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Kirikou et la sorcière
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Kirikou and the Sorceress More at IMDbPro »Kirikou et la sorcière (original title)

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Kirkou is not an animated film straight from the cookie cutter.

Author: asimusae from United States
1 June 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Kirikou is a story of a little boy who quickly becomes the hero of his village against an evil sorceress. Kirikou is a special little boy who was able to get himself out of the womb, already be speaking, wash himself, and run all the way over to his uncle who is about to fight the sorceress. Kirkou is a brave, and loving individual who never wants to hurt anybody. Kirkou is a hero that would rather outsmart an enemy rather than kill them. The director of the film uses the differences in color to symbolize the difference between the townspeople and wilderness that have vibrant colors; the sorceress and everything that is close is gray or black. Throughout the movie the director uses the differences in color and detail to also symbolize the difference of good vs. evil, and modernity vs. traditional. In the town, the surroundings all have a very colorful detail that allows people to realize that the director is using the color to support the idea that the village is different from the land where the sorceress lives and so are the people. Color in the movie illustrates that the village is innocent and that the sorceress is oppressing the region. In the wilderness, the director uses the vibrant color, plant life, and animals to illustrate the difference between the sorceress and the wilderness. The differences between the wilderness and the land of the sorceress suggest that she is not only evil, but that she also symbolizes modernity. In the film, the director is making the point that modernity is threatening the traditional ways of the people. The director achieves this by saying that the sorceress had stolen all the men and had eaten them. What this symbolizes is how men would move to modernized cities and disappear. In conclusion the story of Kirikou and the sorceress is an extremely enjoyable animated film. The movie offers a comparison of good and evil by using terrific color and detail. In the film, the differences between modernity and traditional is illustrated by the colorful land where Kirikou lives and the gray land where the sorceress lives. In the end, this in a terrific film that everybody should enjoy due to such a great story but also because the character Kirikou is extremely cute and he is sweet to everybody. This is definitely a film that is not out of the cookie cutter.

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Author: poobear0424 from United States
31 May 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can't practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage." (Maya Angelou) In the movie Kirikou there were many metaphorical meanings but there is one metaphoric meaning that stands out along with the character Kirikou. The director uses this tiny little boy who is brave, courageous, and determined to save his people. Many people would under estimate a small child because they feel as though they just can't because they are too young or because they feel a small child may not have all the knowledge. This in all actuality the statement "Don't judge a book by its cover" really does holds true, just because it's a small child doesn't mean he/she doesn't have the strength or courage to fight and overcome obstacles. Sometimes it is the children that keep the determination and courage over adults because children have big imaginations and daydream a lot and they maybe visualizing the end result and not even realizes that is what they are doing. Kirikou wanted to save his people and he knew that he could even though he was small he saw the end result of his people being saved. Kirikou was a true hero, and I would recommend this movie to a family audience. I chose a family audience because, parents can talk with their children about how art is shown differently in other countries than in America.

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Cute,Fun,Unique and overall enjoyable

Author: jasonhahnfl from United States
31 May 2011

I felt that the animated film Kirikou and the Sorceress, directed by Michel Ocelot, and was an enjoyable film. Ocelot does a great job portraying African culture in a fun and traditional manner.

This culturally rich African folklore presents a classical hero story which was great because of the unique manner in which it was presented. Although the film was your typical hero story, it was the introduction of an unlikely hero that first got me. Little baby Kirikou, fresh out of the womb; lighting quick and very wise is what first took me out of my comfort zone. In addition to our hero being a naked infant, all the characters run around topless which wasn't bad thing, just different. The movie was very simple and yet very complex at the same time. Simplistically speaking it was the actual story line, the graphics, the communication between characters it all very direct meaning if there was a problem the character would state the problem and then how he should fix it, which made the story easy to follow. The colors in this film made it clear how you were suppose to feel. With technology and the evil sorceress being represented in dark colors and culture, tradition seen as the village represented in light colors and fun music. I felt the complexity lied in the overall message the movie was trying to convey and by many people this message could be interpreted in different ways.

Overall I enjoyed the movie because it conveyed a serious message in a fun and entertaining manner. As I stated before, the movie was culturally different for me but this unique experience also kept the movie exciting. I would recommend this film to anyone who likes anime-folklore films or almost any Disney fan of any type because I felt this film had a strong "Disney" element to it. Disney element, basically meaning the film was friendly and the manner in which they told their story was cute and fun.

