France Region B blu-ray

1080p Widescreen 1.85:1

English: DTS 2.0

French: DTS-HD HR 5.1, DTS 2.0

Subtitles: French (removable)







KIRIKOU AND THE SORCERESS is a great animated film in the spirit of Hayao Miyazaki. French Director Michel Ocelot chose the legend of the little Kirikou, which he heard in his childhood, when he lived in Africa. In a little village, a pregnant woman hears her unborn son asking: “Mother, give me to birth!” After the initial surprise, she says calmly that if he can talk, he can be born by himself. The tiny boy, basically a super fast baby, crawls out of her, stands and says: “I am Kirikou.” He’s told then that almost all men there, including his father, were devoured by Karaba, an evil sorceress who oppresses the rest of the tribe. After saving the other children and his own uncle from her and making the local fountain run again, Kirikou runs off to see the old Wiseman in the mountain, the only person who knows how to defeat the witch.

In his movie, Michel Ocelot tried to reproduce the African art style. The result is gorgeous and plenty of color. The animation is a bit simple, but it’s still beautiful to look at. It’s mainly a 2-D animated movie with some use of CGI during Kirikou’s super-speed running. The women’s nudity and kids’ nudity might shock conservatives, yet they’re shown naturally, so don’t worry, it’s not a big deal. Since the movie takes place in an African village, conservatives always accept that it’s okay to see nude Africans a la National Geographic, but not nudity in other countries, which is hypocritical. The main reason this movie didn’t get released in the USA is the nudity. And we all know what a ridiculous prude country the USA is when it comes to nudity, but violence is okay.

As in Hayao Miyazaki movies, the protagonist doesn’t have to kill the villain to reach his goal. The movie’s message is that cruelty produces more cruelty, and that we should learn to forgive – since we aren’t so great ourselves.

The African-French music is excellent as well, with an unforgettable theme song that you will be humming to yourself after the end of the movie.

This Kirikuo character has franchise all written over it in a good way of course – a la Tintin or Asterix. The director has already filmed another Kirikou adventure, KIRIKOU ET LES BĘTES SAUVAGES, which is on France Blu-ray as well but no English subtitles. There is an English-subtitled NTSC Region 1 DVD of this one though.

I have had all the DVD versions of Kirikou: the letterboxed NTSC Region 1 DVD and the French anamorphic PAL DVD. The blu-ray is a big improvement over the anamorphic DVD. The blu-ray is brighter, crisper, and shows more detail. This movie needs to be seen on blu-ray! The English DTS 2.0 audio is excellent as well. There are some extras but don’t have English subtitles.

Excellent touching film. It’s a must buy, and totally entertaining for kids and adults!

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