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|Index||59 reviews in total|
Kirikou and the Sorceress is a wonderfully exciting adventure tale
about a young hero and his determination to turn evil into good. This
is not your typical run-of-the-mill hero story, the likes of Thor,
Hercules, etc... but instead the hero of this comes in a smaller
package and full of good morals. Karaba, is a evil sorceress that
torments Kirikou's native people by eating their men, stealing their
gold, and drying up their water. The native people's only hope a new
born baby with the heart of a giant, Kirikou. Because of Kirikou's
small stature he is able to see the world differently than his fellow
natives. Always questioning why Karaba deemed it necessary to be so
evil, Kirikou, set out to not only free his people but free Karaba from
her torture too.
Although, Kirikou is a delight to watch for its surface presentation. The true meaning of Kirikou can only be seen metaphorically. Karaba represented modernity and Kirikou tradition. The men that were eaten were not in fact eaten but consumed by the idea of modernity and its offerings. Kirikou, when he defeated Karaba by pulling the thorn out of her back no only defeated the evil but showed that tradition has more power than modernity and that the two can co-exist. The metaphorical layers of this film in my opinion is what makes it an instant classic.
Anybody that is tired of Disney-fied versions of a so-called hero should and will enjoy this movie. It shows that it does not matter what size you are but rather how big your heart is. I highly recommend this movie and I, myself, am very glad I took time to watch, understand, and enjoy this movie.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In Kirikou et la Sorcière, Kirikou shows us that violence is not always
the answer. Kirikou is a great example of how we (as Americans) should
take a step back and look at our "hero's" on the big screen. In
children's Disney movies, the hero kills off the "bad guy".
In these Disney movies, the hero has no mother in the picture, and usually uses violence to get what he wants. In Kirikou et la Sorcière, Kirikou has a mother and loves her much. Kirikou also does not use violence in any way, even when his mother gives him his father's dagger, Kirikou only uses it as a shovel to help him dig his way into the forbidden mountains and back home.
Compared to Disney movies, Kirikou's story is friendlier. I would say that this story is extremely appropriate for children, though the graphics of the movie may not be. This story is much more appropriate for children compared to Disney movies in that it gives an alternative to violence. Many parents, now a day, claim to be worried about their children playing violent video games and watching violent movies and TV shows. But what they don't realize is that the Disney movies are just as violent. These parents are used to the violence in the Disney movies and don't see it. They think that because they are killing the "bad guys" it is okay. Though, in video games you are killing the "bad guys" as well; there really isn't that big of a difference (with violence) between Halo and Disney movies.
When Kirikou goes to the forbidden mountains, he is faced with some difficulties along the way. When the skunk attacks the squirrels, he does not use his dagger to save them; he just pulls on its tail and hisses at it until it leaves. Also, when the wild boar tries to attack and kill him, he does not retaliate with violence; he tries to tame the boar. When he arrives back at the sorceress's temple, he does not try to intentionally hurt her, he only wants to help her. By pulling the thorn out of her back, he releases her from the evil power.
Kirikou et la Sorcière is a great children's story. Though the graphics in the movie are not very child friendly, you could re-make this movie with kid-friendly graphics, or just listen to it. This film would be great for children of more mature ages to watch, but if you only listen to the story, it is great for children of all ages. This film teaches children that violence may be more fun to watch but in real life, it is never the answer.
An outstanding French-Belgian animation movie, with a soulful story
loosely based in a West-African folk tale.
The movie tells the story of newly born, Kirikou, a special child who asks his mother to be born, and who, immediately after being born, starts to talk and run, offering a wise practical approach to life and to the fight of Karaka, the beautiful sexy sorceress who has been impoverishing his village.
This is a movie addressed to children that, nevertheless, will enchant adults because is unique, has soul, has wit, is clever and shows an African story that is respectful with African culture and philosophy of life. Even the approach to the wickedness of the sorceress is African, as Karikou tries to understand why Karaka is so wicked and evil to fix her, not to destroy her. Wining over and destroying are two different things, and this story shows it perfectly. Even the end of the movie is unexpected, in tune with this approach, so magical and alien to Western culture. Western-African magic realism and reality.
The old-style flat animation is an artistic reinterpretation of the reality, in which landscapes, dresses, hairdos, architecture, etc. directly mimic those of West Africa. That is, they are not a western modernized interpretation of them despite the movie being European. African Art strongly inspires the animation, giving the film an incredibly artistic value, but also a verisimilitude that we rare see in animation movies nowadays. Especially beautiful, actually astounding, is the drawing of the landscapes and, especially of the vegetation, drawn to the minimal detail in a naif precious style, as eye-catching as the bright earthy bold colors of the film.
