This film was never completed. Production began it in 1948, but producer André Sarrut showed the film unfinished in 1952, against Paul Grimault's wishes. This caused the production to stop. In 1967, Grimault got possession of the film and was able to complete it under a new title, _Le Roi et l'Oiseau_ (1980). See more »
(Review is of the original 1950's version not the restored 1980's one) In a land where the king likes no one and no one likes the king a shepherdess and a chimney sweep from two nearby paintings come to life and run off. A portrait of the king, who loves the shepherdess, kills the real king and takes his place. A huge bird, the wonderbird of the title, acts as a hero of sorts and helps out our two lovers.
This is a strange strange movie... no surreal, very very very surreal.
The style of the background is very European while the characters are Fliescher meet Warner but early arty Warner of the non major characters. They move in both realistic and cartoon like manners.
This is an odd movie and it takes a bit to get into it but Peter Ustinov as the bird is a riot, his kids and the puppy are wonderful. There are cops in rubber ducks and a bear design that makes you smile.
And there is deep philosophy in the film, about the existence of a world out there...out beyond a Metropolis subterranean city.
This is a really neat movie. There is something just so odd and unique about it that rewards you if you stay with it for the whole ride. Its not perfect but what the hell.
This is a movie to search out. If your local bargain DVD bin has the capcom version (paired with Alice in Paris) buy it. It should run you under ten bucks, probably around five and the price is absolutely worth it especially when you realize it comes with two full length cartoons, two short cartoons and several neat commercials and other fun things.
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