelot’s early ‘Princes et Princesses’ was enchanting and promising, and both his Kirikou films were endearing. But with ‘Azur’ he has totally ascended to a different level. It is admirable how he consistently refuses to dumb down his characters, and the delightful ending is wonderfully faux conventional in Ocelot’s trade mark style. Difficult to see how popular this would be with today’s kids, but a generation growing up inspired by ‘Azur’ would no doubt be more pacifist and tolerant.
Azur & Asmar: The Princes’ Quest Trailer
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