The story is entertaining, full of magic, with great messages for children, but the film is engaging for both children and adults. There is a lot of humor, too. Kirikou is just adorable, a sweet know-it-all, and very naughty sometimes. The rest of the characters are realistic, a mix of the ones you could find in a small African village with their virtues and defects.
The movie being respectful and true to the African reality it depicts most women with their breasts uncovered, while Kirikou is naked, moving his bum and "willy" cutely, during the whole movie. Puritans and morons of the world thought that this was an offense -reality is never a fairytale!- and inappropriate for children, and the screening was banned in some countries, and the release of the DVD in the USA and the UK not exempt from controversy either. If you cannot explain to your child that mummy has breasts, that they produce milk, that they are a natural part of the human body, and that is natural to have them uncovered in many parts of rural Africa, I feel sorry for your child. Children should be protected from these sort of people who try to "protect" them, and not vice versa.
The English dubbing is truly delightful, as it was also supervised by Ocelot. The only problem with it is that when the characters sing, the original music gets a bit lost.
In a little village in Africa, a mother (voiced by Sangweni) gives
birth to a minnow of a boy named Kirikou (Sebeko). But this is no
ordinary child: he's born walking, talking and with a strong will of
his own, much to the fear and revulsion of the tribe.
He soon learns that the evil sorceress Karaba (Kellerman), along with her 'fetish' robots, has dried up the local spring and apparently eaten the village menfolk, save for Kirikou's warrior uncle (Mpeka). Determined to discover the origins of Karaba's wicked ways, our resourceful hero, ("Tiny but mighty") sets off to confront her. During his epic quest, and with the aid of his all-seeing grandfather, he uncovers a secret that will tear the villagers' world apart.
"I had long wanted to portray Africa, a powerful realm that had never been portrayed in an animated feature film," says French writer-director Michel Ocelot. "The Lion King used African settings but not Africa nor the Africans."
The resulting multi-award-winning animation, inspired by Senegalese fables, is powerful stuff - stylishly rendered in vivid, near-psychedelic colours and featuring haunting vistas, from jungles to hellish, crimson caverns. (The depictions of plant life in Kirikou are inspired by the paintings of 19th Century artist Henri Rousseau.) An exuberant, traditional score from internationally championed musician Youssou N'Dour only adds to its charm.
Kirikou's tribeswomen also remain authentically bare-breasted - one aspect the film's original producers had trouble, er, grasping - ordering Ocelot to furnish them with bras. He was forced to seek alternative funding after he refused to compromise indigenous culture. Certainly, you'll never catch a restless newborn chomping off its own umbilical cord in your average Disney-Pixar flick. While no cutesy singing lions need apply.
This is an enchanting, life-affirming animation of love and redemption, made with no small measure of maturity and care - along with an all too rare respect for the art of storytelling.
Without a doubt the most charming animated film I've seen since, "When the
Wind Blows". Forget the idea that this movie is a "kids" movie. If you
can't enjoy this movie deeply and truly as an adult, then you are simply
old to enjoy anything with any depth. Of course your children will endear
themselves to this movie, but what do they know?
There isn't much of a hint of anything "French" about this movie (thankfully) and it is a burst of fresh writing and voicing talent from the first scene until the last.
Though the characters' animation is fun and flawless. The visual joy from the background drops is amazing.
Make sure you buy the DVD from Amazon, as the producer's website only distributes via VHS, which is simply a shame.
I have rented this film on DVD 3 times now for my three boys. Fortunately, in Canada, this can be found easily enough, even in the public library. I found this film to be a refreshing change to the cookie-cutter formula films cranked out by the un-named, animated conglomerate. It is fairly authentic and not afraid to be so.
This is an excellent movie for kids and parents alike. Tells the story of
little boy, Kirikou, who wants to save his village from an evil
Karabas. Kids will want to watch again and parents too I must
It's good to see something else than the Disney-like movies that seems to characterize every animated films these days.
Hurray for Kirikou!
8 out of 10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Kirikou is the story of an African boy in a small town that in the end
proves that you do not need to be of great stature to be an important
asset to your community. Although Kirikou was unbelievably tiny, he saw
things that others did not. He was able to see the true problems with
Karaba the sorceress. When the watering hole no longer produced water,
Kirikou went right to the source of the problem and fixed it himself.
He was unlike the other people in his village; instead of fearing and
complaining about Karaba the sorceress, Kirikou sought a way to fix the
problems Karaba had caused for the people of the village.
