Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB. France/Belgium/Ireland, 2009. Les Armateurs, Vivi Film, Cartoon Saloon, France 2 Cinéma, Euroimages Fund of the Council of Europe, EU Media Plus Program, , Canal+, CinéCinéma, Conseil Général de la Charente, Conseil Régional de Poitou Charentes, Piste Rouge, Bórd Scannán na hÉireann, Broadcasting Commission of Ireland, Vlaams Audiovisueel Fonds, Centre du Cinéma et de l’Audiovisuel de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, Télédistributeurs Wallons, Promimage, Wallimage, Tax Shelter ING Invest de Tax Shelter Productions, Belgacom TV, Kinepolis Multi. Original Story by Tomm Moore, Screenplay by Fabrice Ziolkowski. Produced by Didier Brunner, Paul Young. Music by Bruno Coulais. Production Design by Ross Stewart. Film Editing by Fabienne Alvarez-Giro. Academy Awards 2009.
Oddball, unpleasant animated film that dips into Celtic mythology to tell the tale of a little boy living in a medieval village. A renowned holy man arrives in his hamlet and brings with him a powerful book of ancient wisdom and magic that our pint-sized hero must help to complete. In order to do so, he travels into the nearby forest where he meets a fairy who bewitches him with her charms and ends up helping him on his quest. It’s a sweet story, but the archly stylized animation is an eyesore, the voice work is surprisingly dull (Brendan Gleeson sounds like he just woke up) and the situations are all aggravatingly desperate to be cute. It’s hardly possible to sit all the way through a film whose tweeness makes you start to feel itchy so fast.