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A Not So Evil Hero

Author: fashionista629 from United States
31 May 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

These days the heroes that we have are flawed heroes like Dexter who is a serial killer that murders criminals. Now there's someone that you want your children to look up to. Kirikou on the other hand is everything that someone should inspire to be, and is a hero in the traditional sense and since he's one of the only truly African heroes left it is important to take that into consideration. He's innocent, curious and he believes in himself. This is the type of person you really want your children to look up to not Spiderman, Batman, or other vigilantes.

First, even the colors used in the animation to portray Kirikou and his environment are bright and colorful, while characters like Batman are all in black and surrounded by darkness. They are very lonely characters and have to hide who they are in order to save the world. Kirikou is able to be himself in order to save the world and has nothing on his person most of the time save a dagger or a knife.

Second, Kirikou also kills no one except for a beast in the movie that is drinking all of the water from the stream inside of the mountain. This is the only time he really resorts to violence. Kirikou would rather run away or out smart his enemies rather than kill which shows how noble he is. This compared to Batman or Spiderman who always punch or tie up their enemies to get them arrested by the police. Which would you rather your child resort to when he or she is in trouble? Finally, Kirikou physically doesn't fit the typical hero. He is not tall or muscular and is even made fun of for being tiny. This instead shows children its not about how you look, but rather about who you are on the inside that makes you a hero. The ability to beat up bad guys, as is shown in most comic books, does not make you a hero and can in this case make you a bad guy. They even portray magic in a negative light until the very end when Karaba turns Kirikou big. Thus giving the message that you don't have to have superpowers or be big and strong to defeat evil.

Kirikou does remain nude throughout most of the movie and there are breasts shown, but Kirikou is probably one of the best role models for kids that I've seen in a long while. This movie is for people that want a different kind of hero, but not one with a dark side. Instead, one that they can share with their children without fear of them picking up violent tendencies from. I loved this movie! It's like Sleeping Beauty or Snow White but shows women of all shapes and sizes while being able to maintain a male audience.

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The True Evil Revealed

Author: betzke from United States
31 May 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In this film, "Kirikou and the Sorceress", the director is not only focusing on the revival and retelling of a famous African hero by the name of Sundiata, but he, like most African storytellers, announces to his audience the true nature and theme of the film. So what is the meaning to the film? The director believes that with modernity comes sacrifices and loss of tradition, which in turn leads to not only detrimental change but culturally damaging affects. Whether through subtilties of music and color or boldness of characterization and storyline, the director uses the story of Kirikou as a background for the viewer to be entertained and captivated while simultaneously able to relate and understand the struggles of such once seemingly inevitable metamorphoses.

The movie begins with a small child crawling from his mother's womb asserting his independence while containing the wisdom far superior to that of the village elder and the courage of more than ten warriors. This boy is Kirikou, he is the living embodiment of all that is African bravery and intelligence. Kirikou is a relatable and lovable little boy, he is the force against evil but his small stature condemns him to the underdog role. Every American roots for the underdog, but in Kirikou's case, he is a confident, courageous and fast hero; he is the life of African hope against evil. Kirikou is tradition, he is the purity and innocence of African tradition, therefore, the director uses this main heroic figure as the personification of tradition itself, which rises to any challenge and ultimately prevails against evil.

In contrast, the director's motivation for creating the sorceress, Karaba, as a man-eating, "mean and evil" presence is because she is the representation of the evil of modernity. She possesses evil fetishes, which are her lookouts and minions, but each of these evil followers is mechanically operated and functions only as a robot. These mechanized beings are portrayed as evil, therefore there is no doubt that the director believes that modernity is corrupt and in a sense, evil. Karaba herself is also the personification of evil in modern society and machinery because she is a soul-less entity who possesses not even one friend. Just her presence turns trees, shrubs and flowers into dead and dying weeds. With such bold interpretations and opinions, the director's characterization clearly states his view of modernity and how its presence kills all of Africa's cultural traditions as surely as Karaba kills all living plants and beings.