The fact that this film is a cartoon drastically changed the way in which I perceived the message that it was relaying to the viewer. By using animation the viewer is much more able to focus on the points that the story is making socially about modernity versus tradition. Because almost every person in this story is partially nude I think that the important social commentary that Kirikou has made might be lost on some audiences. In America we are not used to seeing as much nudity as is exposed in this film, especially in a story that is intended for children, so in my opinion it is nice that this film is a cartoon as opposed to real actors and actresses. I do not think that this film would have been nearly as helpful in the understanding of the struggles that African's have with modernity if real people were used as opposed to the cartoons that were. For example the men of the village have all been taken by the sorceress Karaba and are being used as her slaves. They represent modernity because they have been transformed into robots. This is a not so subtle way of showing the evils associated with modernity as seen by the African people.
Anyone that enjoys films like the Lion King or Aladdin will love Kirikou. The thing that I found most interesting about this film was that it gave American's a way to see what stories African's use to teach their children lessons. In America we use animated films to teach kids lessons much the same as they do in Africa. The main differences between the two are the lessons that are taught. I thought it was fascinating how Ocelot taught such an important lesson to children and people alike with the use of animated people in Kirikou and the Sorceress.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Kirikou et la Sorcière is a story that has many morals. For example,
the story demonstrates that even the smallest person can be a hero; and
also that it is because he is small that he has not been corrupted to
the ways of the world and into accepting his lot in life. Kirikou has
courage, wisdom, and curiosity that helps him to save his village from
the Sorceress, but also the Sorceress from her evil power. He is small,
but he is not afraid to do what is right, and what has to be done.
Since Kirikou was so tiny he was able to crawl into the water spout and
find out what had stolen the water from his villagers. He was able to
crawl through the underground maze to see the Wise Old Man of the
Mountain. One does not have to be big to be brave.
Another moral is that relying on one's family for help is not a bad thing. Kirikou seeks help from his mother throughout the whole movie, especially in the end. He loves his mother very much. Kirikou also seeks help from his grandfather who helps him many times as well with his wisdom. A family is there to help whenever help is needed, and Kirikou was not so grown up, though of course he wanted to be, that he would not ask for help when he needed it.
An important moral is forgiveness. The Sorceress was evil and very cruel to the villagers. She supposedly ate their men, stolen their water, gold, and children, but in reality she only did one and tired to do another. She was cruel; however, Kirikou saves her from the evil power that has corrupted her. When he brings her back to the villagers they refuse to accept that she is no longer evil and they threaten to kill the Sorceress and Kirikou. She was truly sorry for the things she did while under the influence of the evil power, the villagers should have given her a chance to prove her sincerity.
Though for some this movie would be laughable because of its graphics and how the story is written. The women of the village are drawn with varying shapes and sizes that are hilarious. Also the village elder is portrayed as a complete imbecile. However, one has to look beyond the literal text to see the metaphorical meanings. The director uses the colors and graphics as symbols. The colors in the village and around it very beautiful; they are so bright and vivid. They symbolize life and goodness. The colors around the Sorceress hut are dark, dreary colors symbolizing evil and ugliness.
This movie would be best for little children because they will not pick apart the movie looking for bad directing or horrible graphics. Those things do not matter to children. They will see that Kirikou is a small boy that does great things, and they will love it. Also they are more likely to pick up on the morals of the story than adults who always think meanings have to be hidden, and who cannot see the easy things. Of course, many adults will like this movie if they like challenging their minds to see beyond the surface of the story into what it really is all about.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The movie Kirikou and the Sorceress is a traditional African story
shown to the public in a great way that is easy for all to understand.
Not only is the story plainly displayed for the audience, but the use
of color and artistry show the positive and negative actions of the
characters. It is easy to see that tradition is displayed as all that
is good while modernity in dark colors is obviously not highly
Though traditional for other audiences, this film shows a hero that is unlikely here in America. Aside from being small, intelligent, and courageous, Kirikou is virtuous and seeks to help Karaba rather than to destroy her. Everything that Kirikou does is in order to help others. He does not simply seek to improve his own situation, he wants his village to prosper and to return everyone safely.
Overall, I think that this is a great film for families in many cultures and I really enjoyed it. Once the parents can see past cartoon nudity they will be able to see the positive ideas that are projected in this story. Kirikou is a great role model for future generations. He is able to embrace some change while strongly holding on to his traditions, and seeks to help others that challenge him rather than to destroy them. He also shows that courage, honor, and intelligence can potentially be held in any hero. You don't have to be large to be strong and you don't have to be ugly and small to be intelligent.
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