rev-ewe 37: Les Contes de la Nuit

Les Contes de la Nuit (English: Tales of the Night)
Michel Ocelot

If I had to think of three words to describe this movie (which was really just a series of episodes, similar to A Town Called Panic), they would be ... Beautiful, clever, racist.  But, more than anything, I always love me a good animated film.  If animation style captures me, it's pretty much a wrap.

The premise of the episodes are three people -- an elderly man, a young boy and a young girl who all love to create plays, but are in the wrong age range for the industry.. so they meet in an empty theatre to make their own plays up.  Okay, I can get behind that.  If that really did happen, it'd probably be pretty interesting.  Each episode is a new play that they think up.

1. Beautiful -- the animation style is interesting because it's mostly inspired by Thai shadow puppets, where the main characters are more or less just shadows in front of absolutely gorgeous backdrops.  Wonderful colors, patterns, styles, everything.  Every episode has a distinct flavor and color palette to it which makes it completely unique from the last.  I was blown away by just how stunning the animation was!  The expressions, movements, character designs (for limited shapes such as.. just outlines)... Truly top notch, I appreciate the approach.

2.  Clever -- each story was fun, had a great plot twist at the end, and held true to old style tall tales, where everything was exaggerated, ridiculous and farfetched.  Much like Twilight Zone, you think you know how it's going to end, and suddenly there's something completely different in there.  They follow crazy plots from princesses chasing werewolves, magic drums that no one can resist dancing to, to winning the heart of the daughter of the King of the Dead.  Each one was worth watching.

Aaaaand.. 3.  Racist -- The stereotypes the French flippantly throw around are.. tough to stomach at first, but the stories themselves somehow make up for it.  I don't know why they try to venture into culturally Black scenarios and then use ridiculous stereotypes to portray them, but I guess if anything it's an interesting insight into the French's complete disregard for the term 'politically correct'.  Whatever.  

I would recommend watching it for the stories and the beautiful animation. Also, I would try to avoid the British dub version because the voice actors are kindof annoying.. but it's on Netflix that way so... enjoy it!

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