Azur et Asmar (Azur and Asmar: The Princes' Quest) (2006)
Two lifelong friends set off on a remarkable adventure in this animated feature. Azur (Rayan Mahjoub) is an orphaned boy living in 18th century France, where he's being raised by Jenane (Hiam Abbass), a nurse of Arab heritage who cares for the boy alongside her own son, Asmar (Abdelsselem Ben Amar). Jenane regales the boys with tales of the mysterious Fairy Djinn, a magical creature with great powers but equally great protectors at her disposal. Azur is sent away to school, but when he returns home as a grown man (now voiced by Cyril Mourali), he finds Jenane and Asmar have gone. Convinced the Fairy Djinn is responsible, Azur hops a ride aboard a sailing ship and sets out to find the Djinn as well as his friends. However, in time Azur meets up with Asmar (now voiced by Karim M'Ribah) only to discover he and his mother are also searching for the powerful Djinn for their own purposes. Now that his best friend has become a competitor in the race to find the Djinn, Azur recruits a team of helpers to aid him as he tries to beat Asmar in their game. Azur and Asmar received its world premiere at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival. … More
- PG (for thematic material, some mild action and peril)
- Action & Adventure , Animation , Kids & Family , Art House & International
- Directed By:
- Michel Ocelot
- Written By:
- George Roubicek , Michael Ocelot
- In Theaters:
- Oct 25, 2006 Wide
- On DVD:
- May 1, 2008
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Critic Reviews for Azur et Asmar (Azur and Asmar: The Princes' Quest)
This is a unique effort that art film crowds and families will both be able to appreciate.
Azur has the DNA of a captivating bedtime story, not a sugar-high Saturday cartoon.
The tale of two brothers from childhood to manhood, it is rife with timeless storybook themes and offers an inspiring vision of harmony between different cultures, different people.
Gorgeous and mesmerizing, Azur & Asmar eschews computer-generated imagery to render a flat, storybook-style animation that never stops delighting with its ornamental detail, range of color and exotic story.
Is it too early to announce the most beautiful film of 2009? Two days into the new year, it's hard to imagine a more transporting cinematic experience coming our way than Azur & Asmar, an animated feature from the French writer-director Michel Ocel
Combining cutouts with 3-D digital animation, Ocelot turns every frame of his film into a beautiful, dynamic page out of a picture book.
Magical tale about a French and Arab boy's adventures, but the sparkling artwork is dulled by the lackluster plot.
Like the best fairy tales, Ocelot's film takes a recognizable world and injects a sense of magic and wonder into it in service of creating a fable far bigger than the story in which it is contained.
The result is not entirely seamless... but the filmmaker still uses plenty of long shots and landscapes that feature his traditional look and feel and movement.
Michel Ocelot's jewel-like fable unfolds in a once-upon-a-time version of medieval North Africa alive with vibrant colors and dazzling patterns.
The film is full of out-there artistic decisions that don't quite pay off, it makes you feel like you're taking medicine without a spoonful of sugar.
It's a simple tale with magical imagery and a worthy message, but it's also alive with offbeat humor and witty observations of childhood behavior and adult suspicion.
a multicultural masterwork that is sure to delight viewers of all ages
Energy-wise, it would barely register a pulse in the world of Disney...but its straightforward storytelling and low-key humor are a relief from the reference-stuffed fever pitch that Hollywood animation delivers.
The backdrops and settings are ornate and stunningly, vividly colored, while the people are depicted with a two-dimensionality like that of a historical tapestry.
It has real charm: an old-fashioned looking movie, but with a heartfelt belief that, pace Kipling, east and west can and should meet.
Watchable, nicely animated fairytale with a commendable message about racial and religious tolerance but the script is perfunctory at best and the quest itself is disappointing.
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