Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet (2015)
Critic Consensus: Kahlil Gibran's the Prophet is a thrillingly lovely adaptation of the classic text, albeit one that doesn't quite capture the magic of its source material.
Tickets & Showtimes
|Rating:||PG (for thematic elements including some vioelnce and sensual images)|
|Directed By:||Tomm Moore, Bill Plympton, Gaëtan Brizzi, Paul Brizzi, Nina Paley, Roger Allers, Mohammed Saeed Harib, Joan C. Gratz, Joann Sfar, Michal Socha|
|Written By:||Roger Allers|
|In Theaters:||Aug 7, 2015 Limited|
|On DVD:||Feb 2, 2016|
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Critic Reviews for Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet
Unfortunately the drawn-out, drably rendered framing device that strings together these flights of fancy does them no service, and the devout detours merely detract from the minimal appeal of the story.
With top-shelf talent like Bill Plympton, Tomm Moore and Nina Paley on board, it's no surprise that the segments are as attractive as they are different.
An interesting experiment that compiles different styles of animation in a single film. [Full review in Spanish]
Audience Reviews for Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet
The obvious audience for this are devotees of Kahlil Gibran. He is the third best-selling poet of all time, behind Shakespeare and Lao Tzu, so he obviously has his admirers. If an array of animated shorts depicting his words sounds captivating, then I'd surely recommend this to you. The series of 8 videos presented here are all of noble quality - pretty images with spoken word narration. A couple have music to accompany them. My favorite was Nina Paley's "On Children". The shadow puppets of Indonesia inspire a mesmerizing visual tableau accompanied by a song by Damien Rice. It presents a pregnant female archer who shoots an arrow into the belly of another pregnant woman, thus giving birth to another human being. It's utterly hypnotic. The entire movie was produced by actress Salma Hayek, who also gives voice to one of the characters, and supervised by director Roger Allers (The Lion King). The talent behind the camera is considerable and the intentions are clearly heartfelt. It's a pleasant diversion, but far from necessary viewing. For die-hard fans of Kahlil Gibran's poetry, however, it should prove enchanting.
Whether being based on some piece of classic source material merits enough fidelity to even emulate or transcend the original work. I found this animated feature based on Kahlil Gibran's poetry to be a beautifully animated and touching story. The main plot is concentrated on various character drama at play within it's unique setting, mainly coming to terms with their lives and lessons. The main plot however is distracted by a number of poetic expositions, which were given to various other animation directors utilizing various animation forms that almost completely outshine the main story. Nonetheless the visual structure and subject matter at play is enough to recommend this film.
You go with it, or you don't. If you find the actual poems themselves twee and full of blather, you won't care a jot about this sumptuously animated work that reconfigures Gibran's works into little epistles as a poet-radical in an unnamed Mesopotamian country (Lebanon) is possibly walked to freedom, or his doom. The framing story is handsomely done but conventional (a misunderstood rebellious child, a cute animal sidekick, Parents Just Don't Understand, etc.); the treat here is watching various animators in different styles illuminate Gibran's poems--"On Work" "On Marriage" "On Children" "On Death" etc. These snippets are gorgeous and soul-nourishing, not just because of the take-it-or-leave it poetry (I took it), but because of one's appreciation for the care, labor, and imagination that went into each short. ("Children" and "Work" are especially notable.) Kids won't get it, but audiences who thought "Inside Out" was a little too much inside-the-box will likely be richly rewarded.
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