Azur et Asmar (2006) – 7/10 fantasy animated movie review

Cast / crew
Producer: Christophe Rossignon
Director: Michel Ocelot
Writer: Michel Ocelot
Cyril Mourali: Azur
Karim M’ribah: Asmar
Hiam Abbass: Jenane
Patrick Timsit: Crapoux
Rayan Mahjoub: Azur enfant
Abdelsselem Ben Amar: Asmar enfant

Azur et Asmar (2006)

Azur is a prince. Asmar is the son of his nanny, Jenane. They grow up together, lapping up Jenane’s stories of the beautiful Fairy of the Djinns in her homeland. As they reach their teenage years, Azur is sent to boarding school and Jenane fired and turned out onto the street. Though their lives are now heading in different directions, the tale of the beautiful fairy still holds power over them.

7/10

Starting weakly with a slightly uninvolving hop, skip and a jump through a childhood, Azur et Asmur begins to really shine once Azur decides, with good reason, to feign blindness. It builds to a stunning moment when he next opens his eyes. The animation style seems distractingly basic but it’s not really; each character is imbued with subtlety and believability. Azur, the white one, is a bit odd looking but Asmar and the Djinn of the Fairies look absolutely stunning and a lion late on proves a showpiece of design. Story-wise, this has a lot that happens but progression feels a bit lightweight and easy (this door’s blocking our way; oh, here’s the key). Yet you can go back and derive wisdom from the actions of Azur and Asmar and how the preparations, long research, determination and self-sacrificing spirit fueled their success.

This movie contains violence, mild gory and unpleasant scenes.

Classified U by BBFC. Universal: Suitable for All.

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