Mona lives in a ruined castle by the sea. She is a princess but lives a life of misery, mistreated by an odious pair of rats. But one day an adorable little unicorn appears and declares that she is there to assure her happiness.
Mona lives in a ruined castle by the sea. She is a princess but lives a life of misery, mistreated by an odious pair of rats. But one day an adorable little unicorn U appears and declares that she is there to help her through life and to assure her happiness. The two become inseparable. One day U brings home a charming and funny Lizard, Lazare. Scandalized by this intrusion to their home, the rats demand the newcomer leaves. In the surrounding woods they meet Lazare's family, the Wewes, a family of musicians living in a tree. Here life couldn't be more different than in the castle, full of pleasure, music and merrymaking. Mona discovers two new things: the wonder of music and a blossoming attraction to the young guitarist Kulka. However U suddenly becomes aware of a worrying dilemma. What will happen to her if Mona finds the happiness which is the sole reason for her existence...?
It's been five years since I saw this movie, and I have to say, I have really dire memories of it. Sure, the story sounded nice, and the art, for once, is pretty appealing (which does not happen most of the time in french animation, sadly). But how can your movie be good, even with all these pluses, when it has bland acting and really lame staging ? Because this is exactly the case with "U". The voices sound like scratching your fingernails on a chalkboard, the actors have no distinct voices and don't convey any kind of emotion (the unicorn, the old lady rat and the retarded red cat will just make your ears bleed). And as for the staging ... maybe it's just me, but it looks like the writers-directors could not decide what look the movie had to have. By "look" I don't necessarily mean just the backgrounds, or the drawings, or the art in general. What I mean by "look" is "which way would the characters and the story go ?". Will the movie, for example, focus on humor? Teen romance? Music? Growing up from childhood to adulthood? The creators couldn't seemingly make up their minds, so they crammed all of these in one 90 minute movie, which is really lame, because it looks like a complete mishmash. This kind of direction (or lack of direction, since the scenes just drag along) also has a flavour of French smugness to it. 90 % of french animation directors (be it movies or series) seem to believe that because they're french, they want (or have) to compete with Disney (but it can also be Miyazaki, or Bakshi sometimes, or anime in general). This mantra has been around for at least twenty years, and look what came out of it : in movies, "Tarzoon la honte de la jungle", "La prophétie des grenouilles", "Les triplettes de Belleville", "Babar", "Arthur et les Minimoys", "L'apprenti père Noël", etc. and in series (which look 100x worse than the movies), "Kangoo", "SOS Croco", "Pif et Hercule", Wakfu", "Moi Renart", "Princess Shéhérazade" etc. Well, that explains it, I think. If you want to see really good french animation, you can watch Paul Grimault, Jean-François Laguionie, the early Asterix and Lucky Luke movies and the series "The adventures of Tintin" and "Gaston Lagaffe". Forget all the other productions, including this movie "U". They're not worth watching, especially the series.
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