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(aka "Kirikou et la sorcière" )


directed by Michel Ocelot
France/Belgium/Luxembourg 1998


''Mother, bring me into the world,'' demands Kirikou, the infant protagonist of the animated fable ''Kirikou and the Sorceress.'' Like its tiny hero, ''Kirikou'' proceeds at its own pace, and that pace is a more willful and slower piece of storytelling than children are accustomed to getting from American animated films, in which emotional crises are worked out like story problems (if Buzz and Woody need to get to point A . . .). The director Michel Ocelot's belief in his film is as winning as his title character's confidence, even though ''Kirikou'' is probably a story more suitable for younger children than for older ones.

Excerpt of review from Elvis Mitchell located HERE


Theatrical Release: December 9th, 1998 (France)

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DVD Review: BFI - Region 2 - PAL

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Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 1:13:30

Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.98 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.


Audio French, English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: BFI

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic -

Edition Details:
• Sleeve notes
• Director's biography
• Alternative language option - contains both the English language version and the original French version with English subtitles

DVD Release Date: December 1st, 2003
Keep Case

Chapters 16



Michel Ocelot is generally considered to be the master of French animation, and after having now seen two of his features, it is easy to understand why. As the coda to the film tells us, "Kirikou and the Sorceress" blends several West African myths into the tale of Kirikou, a plucky newborn who wills himself into the world, already able to walk and speak. Shortly after his birth he learns that his father and nearly all of the other men in his village have been killed by the evil sorceress, who uses her magic to torture the villagers by cutting off their water supply and stealing their gold. It isn't long before Kirikou finds himself saving the village and combating the witch through a series of picaresque adventures. It's also worth noting here that although the film has gotten a lot of negative attention for the nudity found in it, the film is never exploitative. Instead, the nudity is naturalistic and shows its characters in a state entirely natural to its setting. The film is perfect for younger children and shows them how you can overcome bullies, not with violence, but through understanding and using your wits. It would really be a shame if a parent did not allow his or her child to view this because of animated breasts.

The film itself looks good enough on this release. The image quality is about par for the course for animation from the mid-part of the last decade. The image is relatively clear and there are no noticeable instances of manipulation or damage with colors looking rich as well. Also, despite the BFI's claims, this is not a full frame presentation, but rather 1.66:1.

The Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack sounds quite nice here. It features no discernible unwanted background noise (hisses, pops, cracks, etc.), and the dialogue is always crisp and clear. As the first menu pic shows, when the disc starts up, it gives you the option of choosing between the French and English editions (note that if you choose French, then at that point the menus are also in French). No matter which you pick, you can choose optional English subtitles that are easily read and do not obstruct the image.

Unfortunately, there isn't much in the way of extras included in this release. All that we get are sleeve notes and a director's biography. Both are worth the read, but I doubt that I'd ever want to revisit them.

I strongly encourage this disc for everyone. Although it may be primarily geared to younger viewers, I found it to be a real treat as well. Highly recommended.

 - Brian Montgomery


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