Tales of the Night (2012)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Tales of the Night is renowned animation auteur Michel Ocelot's first foray into 3D animation. A hit at the Berlin Film Festival, the film extends the earlier shadow puppet style of Ocelot's Princes and Princesses, with black silhouetted characters set off against exquisitely detailed Day-Glo backgrounds bursting with color and kaleidoscopic patterns - the subtle use of 3D creating a diorama-like effect. The film weaves together six exotic fables each unfolding in a unique locale, from Tibet, to medieval Europe, an Aztec kingdom, the African plains, and even the Land of the Dead. In Ocelot's storytelling, history blends with fairytale as viewers are whisked off to enchanted lands full of dragons, werewolves, captive princesses, sorcerers, and enormous talking bees - and each fable ends with its own ironic twist. -- (C) GKIDS
Animation , Science Fiction & Fantasy
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Critic Reviews for Tales of the Night

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (9)

The movie never comes close to replicating the spell that Reiniger was able to cast using much more primitive techniques, which underlines a chronic problem of computer animation: its very precision squeezes all the magic from the magic lantern.

Full Review… | November 20, 2012
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

It is so gentle and whimsical that one wonders if American children, accustomed to the whiz-bang action of most animation, will accept it.

Full Review… | November 20, 2012
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Six mostly engaging fairy tales are digitally rendered with silhouetted characters performing in front of vivid, colorful backgrounds.

Full Review… | November 15, 2012
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Has ... eye-bending backgrounds but a creatively monochromatic foreground that comes to feel like a limitation.

Full Review… | November 13, 2012
Boston Globe
Top Critic

More likely to play well with older children, due to its split-up story line, Ocelot's creation is like nothing else they are likely to see animating the multiplex.

Full Review… | September 27, 2012
New York Post
Top Critic

The narratives - involving princesses, sorcerers, dragons, talking animals - are familiar. But Mr. Ocelot invigorates them with lyricism ...

Full Review… | September 25, 2012
New York Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Tales of the Night


An interesting and beautifully animated compilation of stories tied together by the animators creating new ideas may be a bit to slow for children and the animation might not appeal to some adults. Tales of the Night is artsy and will appeal to fans of artsy fartsy films but it might do just enough to grab the attention of other viewers as well.

Jonathan Porras
Jonathan Porras

It's a shame Michael Ocelot is a terrible writer because the film is absolutely beautiful. Tales of the Night (2011) is a compilation film of six stories that are being told by three storytellers in a small theater. The stories are shown through silhouette style animation which is ingenious because detail is put into background images, rather than images in the foreground. What happens is the solidness of the film's characters (who are in complete shadows) accentuate the rich, vibrant colors of the film's landscape. The sad thing is all of the stories are exactly the same.

Daniel Tafoya
Daniel Tafoya

One line summary: Fairy tales done very well using an old style and modern techniques. --------------------------------------------- The film breaks into six separate adventures. Night of the Werewolf. Being a prince and a werewolf in the 15th century. Happy ending on this one; murderous deceit receives justice instead of monetary reward. Jon Jon and Beauty Not Knowing. On a Caribbean island, Jon Jon explores a deep cave which is the country of the dead. The only other living being is the princess whose name is Beauty Not Knowing. Jon Jon befriends the 3 monsters he was warned to kill. The father of the princess sets him three tasks. The 3 monsters help him through the final tests. Jon Jon goes back to his girl friend in the land of the living. The City of Gold. The Boy saves The Girl from being a human sacrifice, but at a cost. Tom-Tom Boy. Set in a village in the African bush. Everyone in the village tells Tom-Tom Boy to learn something useful, and to get lost in the meantime. He saves an old man's life out in the wild. This man is the custodian of the magic tom-tom, 'whose rhythms no one can resist.' He plays for the custodian, who teaches him to do more with it. The Boy Who Never Lied. Set in Tibet. Two king each wager half their kingdoms on whether or not the Boy can be made to lie. The princess volunteers to help her father get the Boy to lie. The Boy's horse speaks; the princess' mare can sing. The lying princess acts sick, and claims that she must eat the heart of his talking horse. The horse, Melonge, gives up his life so that his heart can be claimed. The Boy serves up the heart, but the princess leaves with the heart untouched. Ah, sadness. But the Boy and his king are rewarded, and the princess admits the vileness of what she has done. The Young Doe and the Architect's Son. Zachariac, the sorcerer, has a young ward, Maud, who falls in love with the architect's son, Thibault. Thibault climbs Zachariac's dread tower to rescue Maud. He encourages her to agree to marry Zachariac, with the understanding that Thibault will interrupt the process before it is complete. Thibault and Maud escape via a secret trapdoor in the cathedral. Zachariac renounces Maud, and changes her into a doe who only runs from Thibault. Thibault and his father's friend find the palace of a fairy ally of the architect. Can the complete the resolution? -------Scores------- Art/Animation: 10/10 Though only in one style, wonderful throughout. Sound: 10/10 No problems. Liked the incidental music. Acting: 10/10 Beautifully voiced. Screenplay: 10/10 Difficult and wonderful.

Ed Collins
Ed Collins

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