Animation: Is Kimi too cute? ['The Legend of Sarila']
Amid Amidi of Cartoon Brew announces that the 80-minute Quebec-made 3D-CGI feature The Legend of Sarila/La Légende de Sarila, animated by Modus FX in Montréal, debuted in Quebec last weekend on 32 screens, “grossing a modest $64,622 and landing in 10th place at the Quebec box office.” It is released in both English and French versions.
The movie, directed by Nancy Florence Savard, is about how in 1910 three young hunters of an arctic Iniut (“Eskimo”) clan – Putulik, who can (almost) talk with animals; the beautiful Apik, and their friend Markussi – search for the legendary paradisical land of Sarila for their starving people, despite many obstacles set by the evil shaman Croolik (who gets top billing because he is voiced by Christopher Plummer, the only “name” among the English-speaking voice cast). The hunters are accompanied by Kimi, a non-talking anthropomorphic overly-cute lemming; and Sarila has such magical creatures as the goddess/seal/mermaid Sedna.
The Cartoon Brew’s reader talkback on the trailer is generally critical of the movie’s angular/stylized human character design, in comparison with the rounded/realistic human design of, say, How to Train Your Dragon or The Croods. I dunno. The 2’08” trailer (also available in French) seems to me certainly as good as any major studio’s CGI animation features. The Legend of Sarila is unlikely to come to American theaters for many reasons, but I doubt that it will be turned down by the U.S. cinematic distributors because of its human character design. What do you think?