Although the director does use obvious portrayals of evil modernity and the goodness of tradition, he also hints at the main theme through subtle musical inflections. While the camera pans in on Kirikou's village the music is soft, almost unnoticeable, calming and soothing. The beats are as beautiful as the pink leaved trees and as elating as the infectious hugging chipmunks in the garden beyond the sorceress' hut. The melodies are uplifting and simply happy while the kids are swimming in the lake and the women and children sing in unison while praising Kirikou. But just beyond the village there is a different sound to be heard. The music turns solemn and black as the sky blends to grays and dark hues. All melodies are lost and ominous feelings overcome the body as the scene focuses on Karaba's perimeter of darkness. With musical changes from happiness to fright, the theme of evil and purity can be witnessed and all the viewer has to do is have a watchful ear.

The colors are also an indicator of modernity's evil ways and tradition's healing power. As mentioned briefly before, the colors change as often as the music, therefore indicating the transformation from the dark, gloomy and controlled reign of Karaba to the warm, rich colors of freedom as expressed in the village landscapes and natural forests. Colors seem to be just a significant in the interpretation of the story of Kirikou as the characterization that the director relies on as the literal and easier form of indicators of good and evil.

The director does not stop there, however. Although, the director believes that evil describes modernity and that traditions is inherently good, there is another piece to the main theme puzzle. The main question of the movie revolves around why Karaba is so mean and evil, and as the ending reveals, Karaba is mean and evil because she has a thorn embedded in her spine supplying her with evilness and wrong doing. But as Kirikou bites the deeply embedded thorn with his teeth, and removes the painful object, Karaba is cured of her evil and is ultimately saved. By adding the salvation ending, the director believes that there is hope for tradition to thrive and that modernity is not an inevitable evil, but an evil that is deeply good but on the surface, contains an evil face.

The story of Kirikou and the evil sorceress is a tale of overcoming adversity and extending hope to those who seem to be as drained of hope as the spring of water, but the story is also more personal than that. With evidence such as characterization, musical and color differences as well as ending plot, the main theme of Kirikou is to hail the significance of tradition and to preserve culture while undergoing moderate changes without dramatic and modern assimilation.

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An African Fairytale

Author: Anwalk24 from United States
31 May 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Deep in Africa, a child is born named Kirikou who is very wise and courageous. He is different from the other village children as an infant being very small. In the movie Kirikou et la sorciere , there is many references to fairy tales , and can also be compared to American ones. The main character, Kirikou is on a voyage to see his grandfather because the boy has many questions about himself and Karaba. Karaba is the evil sorceress that is out to get Kirikou. In the film he has many tests along his journey that is opposed upon him. The positive message about the film is all of the tests he overcame without killing anything. In the end after meeting with his grandfather, he learns many things about himself and Karaba. He figures out she is not so evil, and cures her and him with a fairytale like ending mixed with African traditions, which make this film one to watch over and over.

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A brave infant fights against an evil Sorceress to free the his village from her harsh rule.

Author: xoscubaox42-55-657526 from United States
31 May 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Kirikou et la Sorciere was about an infant that had to fight the Sorceress in order to save his village. He uses courage to do so and he showed that size didn't matter. The most interesting theme of the movie was tradition VS modernity.

In the movie Kirikou's village was one of the major settings. The village was very traditional. The men were the brave ones and the women were the scarred home makers. The women took over the care of the home and the children. The men went to fight the Sorceress. The men fought the Sorceress to prove themselves like the men in Kirikou's family did. The women in the village wore very traditional clothing too. They didn't wear shirts or shoes, but they did wear long wrap skirts around their waists. The men only wore short skirts. The village lighting was bright and warm.

Another major setting was the Sorceress's land. Outside of the Sorceress's hut there were modern fetishes that protected the hut and the Sorceress. They were very modern. They were like robots. The Sorceress also wore a lot of Jewelry. She had a lot of gold because she took it away from the villagers. She was brave and strong like a man which isn't traditional in the village. At first she also didn't want to marry which again isn't traditional. She wore a wrap like the people in the village but it was gold instead of the earthy tones of the women's skirts in the village. The Sorceress's land was light in a way that looked dark and cold.

In the end tradition wins. Kirikou returns to the village with the Sorceress. He makes her his girlfriend. She gives into tradition because she wants to be with a man instead of by herself like she used to. The men that the Sorceress "ate" were also freed and they returned to the village to the waiting women. The Sorceress isn't as powerful as she had been. She was able to make Kirikou a man, but that was about it. She was a woman so traditionally she would make her significant other a man. Other than that she had no power like the women in the village. The Sorceress gives up modernity and returns to the traditional village.

