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Sintel
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Reviews & Ratings for
Sintel More at IMDbPro »

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52 out of 60 people found the following review useful:

Dark, but stunning fantasy-short

8/10
Author: menschmachine from Netherlands
3 October 2010

Third short film by the Amsterdam-based Blender Foundation. Sintel is partly meant to promote the open source animation software Blender and to be used for demo-purposes (3d, 4k)by it's sponsors.

But it's far more than a very crafty demo. Script and storyline are clearly worked out on a elaborate scale, comprising three different levels. One might see it as a fantasy-action movie, but it also packs a coming-of-age sideline and a sobering life-lesson.

Loner Sintel (Dutch for Cinder)befriends a baby dragon an nurtures it, until it's snatched from her in a dramatic scene. The quest to find the dragon is somewhat rushed in a montage and throughout the movie some movement seems unnatural, but the amount of detail in props and background is amazing. Double so, because this was made by just 14 animators, script editor, technician and director (and numerous members of the Blender community who made props and scenes online) in just over a year, at a total cost of 400.000 euro.

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30 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

A Powerful and Tragic Masterpiece

10/10
Author: jbanet from Chicago
3 October 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is a beautifully animated and skillfully executed tragic story. It hits all the key points of a classic tragedy in a way worthy of history's greatest playwrights. It has the "hero" who is good and decent but is brought down by her ambition and human frailty. It has the "reversal" when the fortune of finding her companion and overcoming the attacking dragon becomes the realization that the two are the same. This turns into the "recognition" that she has wasted her life on a quest with a flawed premise. At that moment, many things come together. She realizes how much time has passed. She finally understands the true relationship between Scales and herself. Scales moved on long ago, and what was left, what was driving her search, was her own obsession and delusion. She now sees herself for the battle-scarred killer she has become. Her quest has stolen her innocence and now, by her own hand, taken the life of the one she treasured most.

The fact that the movie hits all these elements so potently in only 12 minutes is amazing. The more I watch it, the more I appreciate how well everything fits together. The foreshadowing, symbolism, and other elements throughout the movie give it a depth much greater than its length. Things that might not seem significant at first play important roles in the story. For example, Sintel appears to be an orphan, which could be seen as arbitrary back-story. However, this helps explain why she becomes so blinded to reality once Scales is taken. Scales is the only friend she has ever known, and the loss tears her apart.

This powerful storytelling is then backed by animation that suits it wonderfully. There are imperfections, but the many things that are done incredibly well far outweigh any flaws. From the sense of wonder in racing up the temple, to the epic scale of Sintel's journey, to the expressions in Scales' face... it all works beautifully to magnify the story. The climax in particular pulls together story, visuals, sound and timing in a way that even the best feature films rarely achieve. I'm tempted to expound on every finely crafted detail, but it is best to just let you watch it and appreciate it yourself.

To top everything off, this film is released freely under the Creative Commons license by the Blender Foundation, which also freely releases the open-source 3D modeling tool Blender used to make the movie. This means everything-- the movie, the models, the textures, the software-- EVERYTHING is freely available for anyone to use or change. That's a far cry from most movie releases that want it to be a crime to even rip your own DVD onto your computer/phone/etc.

The Blender Foundation creates this and other short films to prove and improve the quality of their free 3D software, but they have done so much more here. This movie is a gift and a masterpiece.

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18 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

A magnificent short animation

10/10
Author: artaddicted04 from Indonesia
16 March 2011

I have to admit this short animation is really great, i do enjoy from the first second till last, everything is perfect, great plot & great music ( well there is of course imperfection with some movement of character if you compare it to a high budge 3d animation movie, but i will still call this perfect ) especially the last song of their soundtrack "I move on", i would like to see the movie version of this because 15 minutes is to short i want to see some more!!! Moving on, bravery and friendship is the main morality message in the movie, they try to give you a lesson with an usual way to help you to let go your past, i found this movie is very motivating also,if you need quick boosting to be inspired or when you feel down then this could be a great remedies. Also this short movie is great for every age, children to adult i guarantee you will enjoy it.

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16 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Remarkable!

