Michel Ocelot's splendid animated feature from 1998 tells a sensual, guilt-free fairy tale – a West African fable about the power of original innocence.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2006
This charming feature, a family favourite throughout Europe, is presented in an English-dubbed version. Prudish parents beware: birth holds no mysteries here, and naked little Kirikou is unmistakably a boy.
“Michel Ocelot’s splendid animated feature from 1998 tells a sensual, guilt-free fairy tale – a West African fable about the power of original innocence. A tiny baby boy named Kirikou pushes himself out of his mother at birth and rarely stops moving until he defeats the sorceress Karaba, who has laid waste to his village. Most of Kirikou’s powers are simple, not super: the bravery of someone who doesn’t know his limits, the forceful logic of untainted intelligence, a knack for healing rather than revenge. Everything about the movie proves to be gloriously disarming. Ocelot lays out striking Rousseau-like forms and colors with Art Deco jazziness and lustre... (There are also some lovable squirrels.) It’s the rare piece of filmed folk art that feels more authentic because of the moviemaker’s sophistication.” — Michael Sragow