(aka "Princes and Princesses" or "Principes y princesas" or "Principi e principesse")

 

directed by Michel Ocelot
France 2000

 

Ocelot's...anthology Princes And Princesses, while less visually ambitious [than Kirikou and the Wild Beast], is a great deal more fun. Alone in an office, three animators—a grizzled old mentor and two mildly egotistical assistants—devise fairy tales, then costume themselves (via a creepily simple machine) and play out their stories onstage.... [T]he stories are terrifically creative, tight little fillips, ranging from a 19th-century Japanese fable to a far-future love story to a silly fantasy about a prince and princess who change shapes whenever they kiss. The animation reproduces Lotte Reiniger's pioneering silhouette style, but the material is pure Ocelot: funny, sharp, and endearingly grounded, no matter how fanciful the concepts get.

Excerpt of review from Tasha Robinson located HERE

Theatrical Release: January 26th, 2000 - France

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DVD Review: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (French edition) - Region 2 - PAL

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Distribution

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 1:04:23
Video

1:66:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.60 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio French (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Subtitles French, English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1:66:1

Edition Details:
• Deleted Scenes
• Two Interactive Quizes
• The Histories of the Tales
• Trailer
• An Interview with Ocelot
• An Ocelot Filmography
• Internet Links
• Production Credits

DVD Release Date: August 22nd, 2001
Keep Case

Chapters 8

 

Comments

Before I jump into the review, I want to get two things out of the way. First, there is a region 1 edition of the film that was released about a year ago from Kino International HERE. I don't own it, but I also have not read any good reviews about this bare-bones edition. I'll try to get my hands on a copy to make a comparison sometime in the future. Second, while this disk has a decent amount of extras, none of them have any subtitles. Hence, for those of us who don't speak French (including myself), the extras are of negligible value and I've tried translating the extras as best I can using bablefish and what I can discern from the content. I apologize for anything that I got wrong and will fix any errors as soon as possible.

Film: Going into the film I was unsure of what to expect as I have never sees another film by Ocelot (although "Kirikou and the Sorceress" has been on my radar for some time now), and was initially turned off by some of the early cornball humor. However, it didn't take me long to be fully won over by the magnificent work. Ocelot's film inevitably draws comparison to one of the earliest works of animation, Lotte Reiniger's "The Adventures of Prince Achmed". Both were animated using hundreds of thousands of individual camera shots and paper cutouts. Of course technical ingenuity can only go so far in creating worthwhile cinema, but thankfully "Princes et princesses" tells us six equally fascinating and enthralling fables. All are well worth watching and make this an essential work of recent animation.
 

 


Video: While I've seen some complaints concerning the visuals of the region 1 release, I can thankfully say that this disc never suffers from any of these alleged problems. For the film itself, Ocelot chose a very limited color scheme (maybe a dozen to two dozen at most). They're all vibrant on this disc and I can only assume that the transfer gives us something close as DVD will allow to the theatrical presentation. With no signs of manipulation, I can say that aside from the rare artifact, the visuals here are quite good. My only real complaint is that the DVD does not share the films original aspect ratio (16:9 vs. 1.66:1). Since the presentation never looks stretched or distorted, I wonder if there is any loss of information around the edges.

Audio: The audio seems to be another area of complaint for the region 1 disc. Here, the Dolby Digital 2.0 provides us with a competent rendering of the soundtrack. The dialogue is always clear, and there is no background noise (cracks, hisses, etc.) that I picked up on. While I can't comment on the fidelity of the English subtitles, as evidenced in the first capture, they are clear and easily distinguished from the main image itself.

Overall: I consider this film to be essential viewing for anyone interested in animation or fairy tales (though given the violence in some scenes, you may want to keep younger viewers away. By the time that they're able to read the subtitles, they should be able to handle the images). If the region one disc suffers from the problems that its alleged too, then I would say that this is definitely the edition to pickup as well, and if you speak French, then you can even make sense of the extra content on the disc too!

 - Brian Montgomery

 



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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

Distribution

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Region 2 - PAL

 

 





 

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