8/10
Author: mjlpress from United States
11 April 2011

To imagine that all of this was created from scratch is remarkable.

The score was very well done as was the foley.

Halina really came through and I was so impressed, I had to find out who she was. Amazing to shine as an actor through a 3D animation. She did it!

For the filmmakers and artist to take this on and to get it done for future artist is admirable. It gives hope to other artist and filmmakers.

I would not recommend the film to children but maybe the filmmakers will do another film just for them. I hope they do.

The director's attention to detail was also noted.

Great job!

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Beautiful

10/10
Author: seshimaroo from United States
30 June 2013

This film was beautiful in almost every way. The animation, the music, and the story was well. This short film shows how powerful the Blender application is with hard work and determination. With more work, more workers, and more money, this could have been a feature-length production. I was pretty surprised that the actual making of the film (modeling, lighting, and animating) was done by not that large of a crew. That is because it isn't feature length, but th quality is on par with that of animations by Disney and pixar. This film should have won an Oscar for best animated short. I hope the Blender foundation continues to work on amazing films like these.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Stands for a great principle but is also a very strong and emotional short film in its own right

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
6 April 2014

I watched this film for the first time today and it was not by chance. I knew of this film as I have seen some other films made using the open source Blender software and I was aware that this film was not only made using that tool but that the whole film is open to be used and changed by anyone who wishes to do so. The irony of this is that currently the film has been removed by YouTube due to a copyright claim by Sony that the film somehow violates their property, a situation that tells me Sony used part of the film (music or otherwise) and are now claiming it as their own, thus entirely missing the point of what this film and others like it are trying to do.

Hopefully this will be resolved although it is depressing to see that even the suggestion of infraction from a corporation sees the project removed. Anyway, in terms of the film itself, away from such controversy, the narrative sees a young woman travelling alone deep into the mountain and into danger. An encounter with a bandit leaves her injured but rescued by an old man, to whom she relates the reason for her journey – a journey which begins with her finding an injured baby dragon some time before.

The headlines all relate to the technical aspects of this film so it is worth saying that the narrative engages too. It is a solid tale that draws you in but is built on darkness. It is a combination that doesn't totally work and although I applaud the ending for going in the direction it did, it is brutally harsh just to drop that on a viewer. Technically the film is very well made, the animation is great and it is hard to believe that it was made outside of a large studio – not only is this cheering but it actually works and looks great throughout.

Sintel represents another step forward in the idea of the creative commons being a positive and collaborative idea and Blender in particular being something about moving forward; however this is not to say that this is where its value comes from because really the short stands up on its own, looking great and having a brutal but memorably brave narrative too. If there was ever a greater example of the need to support such projects, it is the fact that Sony have challenged it for taking their property.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

It is both impressive and heartbreaking

10/10
Author: Rectangular_businessman from Peru
27 July 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Sintel" impressed me.

Not only for the amazing quality of the animation (With a high level of realism in what concerns to the textures and effects, not to mention the expressiveness of the characters and the outstanding level of detail) but also for the way in which it deconstruct several common clichés and archetypes from several fantasy and adventure histories, giving a very tragic turn to the classical plot of the hero's "Journey". In many ways, the main character is the classic archetype of a "hero" in a fantasy history, being fiery and determined to don't give up; the fact that her intentions are pretty good and understandable made the twist at the ending something even more tragic, but I do think that this short has a valid point, even if it is very harsh: Having a noble intention and being brave (at least in the traditional sense of the word in fantasy stories) is not always a guarantee of good results or success.

However, even when the ending is incredibly sad and heartbreaking (With only a very little glimpse of hope) the overall experience of "Sintel"is something very rewarding and enjoyable, being exciting and entertaining to watch.

I highly recommend this short to anyone who enjoys fantasy and adventure epics.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Nice short film, could of been expanded

8/10
Author: Ciminero85-929-666492 from United States
3 January 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Sintel is an impressive animated film for being built on an open source engine with a crew of less than 100 people. You won't find the same graphical detail seen in mainstream animated movies but you will experience emotion for these characters. Emotion for characters is a hard thing to achieve when dealing in animation. It takes perfect execution of story and animated facial expressions, something which I give the team at Blender Foundation a standing ovation. The story on the other hand seems to be condensed, leaving some questions unanswered.

