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The Legend of Sarila
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The Legend of Sarila More at IMDbPro »

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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Simply Horrible!

Author: kingtanichi from Toronto
9 December 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

On the one hand, it's obviously cool that the Quebecois-Canadian film industry can now put out films that look like this. Fifteen years ago, only a few institutions in the world could have amassed the technology, finance, and expertise to put together computer graphic images like this.

On the other hand, however, this democratization of the tools of imaging has, unfortunately, just given more powers of spectacle to incompetent filmmakers who don't have even the most rudimentary idea how to tell a story. This story begins from the premise that an Inuit shaman -- who has gone bad, for badly-explained/justified reasons -- has renounced his ancestral skill set for subservience to an evil god... who nonetheless never gives him any power to do anything about the hateful, unwatchable, noxious, saccharine and awful characters we're supposed to accept as heroes and sympathetic characters. Then at the end, we're supposed to go gooey-eyed because after being stupidly and unconvincingly defeated, he's "forgiven," and thus kinda-sorta redeemed by these horrible "hero" characters who we've spent the last hour-plus wanting to see die... Don't waste your time.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Not a bad way to pass the time, but I wouldn't have paid money for it.

Author: duif_holmes from Netherlands
31 October 2015

Croolik apparently became a shell of his former self when his sons died. Too bad we never learn what kind of person he used to be aside from a shaman and apparently not evil. Also, the writers have a tendency to blame the whole thing on buzzwords for things that turn people evil without putting too much thought into it. ("You're blinded by pride and ambition!" "Ambition? At this point in the movie I'm just trying to kill Markussi.") But I found myself caring about him anyway.

Markussi's "I don't want to be a shaman" subplot was interesting, but it's pretty much all we know about him. What's his favorite color? How does he feel about his parents being dead? No idea. Sedna mentions something about using his powers for personal gain versus using them for the good of the tribe, but that doesn't really go anywhere either. Again, I found myself caring about him anyway.

We know even less about what goes on in Apik's head. The movie tries to give her some characterization when her mom doesn't want her to go on the journey to Sarila, but since the crow spirit chose her in this ceremony that the whole tribe agreed would determine who goes to Sarila her decision to defy her mother and go on an adventure was really just the obvious thing to do under the circumstances. Depending on how strictly you interpret the criteria she might also fail the Sexy Lamp Test. (Thanks to Sedna and Saya the movie as a whole passes, but the way things are set up it looks like Apik was supposed to be the female lead and they were supposed to be more minor characters.) Again, I found myself caring about her anyway.

Poutulik basically just exists so Croolik has someone to give that amulet to. I'd like to say I ended up caring about him anyway but uh... no, not really. Also, he's a hunter who kills animals - but only off screen. Whenever an animal actually appears on screen the others are all "Oh, don't kill that lemming, he's to small to be worth the trouble." "Oh, don't kill that... caribou?, she's pregnant." I can understand the reasoning behind this, but it's still a bit distracting once you notice it.

Speaking of animals and weird things, the marketing decision - I mean lemming - is a lot more stylized than the humans or the other animals. Which is not all that good for the suspension of disbelief.

Plus there's what basically amounts to a clip show in the middle of the movie. Seriously, why?

Basically, if the writers had put a bit more thought into what really goes on inside the characters' heads, dropped the clip show (and maybe one of Croolik's attempts to kill Markussi) and used the extra time for some more character development this could have been a much better movie. As it is it's not bad, it's just not very good either.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Charming Animation from Inuit Culture

Author: Andreas K. from Bangkok, Thailand
8 February 2015

I think a 5.3 rating here is completely undeserving. It's a wonderful re-imaging of Inuit traditions, myths and legends.

The animation is solid and it's true to its source material. The evil spirits could be a little too scary for under 6s, but this story aims for the 8 - 12 age anyhow, and for that age group it's a wonderful adventure tale with a rich respect for cultures.

A nice Sunday afternoon film for the family, so give it a go if it's on TV or rent it. Sure it's not a must own film, but its charming enough and definitely better than many of the animated sequels pumping in hundreds of million into studio pockets.

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8 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

A simple tale of good vs. evil...

Author: celluloidkiwi from United States
24 June 2014

The Clan has been without a steady food supply for some time due to poor relations with the spirit world. It is up to the young members of the Clan to embrace a challenge requiring purity of mind and heart. In this way, they may enter a mythical land and gain what is needed to set the Clan back in good standing with the spirits while bringing old, tiresome hatred out from it's shadows so it can be dealt with openly. While the animation is a bit dated, it lends a charm to this script and is in keeping with both the simplicity of the story and it's target audience. The script is likewise as simple and far-fetched as are the minds of most little ones, but does a fine job of including the whole family from grandparents to grandchildren. The acting is par with the production. It's refreshing to NOT be bombarded with Disney-like gender bashing and agenda crunching. Sadly this film did not enjoy the wide release it may have otherwise shared. Compared to the junk issued from Hollywood that is high in production, low on substance, we have here quality at a minimum cost that won't infect your kids with attitude and avarice. Good, silly fun with a few fine messages for all viewers.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

One fantasy that just fails to enchant

Author: TheLittleSongbird from United Kingdom
29 June 2015

As a lifelong fan of animation and as someone who has seen Christopher Plummer and Genevieve Bujold give great performances, The Legend of Sarila was always going to be something I was going to see. Plus the idea was interesting and quite unique. Unfortunately, what potential The Legend of Sarila had was marred by generally poor execution.

