Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Yobi the Five Tailed Fox (NYICFF Flashback)

In conjunction with the New York International Children's Film Festival which started Friday I'm going to post some flashback reviews of films that they have showed and which one should keep an eye out for. I've loved some of these and I've liked some, but all are worth giving a shot if you run across them.

This is the first of the flashbacks It's a film called Yobi the Five Tailed Fox and it comes from Korea.

This is a beautifully animated (actually its one of the most beautiful animated films I've ever seen on DVD) about Yobi, a five tailed fox, some aliens who've crashed in her forest, a school for troubled children, Mr Shadow, a bear, love, the ability to steal souls and a few things I'm missing.

This is an overly busy film that is better in parts than as a whole. Its almost as if the filmmakers (including the director who did the stunning-in the truest sense-My Beautiful Girl Mari- which is one of my favorite animated films) had too many things they wanted to do but only had 85 minutes to do it. This is one of those films where there is just too many pieces that don't always come together.

The story as a whole, which boils down to simply Yobi falling in love with a human, just doesn't work. Mostly it's because there are so many side trips that distract from the "main" story and the side trips are more interesting then the main thrust of the story. I kept wanting it to go in directions other then where it was going because the plot line didn't have a natural progression to that point (actually it felt like a dog, or fox, being taken out for a drag instead of a walk).

This isn't to say its a bad film, its not, I wouldn't have it here on Unseen Films it it were. To be pefectly honest this is actually a pretty good movie, but there are these small moments that are of such incredible power and such absolute revealing truth that the central plot line feels so completely artificial compared to them. The girl looking in the mirror, the bear (in every scene he's in), the little girl and her teddy bear (or lack there of) are among the many wonderful moments I want so much to tell you about but I can't bring myself to spoil them. There is real magic in the moments that it makes the rest of the film seem weak.

I would probably guess that kids will be more forgiving than adults, however the small moments will strike adults more deeply than they will the kids. Its the details that is going to make you want to see this film more than once.

If you are willing to take the good with the (not really) bad, if you want to see some stunning animation and experience moments of true magic (I mean hair stand on end, eyes get wet "Oh Wow" moments), I recommend this film.

You'll like the movie and love the moments...(actually the moments and the film's beautiful look are what make the movie worth seeing) I am in awe of the moments

And I have to add that bear is some of the best character animation I've ever seen-and it mostly requires nothing but him sitting there doing nothing...and moving you to tears.

This is currently not available in the US, however it can be found as an import DVD from various sources.

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