Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • TBC
  • Animation, Family
  • 2011

Tales of the Night

Tales of the Night

Synopsis

A 3D anthology of French animated shorts that use a unique paper silhouette style, written and directed by Michel Ocelot

About

The trouble with a lot of the cinema aimed at families is that it is dumbed-down and cleaned-up to the point of being bland. Princesses are chaste yet brave and they never end up in the dragons belly - which may keep prim parents happy but it gets old for kids fast.

Fairytales from the Middle Ages wrapped morality up in nasty little fables, and the more sinister they are, the more kids seem to love them. French director Michel Ocelot is obviously smitten too, as Tales Of The Night takes notes from the best fairytales around the world and twists them just slightly to fit modern audiences, adding a sprinkle of dry humour.

Ocelot has won acclaim for his animated features in the past but he really excels here. The stories comprise five lifted from Ocelots TV show Dragons et Princesses and one exclusive short, and all are animated using silhouetted flat shapes against lushly rendered backgrounds.

The addition of stereoscopic 3D was a stroke of genius as, rather than drawing anything out of the screen (with the exception of the final short which was clearly made with that extra D in mind), it gives the animation a gorgeous, layered decoupage look.

The stories are great too and full of complex morality; evil princesses are given just a glimmer of redemption, monsters are tamed and brave young men only sort-of save the day. Most memorable is the story of a Tibetan man with a talking horse which takes a sombre turn, featuring chilling chamber-choir music.

It is possible though that some children will find the subtitles hard to follow (especially as the language used isnt always simple) and it may take a while to get used to them sitting on a separate visual plain to everything else.

Cast & Connections

  • Director: Michel Ocelot

In a nutshell

Shot through with romance and glimpses of the kind of silly humour that made A Town Called Panic (2009) so popular, children and adults should be kept quite happy by this solid, intelligent family film.

by Terry Mulcahy

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4 The Sitter

    The Sitter

    Jonah Hill stars as a slacker who's forced to fill in as a babysitter for a night, but the kids he's looking after prove more than he can handle when he takes them on a crime-filled trip through NYC

  • Film4 Amy

    Amy

    Senna director Asif Kapadia tells the story of Amy Winehouse in her own words with the use of unseen archive footage and previously unheard tracks

  • Film4 Evil Dead

    Saturday Night Shocks on Film4

    Horror, mystery and suspense stake its claim on the weekend. A new season of Saturday Night Shocks comes to Film4.

  • Film4 Bridesmaids

    Comedy Season 2015 on Film4

    Eight nights of contemporary comedy hits, including first plays of Cuban Fury, American Reunion, The Sitter, and the network premiere of 21 & Over, on Film4

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Top pop moments from Cannes 2015

    Cannes is always a great place to see and hear brilliant pop music, often divorced from its usual context, and 2015 has been no different. Here's my personal playlist of top pop moments from the Compe

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Crowdfunding at Cannes

    Independent crowdfunding is an increasingly large part of even major festivals like Cannes, with Jeremy Saulnier's Directors' Fortnight smash Blue Ruin last year partially funded on Kickstarter and ar

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Share