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Monday, March 14, 2016

Azur and Asmar (2006)

No, I have never heard of this movie before, but it is absolutely wonderful in many ways and I highly recommend it.  My youngest son has been exploring the animated movies that are made outside the United States, and they have a very different quality when compared to American animation.  This one, much like the Japanese animated movies, has wonderful renditions of nature, architecture, and fauna, and less wonderful depictions of humans.  No matter, there is much to be dazzled by in this movie from a sensory standpoint.
In the manner of the Thousand and One Nights, the movie tells the story of two friends, as close and as competative as brothers: Azur and Asmar. One is the son of a nobleman, the other the son of the north African nurse who brings them up, and enraptures them with tales of a Djinn fairy awaiting the love of a prince to release her from an enchantment. Harshly separated in their teens, the rich young man travels to the Orient where he finds his friend again, and they travel onward on a mission to find this mythical Djinn princess. The ending is especially compelling in this season where there has been a very ugly eruption of prejudice and racism in America.  The message is one of hope.  the movie has real charm: an old-fashioned looking, but with a heartfelt belief that east and west can and should meet and mix.

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