In this spectacular free adaptation of the popular theatre play "La Biche au Bois", the valiant Prince Bel-Azor pursues a baleful old witch to her impregnable castle, to save the beautiful young Princess Azurine.
Scientists from all over the world are meeting to discuss the best way to reach the North Pole. Professor Maboul demonstrates for them the innovative equipment that he has designed for the ... See full summary »
In this spectacular, meticulously hand-coloured movie which incorporates a plethora of never-seen-before special effects, interchanging panoramas and soft dissolves, the indefatigable director Georges Méliès presents a free adaptation of the popular theatre play "La Biche au Bois" by the brothers Cogniard. Following the announcement of the espousal of the beautiful young Princess Azurine and the noble Prince Bel-Azor, a baleful old witch casts a fiery and sulphurous curse on the innocent woman, and then aided by her evil minions, captures her and takes off on a blazing gilded chariot. But the valiant Prince along with the Fairy Godmother, Aurora, pursue the sorceress, from the unfathomable chasms of the eternal sea to great Neptune's realm, and finally, the abominable witch's impregnable castle. Who shall stand in the way of love?Written by
This short fantasy feature is quite interesting and creative, with an involved story that is enjoyable to watch despite the somewhat unrefined nature of the production. Méliès made "Kingdom of the Fairies" just a year after his gem "Trip to the Moon", and it uses many of the same skillful techniques, with some different and equally imaginative settings.
The story starts with a princess taken captive by a witch, and from there the plot is quite detailed and interesting. You have to pay close attention, since there are no inter-titles to explain the action (it seems possible that the picture may have had a spoken narrative that was intended to be read while it was running), but there is enough detail that the main events are not that hard to figure out.
Méliès creates several interesting little worlds during the course of the action, and most of them work well. Even the few visual effects that are less convincing cinematic ally are still interesting to look at. Even aside from the story, it's interesting just to look at all the details and the possible associations that they suggest.
This is the kind of very old, pioneering film that might only be of great interest to silent film fans or historians, but anyone who appreciates the more widely-known Méliès features would probably find "Kingdom of the Fairies" well worth taking the time to watch.
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