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This year the Telecom New Zealand International Film Festivals continues to strengthen their commitment to the youngest of audience members by scheduling an exciting mini-retrospective of classic animated French features in addition to the perennial and greatly enjoyed Animation for Kids selection.

· The King and the Mockingbird (Le Roi et l'Oiseau)
· Raining Cats and Frogs (La Prophètie de Grenouilles)
· Kirikou and the Sorceress (Kirikou et la Sorcière)
· Kirikou and the Wild Beasts (Kirikou et les Bêtes Sauvages)
· Animation for Kids

Square Eyes are delighted that these films are being introduced to a New Zealand audience, as they are most certainly representative of the very best the international children's film community has to offer.

The same enthusiasm and commitment that drives independent film for adults has a parallel with material for kids. By presenting these diverse films to children in this context the Festival aids in the promotion of media literacy while also encouraging an audience that in turn may grow up to appreciate adult-oriented independent festivals and film society offerings.

The Around the World Paramount Passport August session will step aside to make room for the Film Festival programme. Instead we hope to see your Square Eyes at the following screenings. If you have an Around the World Paramount Passport, please bring it with you for stamping at any of the following Wellington film festival sessions.


France has produced some of the most ingenious and inspired animation of the past twenty-five years. Dedicated to the art of old-style animation, French animators continue to produce films that have strength of character and engaging narrative at their core. These contemporary French animations have these elements in abundance. Featured in the Animation programme are a surreal and beloved classic (Paul Grimault's widely celebrated The King and the Mockingbird ),an ecological parable (Jacques-Rémy Girerd's Raining Cats and Frogs) and not one,but two adventures of African folktale hero Kirikou (Michel Ocelot's award-winning Kirikou and the Sorceress and Kirikou and the Wild Beasts.


Le Roi et l'Oiseau

Paul Grimault
France, 1979
87 Minutes
French with English subtitles

A grand classic of animation film, designed by the master of French animation Paul Grimault, written by the great screenwriter Jacques Prévert (Children of Paradise) and cited as a major influence on Hayao Miyazaki and other Studio Ghibli animators.

Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen, Grimault's fairy tale is set in the highly vertical kingdom of Tachycardia, where a tyrannical cross-eyed King pursues a two lovers as they try to flee the kingdom with the aid of a mockingbird. With dialogue by the celebrated poet Jacques Prévert, the film is a true marvel featuring a despotic king, a taunting bird, a beautiful shepherdess and a lowly chimney sweep, set in a retro-futurist underworld of sparkling caverns, Venetian canals, roving bat-police and other strange creatures of the dark.


La Prophètie de Grenouilles
Jacques-Rémy Girerd
France, 2003
90 Minutes
French with English subtitles

Lili's parents have gone to Africa to look for crocodiles, while she spends the summer with her friend Tom and his adopted parents at her animal park in the south of France. Soon they are warned by talking frogs of an impending flood.'Grandpa', an inventive former sea captain, builds an Ark so the children and the animals can weather the storm.

Once aboard, tensions start,and those lower down on the food chain grow nervous. Lili and Tom must keep the peace amidst non-stop-comically anthropomorphic situations. With a voice cast drawing from some of the best loved acting talent from France and Widely loved for its joyful and beautifully drawn animation style, Raining Cats and Frogs is celebrated as the first completely-French produced animated feature since Le Roi et l'Oiseau.


Kirikou et la Sorcière

Michel Ocelot
France/Belgium, 1998
74 Minutes
PG low level violence

Darkness befalls an African village when a the curse of a sorceress dries up the land and the male inhabitants mysteriously disappear. Little Kirikou,who has willed himself from his mother's womb, embarks on a perilous journey to the Forbidden Mountain to divine the source of the sorceress's wickedness.

Drawing upon West African folktales, a huge hit in France and joint winner in 2002 of the British Animation Award for best European animated feature, Ocelot has created a richly textured story that is exquisitely designed, wholly engaging and universal.

Visit the NZFF Wellington Screening details here
Visit the NZFF Auckland Screening details here


Kirikou et les Bêtes Sauvages

Michel Ocelot,
Bénédicte Galup
France, 2005
74 Minutes
French with English subtitles

In this follow up to Kirikou and the Sorceress, the tiny but invincible Kirikou is back with more adventures. A grandfather tells of how Kirikou,the smallest and most valiant of heroes,became a gardener,detective, potter, merchant, traveller and doctor.


Pierre-Sylvain Gires,
Brice Bergeret,
Sophie Devred, et al.

71 Minutes

A fine collection of outstanding animation from all corners of our big wide world, tested by the most demanding of audiences, those aged between 4 and 7.

See our 2011 Film Festivals programme here.
See our 2009 Film Festivals programme here.
See our 2008 Film Festivals programme here.
See our 2007 Film Festivals programme here.

Square Eyes
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