The following section below is a spoiler and is meant for people who have seen the film.

**Spoiler Warning** As I said above, the story left some questions unanswered which could of been solved with character development in additional scenes. In the beginning, Sentil is attacked by some random guy. Who is this antagonist and why is he motivated to kill her? Perhaps he was a dragon hunter who wounded Scales in the beginning and spends the rest of the story trying to reclaim the baby dragon as a prize? Or how about Sentil's background, why is she alone and rely on the emotional support of a dragon? These questions could be answered through some story expansion. Other than that, the movie's 15 minute runtime is worth sitting through, although I hope you like bittersweet endings.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Impressive animation from the Netherlands

8/10
Author: Thomas (filmreviews@web.de) from Berlin, Germany
17 September 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A ginger girl makes her way through a snow mountain pass when she is suddenly attacked by a stranger. She manages to kill him with her spear, but collapses shortly afterward from exhaustion. We see her wake up in a shack where she tells the old man who found her the story of her special connection to a dragon baby she found with an injured wing and managed to heal it. However, when she was about to release it into freedom, it got caught by a fully-grown dragon and abducted. Since then, she was on the lookout traveling places everywhere to find and free her little dragon.

This flashback is finished around the seven-minute mark, when half of the film is over. Sintel recovers in the stranger's shack and moves on with her destination shortly afterward. Finally, she enters a cave where she finds the large and the small dragon. But things are not what they appear to be. I quite enjoyed this short film. The animation is very video game-like and the highlight of the film. The story is sweet and sad at the same time. My favorite scene was when she found the baby dragon for the first time and how she got it to trust her until they finally built a strong bond. I'd love to see Lodewijk and Levy reunite one day for a full feature, maybe even starring Sintel. Very much recommended. One of the best animated short films of the 21st century.

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7 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

Aimed for Pathos, Missed, and Landed in the Middle of Pathetic

1/10
Author: Jim Farris from USA
6 February 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

***THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS***

Though the film is technically brilliant, particularly considering it was made entirely with free software, the ending simply did not work for me, emotionally. The ending is so senselessly, needlessly tragic, that it reduces the main character's entire life to a complete waste of time. More, the final few moments reveals this literally has been her entire life. She sees her reflection, and realizes she is no longer the teenage street-kid who went out on the quest. She is visibly aged with gray hair, scarred, gaunt and utterly beaten. This is exactly why the tragedy happens. The story doesn't cover a few months. She spent her entire life on this quest. And, because she spent her entire life on this quest, because she was a true hero and didn't quit, she failed. To me, they were aiming for pathos, missed, and just ended up with pathetic.

This is not to say that you can't write a story where the hero fails or dies. Many good stories have been written with downer endings. Romeo and Juliet has a totally downer ending - both the hero and the heroine die. But, there was a REASON they died. The original moral of the story is that vendettas are stupid, hateful and wrong, and lead only to tragedy. Their deaths serve that purpose. More, the story was one that was very well known in Shakespeare's day before anyone even went to the theater, and before the show begins, the chorus basically warns us these are "star-crossed lovers" - I.E. it's going to end badly for them, the fates are against them. Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World" also has a downer ending. But there's a reason for it, too. The entire point of the novel is to show that a society that focuses only on self-gratification and relies on the government to insure their happiness can only lead to the destruction of the individual and mindless subservience to the state. Hemmingway's "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber" is another one that ends tragically. But, there's a reason for that, too. When Francis dies, we are left with the question of whether it was murder or accident, and the overall story forms a statement on a particular economic caste of American culture as it existed at that time, quietly asking important questions about what it is to be a man.

In short, death and failure does not mean the story sucks if that death and failure serves the overall moral, theme or general point of the story.

However, with "Sintel", the only moral we can gain out of this story is "Don't be loyal, don't try to rescue friends, and don't try to succeed. You'll only spend your entire life trying, get right to the end, then fail spectacularly and have wasted your entire life."

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