"If I had not seen this film, I would have never imagined entering the world of animation"
Isao Takahata, Studio Ghibli
considered one of the best animated features of all time, and certainly a
masterpiece of French animation, the Prix Louis Delluc-winning The King and the Mockingbird (Le Roi et l’Oiseau) has been cited by
Studio Ghibli’s Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata as a profound influence on
their work (an influence most notable in Miyazaki’s The Castle of Cagliostro, as in both films a castle stretches up to
collaboration between director Paul Grimault and French poet and screenwriter
Jacques Prévert (Les Enfants du Paradis, Le crime de
Monsieur Lange), it’s adapted from a fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson
about a tyrannical King ruling over the kingdom of Takicardia. Viewed with fear
by his subjects, it’s only the spirited, brightly feathered Mr Bird who, from
his nest near the King’s secret chambers in his gigantic palace, dares to make
fun of him.
King is in love with a beautiful shepherdess in a painting on his wall, but she
is in love with a chimneysweep from another artwork. At night the paintings
come to life, and together they attempt to flee. Hiding at the top of the
palace, they help Mr Bird who’s become caught up in one of the King’s cruel
traps, before leading the police on a wild chase...
a story told with wit, imagination and a piquant charm, with quite beautifully
realised animation, and rich with cultural references (to Parisian and Venetian
architecture, surrealist artists such as di Chirico and Magritte, Metropolis, King Kong and Tintin amongst countless others). The result is a perfect
union of narrative and imagery which fully explains its inspiration for Studio
biggest re-release of 2013 in France, it made over 900,000 euros at the box
office. Suitable for children of all ages and adults who enjoy their animation
packed full of ideas and wonder.
release will premiere at Flatpack Film Festival on 30 March and is available to
book now on DCP or DVD in the English dub version or the French subtitled version.