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Le Roi et l'oiseau
Directed by Paul Grimault
Written by Hans Christian Andersen (story)
Paul Grimault
Jacques Prévert
Starring Jean Martin
Pascal Mazzotti
Raymond Bussières
Agnès Viala
Music by Wojciech Kilar
Cinematography Gérard Soirant
Editing by Paul Grimault
Release date(s) 1952 (France)
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March 19, 1980 (France)
November 5, 1983 (USA) (festival)
Running time 63 minutes (1952)
87 minutes (1980)
81 minutes (2003)
Country France
Language French

Le Roi et l'oiseau (The King and the Mockingbird) is a 1980 traditionally-animated feature film directed by Paul Grimault. Begun in 1948 as The Shepherdess and the Chimney Sweep (based on the fairy tale of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen); cited by the Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki as an influence. In the English-speaking world, the film has been released on video under various titles but these have generally been low-budget releases of the unfinished 1952 version. The completed version of the film has not been released with English subtitles on home video, although the film does not contain a lot of dialogue. Nonetheless, you can find the English subtitles on the internet here.

Contents

Production

Originally titled La Bergère et le Ramoneur (The Shepherdess and the Chimneysweep). Grimault began it in 1948 and it was highly anticipated, but Grimault’s partner André Sarrut showed the film unfinished in 1952, against Grimault’s wishes. This caused a rift between partners and a stop in production. In 1967, Grimault got possession of the film and slowly worked at completing it as he had envisioned. In 1980 the finished film was finally released under a new title, Le Roi et l'Oiseau. In English, the film has been released under many names. The official international English name is The King and the Mockingbird. Others include: The King and the Bird, The Curious Adventures of Mr. Wonderbird, The King and Mr. Bird, Mr Bird to the Rescue and Adventures of Mr. Wonderful.

Plot

The huge kingdom of Takicardia is ruled by a king under the unwieldy title of Charles V + III = VIII + VIII = XVI. He’s a heartless ruler, hated by his people as much as he hates them. The king is fond of hunting, but is unfortunately cross-eyed – not that anyone would dare acknowledge this in front of him, as the numerous statues and paintings that adorn the palace and the land show. Occasionally the king does hit his target though, notably the wife of the bird, known only as "l'Oiseau", the narrator of the story who takes pleasure in taunting the terrible king at every opportunity.

In his secret apartment, the king dreams of the beautiful shepherdess whose painting he keeps on his wall, but the shepherdess is in love with the chimney sweep whose hated portrait is on the opposite wall. At night the paintings come to life and attempt to escape from the palace, but are pursued by a non-cross-eyed painting of the king that also has come to life, deposed the real king and has taken his place. He orders the capture of the shepherdess and the sweep, but the bird is there to help when called upon. They are pursued to the depths of the Lower City where the inhabitants have never seen the light of the sun and strange creatures including bat-police take up their chase.

Reception

It is considered the joint best animated feature film of all-time with an average vote of 8.5/10 on IMDb.com [1]

It has been called one of the greatest French animated films.[2] In July 2006 Studio Ghibli decided to release a Japanese-dubbed version of the film to theatres under the name "Ō to Tori". Starting in just one cinema, it became a hit and spread out to many other theatres, eventually reaching over 20,000 people.[citation needed]

References

See also

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Other animated movies with long production histories

External links

Trailers


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