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Azur & Asmar

After having known a phenomenal triumph with “Kirikou and the witch” then “Kirikou and the wild beasts”, of the African tales, the producer Michel Ocelot launched out in the development of a new animated movie, with is this time an Arab inspiration and the introduction of animation in 3D. From its ambition was born “Azure and Asmar”.
It was once Azur, fair with the blue eyes, wire of lord of the manor, and Asmar, brown with the black eyes, wire of the nurse of azur. The two small boys were high like brothers, under the lenient eye of their mother of flesh and milk, in a beautiful castle, in the middle of a green and flowered country. But one fine day, the father of Azure decides that his/her son became sufficiently tall: he will not need more nurse, issues he. That which was a mother for Azur is push out at once without care. The two foster brothers are brutally separate.
But Azur forgets neither the companions of its childhood nor the songs and the legends of its nurse, in particular that of the beautiful fairy of the Djinns, imprisoned with life in waiting to be delivered by a beautiful prince. Become large, Azur is at the head put to join the country of the sun, to achieve its dream, to find the fairy and to marry it.
At the end of the perilous tour, it reaches the coasts of this ground, phantasm of its childhood. But reality hardly corresponds to its waiting. Its blue eyes frighten the inhabitants, who reject it such one bet. But Azur refuses to give up. With the assistance of Crapoux, another foreigner met on the road, it decides despite everything to do everything to find the fairy. Arrived downtown, a fortunate coincidence the met in the presence of its former nurse.
If this one accommodates it with joy, Asmar, does not seem to him happy to re-examine his/her foster brother. From now on rival, the brothers of yesterday leave to the conquest the fairy in a world wonders. Both will have to face dangers and magic spells to gain elected of their heart.
In 2001, “Azure and Asmar” reached only the stage of the scenario. It was necessary more than five preparatory years, 1.280 plans and 13.000 drawings to give life to this tale imagined from thousand and one parts of the Maghrebian, Eastern or Moslem culture. At the end of this strenuous work, mixes techniques 2D and 3D, emerges a sophisticated graphic work, inspired of the miniatures Persians to Flemish primitive paintings while passing by Turkish or Andalusian architecture.
On the bottom, Michel Ocelot wished to evoke the relations between France and the Maghreb, this “ordinary animosity between citizens of stock and recent citizens (...) between Occident and the Middle East” through a praise of the difference and mixture of the cultures, in particular by using the two languages, French and Arabic. Presented at About fifteen the producers at the Festival of Cannes 2006, this fable on the tolerance and the interbreeding conquered right now a large majority of criticisms and will allure without any doubt the very many fans of Michel Ocelot.
In spite of this great announced success, “Azur and Asmar” will leave certain spectators of ice, isolated and in full cinematographic questioning. Is this legitimates to consider the drawings ugly and the yelling colors? To find the intrigue weak and the adventures punts? Are there no stereotypes in spite of the ambition posted to avoid them? And why is it necessary that this film either if filled up anger and of sadness, that only the appearances of small the princess and the outcome bring a hope of humor there? Children or adults, that those which feel terribly foreign out of ground of Ocelot reassure, because the morals of the history, it, is right: the difference enriches the world and is assumed, including that of those which do not like “Azur and Asmar”.

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