There are redeeming qualities here. The music score is appropriately rousing and dynamic, giving as much heart and energy as possible in a film that was on the most part in desperate need of more elsewhere. And there are two good voice acting performances. Christopher Plummer is no stranger to voicing villains, having been the best thing about Rock a Doodle and being just as fun in the Babes in Toyland animation, and he brings a menacing and larger than life personality to Croolick, by far the most involved actor in the voice cast. Genevieve Bujold is touching and dignified as Saya, qualities she brought to her definitive Anne Boleyn in Anne of a Thousand Days.

Sadly, for these three good things, The Legend of Sarila fails quite badly everywhere else. The animation is particularly poor, and at worst inept. The colours are very drab, the backgrounds were in real want of more detail(sometimes it was there, but a lot of them were sparse), the landscapes never felt authentic or made one feel transported to the world where the film takes place in, characters move awkwardly, dynamic physical interaction is next to non-existent and there is little to no attempt with interaction with the environment(lack of peril in dire straits, characters looking as if they'd not been wet despite supposing to). The lack of care in the animation would have been forgivable if the script and story had been any good, unfortunately while not quite as bad failures they don't work either.

Narratively, as well as being pedestrian in places, The Legend of Sarila felt very muddled and like there wasn't enough story to sustain the running time. It's thinly plotted stuff, and is stretched with plot points that were potentially interesting and could have given the characters depth but with little done with them, they're introduced but not resolved or properly explored. Especially true to this was with Markussi and his powers. The lack of originality could have been forgiven if the story was executed well otherwise, which was not the case. The script lacks flow and not only does it sound like it's lacking in sense but it's awkwardly delivered too on the most part. It also feels much too safe, depth, humour and emotion are seldom there and any chances with character development were a missed opportunity. There are attempts, sure, but it feels half-hearted and clumsy, like at the end with Croolick but even that felt incredibly rushed.

Regarding the characters, they are one-dimensional and little more than fantasy clichés, even when having an idea that was unique for animation. And apart from Plummer and Bujold, the voice acting is very one-note.

In conclusion, has its redeeming values, but as a whole The Legend of Sarila just fails to enchant. 3/10 Bethany Cox

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A great movie for family of all ages

Author: huguespt from Australia
19 December 2015

I don't understand why this animated movie. I am a 52 year old man in Australia from English background and I would hope the indigenous people of whom this movie is about is fantastic. I believe they may be the "Inuit" I sorry I don't know however it is an entertaining movie with great lessons for everyone from 5 up along with what I thought to be a great and entertaining story. It had a villain, a hero, heroin and a love triangle, comedy, love, tragedy and family ties not just immediate family but their wider community. I would hope the people whom this movie is made after are happy with the result, remembering that stories told by people, handed down over many generations may conflict. I still believe that they would be proud of this story/legend brings together a very wonderful experience. It is definitely a movie that parents will be happy to sit and watch with their children, be as entertained as their children and indeed learn some lesson for the younger, maybe be reminded of somethings for the older watchers. I would hope, and I have not found it, but a second movie with more of the indigenous stories/legends that tie in with the main character. I wish more movies were made about all indigenous peoples movies were made, given more air time and that is as I am sorry to say, many of them will never be the same. I have been told that there is no full blood Maori person in New Zealand left, that is sad I think and more reason why we all need to inspire and encourage movies like this, European history is not the only history and we have our legends like "Robin Hood", "King Arthur" UK and so many more which we all know and love, I add this to a favorite and will do more to know these stories/legends and peoples. The animation is good, it is not a Billion $$ budget however even the opening I thought I was watching 3D as it took me over the landscape, so pretty good indeed.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Blame Canada.

Author: samjacks-84272 from Denver, USA
19 August 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Spoilers Are Likely (Not Like You Frankly Give A DAMN!)

Mother Of God And The Virgin Mary.

Welcome Back (God Please No). Today, I'll Be Reviewing The Legend Of Sarila (Infamously Known By It's Pirate Name Frozen Land, But More On That In A Moment), Canada's First Full-Length CGI Effort.