The whole story is very interesting because of the theme of modernity VS tradition. I would recommend this film to anyone person interested in films that take a closer look at the struggle between tradition and modernity. All together the movie was very enjoyable because of the themes and because of the comical dialect. I will be watching more movies like this in the future.

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Kirikou finds his strength is within

Author: catscholle from United States
31 May 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Kirikou and the Sorceress is a delightful story of an unlikely hero whose confidence and quick wit enables him to overcome the evil in his village. Although quite small, Kirikou comes into the world with a sense of optimism that can only come from his pure innocence. He begins asking his mother questions then makes decisions that he will help his village become a better place. He is able to convince everyone in the village that he is strong and clever all while enduring their taunts about how small he is. He also is noticed by the Karaba, the Sorceress, as a threat to her and orders her fetishes to watch him. Kirikou finds out from his mother that only his Grandfather knows why Karaba is "so mean and evil". Kirikou's journey to get to the mountain to find his Grandfather becomes a series of challenges that we hear him think through and endure. Along the way, Kirikou earns the trust and admiration of forest creatures that are able to overcome their own fears and help him. Once he finds his grandfather, he learns the source of Karaba's evil and that his own strength is within him and he has carried it all along. My favorite quote was from Grandfather, he told Kirikou that "you will always find people that want to harm you no matter how good you are to them, as water will drown you and fire will burn you".

This type of story has been told hundreds of time, in many cultures, over many generations. In my generation, this story of overcoming evil by finding the strength within was told through The Wizard of Oz and a variety of Walt Disney feature films. Unlike all of those, Kirikou and the Sorceress takes on a more traditional folktale approach to telling the story. The story told through the eyes of a child, retains its innocence by using simple illustrations and the music serves to enhance the narration instead of foretelling the story as it moves along. The artistic interpretation of what is good and what is evil makes the entire movie flow and would be very easy for a child to understand. With wisdom beyond his years and the ability to forgive, Kirikou is more of a man than all others in the village. Those two were both misunderstood and found a mutual respect and understanding that no other would be able to provide them. Although I initially found the ending to be odd, as I thought about it, it was perfectly fitting.

As with any movie, it is important for parents to review it first before sharing with young children. The story is beautiful and perfectly suitable for kids; however, cultural differences may cause some discomfort with the nudity. I found it tasteful and an opportunity for an open family discussion.

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Things Aren't Always As They Seem

Author: princessgemmell from United States
31 May 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Kirokou et la Sorcière is a colorful, beautifully animated story of conquering initial perception of one's actions, and healing pain to find acceptance. The artist portrays the characters in their traditional clothing. Although not recommended for children, this film is highly recommended for those who are mature enough for cartoon nudity.

In the film opening we see the birth of Kirokou. The fact that he speaks while still in the womb and births himself sets the imaginative spectrum of this film in a place that we, as Americans, aren't used to. I found this amazingly refreshing! Finally a story that isn't completely predictable! Kirokou sets out immediately after he is born to help his uncle defeat the evil sorceress, Karaba. After meeting Karaba, and returning home, Kirokou asks the most important question: "Why is the sorceress so mean and evil?"

There are many things in life that can turn people's attitudes sour. Many bullies are found to have underlying issues at home and they have angry outbursts towards others. Other cases, allow their exterior to develop rumors. Kirokou discovers that tragic events in Karaba's life caused her to leave the village, grow a hatred for men, and allow the villagers to think that she was the source of their misfortunes. Karaba wasn't completely innocent of all charges, but the evil done to her left a thorn in her back. Everyday she relived that pain and found ways to get revenge. Kirokou searched for the reasoning for Karaba's out lashes and sought to rebalance her life.

In America, Karaba would've been killed for her evil deeds. African literature has a very different way of resolving things. Instead of decapitating her, Kirokou removed the thorn and re-introduced her to the village. All problems solved, life rebalanced, and everyone was happy.

The animation of the film reflected the mood of the scene and not everything was perfect. Most animation has things exposed only if they are visually perfect. Kirokou et la Sorcière depicts how things as they really are in real life. Not everyone is the same. The village coloring was simple, but happy; the sorceress was shown in bold, richness and the land around her was devoid of color, lifeless; and Kirokou's grandfather, who was a being of a higher power, is in bright light, dressed in white, and seems to emit a brightness about him. Kirokou et la Sorcière is a breath of freshness that is highly recommended for mature audiences around the world. No one should be forced to endure the pain and suffering that Karaba did, but we should all have the courage to help heal the wounds that have been inflicted.

