Thank goodness for hand drawn animation. So many of today’s “animated” features are really just CGI based works that try to masquerade as actual cartoons. While this reviewer personally is not a fan of anime style artwork, the newly imported French movie, Mia and the Migoo is a work that did impress. Forget the fact that this movie carries a very heavy handed environmental message (one that may be too strong even for some younger audiences). The real star of Mia and the Migoo is its animation. Audiences will appreciate the animation even more in watching the movie’s “making of” featurette. It is, for the most part, just another “making of” featurette. But there is one moment in this bonus feature that makes it all worth the near half hour watch.
One individual who is interviewed for the feature notes that bringing a movie to life using actual hand drawn animation gives the movie a more “human” feel versus the use of computers. He states that animated features created through CGI are done mathematically. It’s as if he was saying in a roundabout way that CGI animation is cold and really has no life. That couldn’t be truer. That this young artist has such an appreciation for the art of drawing, rather than sitting in front of a computer to make art makes Mia and the Migoo that much more enjoyable in hindsight.
Mia and the Migoo is a beautiful work of art, in terms of its animation. But there is no denying that the movie’s content may not be suitable for some younger audiences. The movie does get intense at times. Audiences see Aldrin’s father use a mortar launcher to destroy the sacred tree. The result of his actions is pretty intense. Some younger viewers might be unsettled by this. Also early on, while Mia is riding a bus to the construction site where her father works, the bus breaks down. A heavy set woman on the bus proceeds to take off her shirt, and drench the bus’s engine in her sweat. She is wearing undergarments. Now while this is probably more socially acceptable in other nations’ cultures, some American audiences may find this not as suitable for younger audiences. Thus, the mark on the DVD’s cover of being “Family Approved” may again be more aimed at audiences other than those in the United States.
While some of the content in Mia and The Migoo may be unsuitable for certain younger audiences (parents should use their own discretion to determine if it’s too intense for their own children in other words), but that doesn’t mean that it’s inappropriate for all audiences. Because it is such ha beautiful work of art, this movie serves as a wonderful teaching tool, believe it or not, for students studying the visual arts. As noted in the press release for the now American release of the movie, the artwork in the movie will conjure thoughts of Van Gogh, Monet, and even Cezanne. The colors throughout each scene are that rich and vibrant. And the characters themselves are very much in the vein of anime legend Hayao Miyazaki. For that, it is a movie that deserves its own praise, and at least a single viewing.
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