Kirikou and the Sorceress

Kirikou and the Sorceress (French: Kirikou et la Sorcière) is a 1998 traditional animation feature film written and directed by Michel Ocelot. Drawn from elements of West African folk tales,[4] it depicts how a newborn boy, Kirikou, saves his village from the evil witch Karaba. The film was originally released on 9 December 1998.[5] It is a co-production between companies in France (Exposure, France 3 Cinema, Les Armateurs, Monipoly, Odec Kid Cartoons), Belgium (Radio-Télévision belge) and Luxembourg (Studio O, Trans Europe Film) and animated at Rija Films' studio in Latvia and Studio Exist in Hungary.[1][5]

Kirikou and the Sorceress
Kirikou et la sorcière.jpg
Original French film poster
Directed byMichel Ocelot
Produced byDidier Brunner
Written byMichel Ocelot
StarringDoudou Gueye Thiaw
Maimouna N'Diaye
Awa Sène Sarr[1]
Music byYoussou N'Dour
Edited byDominique Lefevre[1]
Production
company
Distributed byGébéka Films
Release date
  • 9 December 1998 (1998-12-09)
Running time
71 minutes[2]
CountryFrance
Belgium
Luxembourg[2]
LanguageFrench
Budget3,800,000 [3]

It was so successful that it was followed by Kirikou et les bêtes sauvages, released in 2005, and adapted into a stage musical, Kirikou et Karaba, first performed in 2007.[6] Another followup, Kirikou et les hommes et les femmes, was released in late 2012.[7]

PlotEdit

In a little West African village, a boy named Kirikou is born in an unusual way. Since he can speak and walk immediately after being born, it's also pretty obvious that he's not a normal baby. After Kirikou's mother tells him that an evil sorceress has dried up their spring and devoured all the males of the village except for one, he decides to accompany the last warrior, his uncle, to visit her. Kirikou manages to trick the sorceress and save his uncle by waiting inside his uncle's hat and pretending that it's magic. Additionally, he saves the village's children from being kidnapped both by the sorceress' boat and tree, and bursts the monster who was drinking all the village's water. He then travels to ask his wise old grandfather about the sorceress, who tells him that she is evil because she suffers from a poisoned thorn in her back. After learning this, Kirikou manages to trick the sorceress and remove the thorn, as well as taking all of her stolen gold and returning it to the rightful owners. The sorceress is cured as a result, and she kisses Kirikou; who then becomes an adult. When they arrive back at the village, no one believes that the sorceress is cured until a procession of drummers arrive. Afterwards, the sorceress's watchmen (as well as her other obedient objects) are turned back into the missing men; revealing that she didn't eat them after all.

CastEdit

French voice castEdit

English voice castEdit

Swahili voice castEdit

Japanese voice castEdit

ProductionEdit

The film is a co-production of Les Armateurs, Trans Europe Film, Studio O, France 3 cinéma, RTBF and Exposure in France, Odec Kid Cartoons in Belgium and Monipoly in Luxembourg.[1] It was animated at Rija Films' animation studio in Latvia and Studio Exist in Hungary, with backgrounds painted at Les Armateurs and Paul Thiltges' animation studio, Tiramisu, in Luxembourg, digital ink and paint and compositing by Les Armateurs and Odec Kid Cartoons in Belgium and voices and music recorded in Senegal.[8]

The original French voice acting was performed by a cast of West African actors and schoolchildren and recorded in Dakar. The English dubbing, also directed by Ocelot, was made in South Africa.[3] A dub of the film in the Swahili language was produced in Tanzania in 2009 through the help of the Danish Film Institute (DFI) and John Riber of Media for Development in Dar es Salaam.[9]

ControversyEdit

The film contains several instances of graphic female (and, to a lesser extent, male) nudity to reflect the area's less sexualized view of the human body. This was controversial enough in the U.S. and the U.K. to prevent its release.[10][11][12] Eventually, the British Film Institute gave the film a few screenings in the U.K., and in the U.S. specialist distributor Artmattan released it to a small but appreciative African-American audience, but it was reviled by native African audiences.[10][12]

ReleaseEdit

The film has been licensed by distributors in numerous countries, including:

AccoladesEdit

Year Award Show Award Category Result
1999 Annecy International Animation Film Festival Grand Prix Best Animation Film Won
1999 Castellinaria International Festival of Young Cinema Environment and Health Award Won
1999 Castellinaria International Festival of Young Cinema Silver Castle Won
1999 Chicago International Children's Film Festival Adult's Jury Award Feature Film and Video – Animation Won
1999 Chicago International Children's Film Festival Children's Jury Award Feature Film and Video – Animation Won
1999 Cinekid Festival Cinekid Film Award Won
1999 Kecskemét Animation Film Festival Kecskemét City Prize KAFF Award Won[13]
1999 Oulu International Children's Film Festival C.I.F.E.J. Award Won
1999 Oulu International Children's Film Festival Starboy Award Nominated
2000 18th Ale Kino! International Young Audience Film Festival Silver Poznan Goats Best Animation Film Won
2000 18th Ale Kino! International Young Audience Film Festival Poznan Goats Best Original Script in Foreign Movie Won
2000 18th Ale Kino! International Young Audience Film Festival Marcinek - Children's Jury Special Mention Animation for Older Children Won
2000 Cartagena Film Festival Prize of the Children's Cinema Competition Jury Best Feature Film for Children Won
2000 Montréal International Children's Film Festival Special Jury Prize Feature Film Won
2002 British Animation Awards British Animation Award Best European Feature Film Won (tied with Chicken Run)
2009 Lola Kenya Children's Screen Audience's Choice Award Won

NotesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d Ocelot, Michel (5 December 2003). "Des noms". Tout sur Kirikou (in French). Paris: Seuil. pp. 172–173. ISBN 2-02-062827-9.
  2. ^ a b "Kirikou et la sorcière". Les Armateurs. Archived from the original on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 9 December 2011.
  3. ^ a b Ocelot, Michel (5 December 2003). Tout sur Kirikou (in French). Paris: Seuil. pp. 40, 13. ISBN 2-02-062827-9.
  4. ^ Lugt, Peter van der (25 August 2008). "This is animation". GhibliWorld.com. Archived from the original on 29 August 2008. Retrieved 25 August 2008.
  5. ^ a b "Kirikou Et La Sorciere (Kirikou And The Sorceress)". www.bcdb.com, 13 October 2012
  6. ^ Hetrick, Adam (21 June 2007). "Animated film Kirikou and the Sorceress to become stage musical". Playbill.com. Archived from the original on 4 December 2008. Retrieved 8 October 2008.
  7. ^ "En cours". Les Armateurs. Archived from the original on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 9 December 2011.
  8. ^ Closing credits of the film.
  9. ^ Alexander Macbeth (21 September 2009). "The cast of the English version of the film.Film: Zanzibar's Festival shows the way forward". The Africa Report.
  10. ^ a b James, Alison; James, Alison (25 December 2005). "Some nix 'Kirikou' pix due to nudity". Variety. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  11. ^ "Animated 'Kirikou and the Sorceress' Transitions to Stage Musical". Animation World Network. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  12. ^ a b "The Film Canon: Kirikou and the Sorceress (1998)". The Young Folks. 8 February 2015. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  13. ^ 5. Kecskeméti Animációs Filmfesztivál 2. Nemzetközi Animációs Játékfilm Fesztivál. Kecskeméti Animáció Film Fesztivál. 1999.

External linksEdit