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It's Time We Learn to Love and Forgive, From an Infant!

Author: duvelian from United States
31 May 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Good evening, fellow movie goers! If you are sitting around this scorching night, wondering what to do, may I suggest you watch the movie Kirikou et la Sorciére? First of all, it is a cartoon and where can you go wrong with a cartoon? Secondly, the meaning behind the cute humor is truly magical and wonderful! Director and writer of the film Michael Ocelot created a visual feast in animation. Oddly, the characters are mostly naked, but there is much truth to this in many African villages, which is where this film takes place. Ocelot uses sandy, muted colors to distinguish his settings that are meant to represent tradition. To accompany the traditional scenery, Ocelot incorporates drum beating and flutes. The two give a native feeling to the tale and create a gentle musical atmosphere that carries you along throughout the story. The only symbolism of modernity that we see is the Evil Sorceress and her mechanical minions. Speaking of the Evil Sorceress, I'd like to introduce you to the main little man who matches her as her witty opponent.

The film begins with the voice of the wise, infant Kirikou speaking to his mother while still in her belly! Next thing you know, Kirikou walks right out into our world, as a well spoken, wise, and courageous newborn! I thought this was truly amazing and very unique! The wise Kirikou never disappoints, as he goes on to save his village from the evil-doings of the Evil Sorceress. It should be plain to see that Kirikou's courage derives from the love he has for his mother and his village. Anyways, Kirikou begins his journey by saving the village children from the clutches of the Sorceress. At first, the children bullied little Kirikou, for he was so young and small to be playing with them. After he saves them, they sing and praise him for his bravery and wisdom. The cute, naked, little Kirikou doesn't stop there, though. Hot dagger in both hands (because the dagger is about the same size that he is), he walks straight into the village's water canal and spears the monster that has been sucking up their water supply! Kirikou wants to put an end to his village's problems and so he seeks the source of the evil-doings. You'll be on the edge of your seat as you watch little Kirikou wind his way through a mountain's maze, in search of his all-knowing Grandfather. Kirikou defeats a Pumba-like warthog and a big, obnoxious bird, befriends a family of squirrels, and finally meets his wise Grandfather. Kirikou's Grandfather shows us that the Evil Sorceress, named Karaba, is not truly evil. Karaba does not inflict chaos on the village or eat men, she is just a woman in pain. We finally get a glimpse of Karaba's past, in which we see she was brutally raped by a gang of men. Kirikou vows to put an end to her misery, and this takes me to my final point.

The ending of this film is the most amazing part. This is where we see the making of a Disney movie, as all loose ends are tied happily together. Kirikou performs one more act of bravery when he pulls the symbolic thorn of pain from Karaba's back. In an instant, everything changes. The trees, plants, and flowers that were once dead at Karaba's presence are brought back to life. Karaba smiles and in a strange turn of events, Kirikou is captivated by her. He asks for a "kiss on the lips," and she chuckles but obliges. I was not prepared for what happened next: in a reverse Sleeping Beauty moment, Kirikou grows up instantly into a full-grown man. A handsome man, might I add, and Karaba was certainly interested! Apparently, Karaba and Kirikou are meant for each other as lovers! The two return to Kirikou's village hand in hand, but are greeted coldly. At first, the villager's want to kill Karaba, for they do not know she did not create their troubles. Luckily, Kirikou's Grandfather told the village that it was true, Karaba did them no harm. It is here that we realize the moral of our cute story: we must all learn to forgive! Beautiful, isn't it? I love this moral because that is something you don't always get with a Disney movie! I also love the fact that Karaba's mechanical minions were the men of the village, who are transformed back to their normal selves in the end of the film. Ocelot draws the movie to a close with a scene of celebration and love, as lover's are reunited and new couples (Kirikou and Karaba) embrace each other in the beginning of their happily ever after!

I would highly recommend this film to anyone who wants to broaden their animation horizon. If you like Disney or Hannah-Barbera (I, myself, am a huge Scooby-Doo fan), you will thoroughly enjoy this film. Also, I would like anyone who is interested in learning about other cultures to view this film: the African culture is beautiful and amazingly represented thanks to Ocelot! So go ahead, let Kirikou take you by the hand and lead you on his magical journey!

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