Sunday, February 2, 2014
Rémi Bezançon, Jean-Christophe Lie (France/Belgium, 2012)
Recommended for ages 7 & up
“A pure wonder!”—FigaroScope
The supervising animator behind The Triplets of Belleville teams with writer/director Rémi Bezancon for this family-friendly animated tale that moves from Africa to Europe, following a 10-year-old boy and his best friend, the first giraffe to ever set foot in France. The film is based on the incredible true story from the 1820s of an African giraffe brought 2000 miles from the Nile to Europe as a gift for a French king; it sailed in a ship with its long neck poking out of a hole cut out of the deck, and then walked 550 miles from Marseilles to Paris. Here, the adventure of a lifetime awaits the young Sudanese boy Maki and his giraffe buddy, as they encounter dangers in the form of Bedouin princes, slave traders, and especially French royalty as they travel. A fabulously old-school alternative to your typically overloud and overdone Hollywood animations, Zarafa is both a gorgeously drawn delight, and a fascinating taste of history made accessible for children.
• Written by Alexander Abela, Bezançon. With Max Renaudin Pratt, Simon Abkarian, Ronit Elkabetz, Vernon Dobtcheff, Mohamed Fellag. (78 mins, In French with English subtitles, Color, DCP, From GKIDS)