Andrew O’Hehir at Salon brings to our attention the gem tones of Azur et Asmar, like illuminated Byzantine manuscripts come to life.
Even listing this impossibly gorgeous medieval fairytale adventure from master French animator Michel Ocelot (“Kirikou and the Sorceress”) is unfair, because hardly anyone can see it. The film doesn’t have anything resembling real United States distribution, but the New York International Children’s Film Festival is presenting a week-long run at the IFC Center in Manhattan. As usual with Ocelot’s films, I resisted the predictable lessons on ethnic and cultural tolerance for a while, but only until the sheer storybook rapture swept me away.
I dunno, Andrew. I’m thinking America could use some “predictable lessons on ethnic and cultural tolerance” right about now. Two more youtube samples after the cut. I’m entranced already. (and I want to enlist the help of that butterfly to assist me with this year’s Halloween costume.)