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The King and the Mockingbird

Le Roi et l'Oiseau
1980 / 83m - France
Fantasy - Animation
The King and the Mockingbird poster

Classic French animation. Sometimes cited as one of the best animated film ever produced. I don't have a source for that quote so I'm going to assume it was made a long (long) time ago, or by someone who has little affinity with the genre, but it's true that the film manages to stand out, even today.

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The King and the Mockingbird offers an interesting variation on the famous story by Hans Christian Andersen. The premise has remained largely the same, but some retro sci-fi elements add an extra level of intrigue not present in the original story. It retains its fairy tale-like qualities though, meaning it does feel a little shallow.

The animation is pretty delicate, the art style quite distinctive. There are minor Disney influences that detract a little, but they are few and far between. Not everything is equally interesting and the film has some ups and down, but for a 40-year-old animation there are still a good few scenes that stand out. Nice, though a tad overrated.