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The King And The Mockingbird [DVD]
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The King and the Mockingbird is a classic French animated film written by Jacques Prévert (Les Enfants du Paradis) and Paul Grimault (The Little Soldier) based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep.
Charles the XVIth reigns tyrannically over the kingdom of Takicardie. Only brightly feathered Mockingbird, a playful and talkative fellow who has built his nest high up in the gigantic palace near His Majesty’s secret chambers, dares to make fun of him. In love with a beautiful and demure shepherdess, the King wants to force her to marry him. However, the young girl is in love with a brave little chimney sweep. Helped by the Mockingbird, they run away to escape the King’s evil clutches…
Directed by Paul Grimault, the king and the mockingbird is a masterpiece which inspired a whole generation of international directors such as Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away).
"Fresh, inventive and intelligent" Peter Lord, Aardman Animation
"Charming, witty and sparkling with life" The Times
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Pro's: The cartoon does look sharper, the voices are good and well dubbed (they don't feel out of place) and the cartoon is now released, at last, in the UK for the public to enjoy. Good good.
Cons: There are no extras on this disk at all and is available only as a DVD. I really don't think it would have been much of an effort to add this English language voice track to the various Blu-Ray versions the French market is enjoying with it's many, many extras, hence the stars taken away. The star rating is a commetn on the disk and not the film itself, which should get 5 full stars.
Minor quibble: I actually miss the Peter Ustinov voice, but as the cartoon is "extended" here i.e. completed then I can see that wouldn't have perhaps been practical to apply.
As a final note, I'd love to see this shown on Film4's regular schedule it deserves more awareness and recognition in the UK which might create the demand necessary to get the BluRay release it deserves, who knows?
I was concerned by the change of name from the VHS version because over it's long life, it has been released in various forms, with varying degrees of success. I wanted a cleaned up DVD copy of our VHS original with the same English language voices and nothing else! So I was a little shocked when the DVD played in French! Sacre Bleu! English is the other language option and I was most pleased to hear those familiar voices. So I couldn't be happier! It is exactly a cleaned up DVD version of 'Mr Bird to the Rescue'. If, like me you've been searching for this for years, buy it now! - and Belleville Rendezvous!
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