It Is The Year 1910 In Northern Canada. The Inuit Shaman Croolik (Played By Christopher Plummer) Denounces Sedna, The Inuit Goddess Of Water And The Dead, In An Attempt To Call Upon The Inuit Spirit Of Darkness. Sedna Is Then Motivated To Withdraw All The Animals From The Land In Retaliation. This Puts Croolik's Village In Trouble, As They Can No Longer Hunt. Our Hero, The Orphaned Shaman Markussi, Along With Putulik (The Chief's Son) And The Latter's Partner Apik Set Out To Find The Eponymous Land Of Sarila, Where Animals Are Said To Be Plenty, In Order To Save The Village From Starvation. As This Transpires, The Scheming Croolik Takes Control Of Numerous Natural And Spiritual Forces In Order To Stop The Trio Whilst Continuously Triying To Frame His Former Wife Saya (Played By Geneviève Bujold) For His Own Benefit.

First Off, I'm Going To Break The Camel's Back: This Film Does Have Redeeming Qualities:

-The Film's Overall Presentation Is Better Then Most Of The Animated Atrocities I've Reviewed. The Producers Had A Somewhat Decent Production Team On Their Side For This.

-They Do Try To Create A Good Soundtrack, And The Results Are Passable. However, I Wouldn't Be Jamming To These Tunes On My IPod.

-Once Again, Christopher Plummer And Geneviève Bujold Do Give Some Good Performances. Same Cannot Be Said For The Rest Of The Film.

However, Where This Film Does Have Good Points, There's Still Too Many Bad Ones:

-The Entire Film Runs In A Pattern; You Will Constantly See Shifts From Our Heroes' Journey To Croolik's Antics In The Village, And Back To The Heroes Again.

-Have You Ever Seen A Movie That Puts You To Sleep Because Of It's Abhorrently Drab Backgrounds? Think Of Sarila As One Of The Best Examples Of That. The Overall Design Of This Film Lacks Depth And Detail, And Looking At The Drab, Snowy Backgrounds Can Bore Anyone To Death. And What About Sarila? Is It Beautiful, Even Cool? No. It's Just "Meh."

-With The Exotic Inuit Setting, Sarila Looks Original, Right? WRONG. The Film Takes Two Pages Out Of The Book Of Dreamworks: The Road To El Dorado And Sinbad: Legend Of The Seven Seas. There Are Also Elements Of Several Other Movies, With The Most Notable Of These Being The First Ice Age And Brother Bear Movies.

-(You Knew This One Was Coming) GAH, THE SCRIPT!!! Sarila Already Has Poor Design, But Now There's A Bad Script. Apart From Plummer And Bujold, The Acting Was Pretty Bad As Well.

There Was Also The Time Where Disney Put Them In Court For Plagiarizing The Logo Of Frozen In An Attempt To Perform Well On DVD After The Film Bombed In Theatres In Spite Of Being Released HALF A MONTH Before Frozen Shattered Box Office Revenues.

Anyone Agree? I Know IHE Does.


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7 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Turned it off after 15 minutes

Author: craemac from United States
25 July 2014

The trailer made this look like a good family movie. But it falls far short of's terrible. If based on Inuit legends and myths, no effort was made to explain or define anything. Story line was terribly slow to develop and it was quite easy to predict how particular events would unfold. The sound audio was terrible and it proved very very difficult to understand what the characters were saying. . Character development was non-existent... I would recommend avoiding this movie...young children will not understand it and will probably be scared by some of the evil spirits (which just show up and are not explained in any way).

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5 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

A LOT OF FUN! What this little guys do is AWESOME

Author: portalespirita from New Mexico
24 June 2014

Man, what the hell, I will open up my heart with you guys right here right now.

I was NOT expecting much of this movie, actually I thought it would be pretty crap, I even prepared some beers and some snacks, sure... I thought "I'm really gonna need to feel my belly in order to take the emptiness of this movie" (this thought was good I need to write that, duh, I'm doing it already), anyway... All that bacon with bbq and beer does not hold me any longer and I started to give this movie a chance, those Inuit guys are hilarious, oh my god, I almost threw up (I actually kinda did a little bit on the carpet but it was OK, almost can't tell the difference only get a little bit darker with the taint), when they start to run, man, got to tell you, nobody can stop them! THE ANIMATION IS VERY GOOD, AWESOME QUALITY AND I EVEN GONNA INVITE ALL MY FAMILY FOR THE NEXT SESSION. I know understand a bit more of INUIT culture and Nancy Savard as director? This dude really knows what the is doing, some scenes really keeps you on thinking, oh my god, then you notice that it is just a movie, but sometimes you even lose track of this, you really feel yourself living that, oh my god. Well, not the part of starvation, that part I really did not feel. Enjoy the movie holmes.

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0 out of 6 people found the following review useful:


Author: Armand from Romania
3 August 2014

a nice movie. exploration of Inuit culture, not very high but far to be boring, useful for kids and a really good animation. the story is basic, the old fairy tale spirit is present, the characters are charming and no surprises . Christopher Plummer is himself and old shaman represents one of great good points of film. the young actors seems be the best choices for characters of adventurers. the only problem is the dialog. who, in many scenes seems be almost fake. sure, it is a movie for children but that not is a realistic excuse for that.the second problem - the good goddess who is not the most inspired drawing. a good point, almost a virtue - the music. short - a nice film for entire family.

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