Eye For Film >> Movies >> Ivan Tsarevitch and the Changing Princess: Four Enchanting Tales (2016) Film Review
Ivan Tsarevitch and the Changing Princess: Four Enchanting Tales
Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson
For his latest enjoyable, if slight, animation, Michel Ocelot draws - as with his most famous work concerning Kirikou - on myths from around the world. These four tales will take in Persian, Indian and Russian art among others, with Ocelot using the relevant influences to create colourful backdrops against which his silhouette tales play out, evoking the spirit of The Adventures Of Prince Achmed.
The framing device is a modern teacher and his pupils who, in a rundown cinema, discuss each of the tales - particularly with reference to gender stereotypes - before trying to recreate them anew. It's a neat idea and one which gently probes at the 'traditional' roles of men and women in fairy tale in a way that is intended for a young audience.
The first story, the Mistress Of Monsters, is probably the strongest of the bunch, in which a young girl takes on succession of bad guys. Shape-shifting is, perhaps inevitably given Ocelot's style of animation, a strong theme throughout most of the stories, including the Ivan Tsarevitch tale of the title - and youngsters are likely to enjoy the creative mix of monsters that he presents.
The framing element has a more 'grown-up' sweep, but it is younger children who are likely to get the most out of these simple stories, which often involve a repetition of phrases or ideas in the way of many traditional fairy tales from Red Riding Hood to The Three Little Pigs. There is also a bracing open-endedness to some of them, likely to encourage discussion with youngsters - and flights of their own imagination - after the film has finished.Reviewed on: 30 Nov 2017