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In a city ruled by the diabolical Mayor, it appears that only one thing can save the old botanical garden from being demolished for the construction of an entertainment center: the Blue Tiger. Now it is up to Johanka and Matyas to protect the tiger from the evil clutches of the Mayor and his henchmen and save the garden. Written by
Eastern Europe or especially the Czech Republic has a bit of a reputation for producing quality films for children and this is another good addition to a long line of movies worth a watch for kids. It's named "Modrý tygr", although I watched the German dub named "Der blaue Tiger" (The Blue Tiger). The film is well-structured, has a young girl as the lead character and the mayor of the town she lives in as the main antagonist. In addition, there's the usual ingredients, the girl's best friends, the parents, one particularly bothersome female teacher or headmistress etc.
It's the mayor's plan to remove the green area where the girl is living in and build some ultra-modern new skyscrapers of futuristic buildings and sacrifice the green lung of the city for that. However, the mayor's reputation goes south when several people see a blue tiger and the mayor seems unable to catch him and protect the people. To get the people involved, he has all the town's dogs abducted and puts the blame on the tiger to make sure he's caught quickly. I have to say that particular plot-point always seemed a bit vague. But that's just a minor flaw. Finally, the tiger shows up at the girl's place (he's really blue!) and the two start forming a bond. Consequently the magic tiger lets everything bloom spectacularly and brightly, so there's no chance the mayor can get rid of all these exotic plants.
My age is probably two or three times the age of the target audiences for this film, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I find good children movies or animation films a joy to this day and stylistically the film is interesting as well. The first half is truly interesting animation wise. It's a clever mix of animation and live action. Most of it is live action, but here and there we see some nice examples of animation, like when a bathtub is filled with animated water or also when a turban (of the meanest female character) comes to life with lots of snakes as some sort of hydra. There's really many more examples. It's surely worth a watch for animation lovers and occasionally reminded me of the mixed style from "L'écume des jours". The second half does not have equally many witty examples of animation-meets-live-action, but that's okay as it actually has the young blue tiger for the most part and the little cub is so cute it's really a joy to watch for audiences all ages. Another thing I really liked was the lead actress, Linda Votrubová. She's not over-the-top looking for fun or goofing around as many girls her age are, also in kids films, but she's very introverted yet very likable, always determined and it's a quietly convincing performance that actually makes the film. Even more impressive as "The Blue Tiger" is her very first movie and she's in pretty much every scene from start to finish. Recommended.
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