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THE KING AND MISTER BIRD

France, 1980 (MIFF 1981, Children's Session (2))

Director: Paul Grimault

In the kingdom of Takicardie. a cross¬eyed, pinched-face tyrant. King Charles V + 111 = V111 + V111 = XV1, loves a charming shepherdess. But she loves and is loved by a little chimneysweep. Aided by a wily, impertinent mockingbird, who wears a top-hat and nests above the king's private apartments with his children. the lovers escape to the sunless lower city, but are soon captured. The bird instigates a revolt in the lion's den where he and the sweep have been cast, saves the shepherdess, and destroys the royal palace with the aid of the king's secret weapon, a huge robot.

Conceived more than 30 years ago and only now realised in a version Paul Grimault would claim as his own, this wonderful animated feature designed for children of all ages has all the excitement that the form can generate — inventive scripting, some lovely songs and. above all. superb animation using the extraordinary color, light and design which are available only to the animator.

"Few cartoons have enjoyed such literate and witty scripting. The Prevertian esprit is warmly aglow with its simple poetry and verbal playfulness and the film echoes with remembrances of the old Prevert/ Carne films. Graphically, Grimault's style is classic, like Disney's, but much different in tone and untainted by treacly sentiment"

Variety

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