Cert PG 66mins Stars 4

Plant yourself in front of this charmingly original fable, which was Oscar nominated for the best animated film.

This complex, gentle and often sad delight has the social commentary and sentimentality of the work of Charles Dickens.

Hero is an orphan with a clown-like face. Though creative and kind, he has little to laugh about after being placed in a care home. We see how his kindness of spirit has an empowering effect on his fellow inmates.

The skilful storytelling is deceptively simple and technically complex. Small gestures carry great meaning and the use of traditional stop motion animation allows for some dark material to be smuggled in.

Inmates behaviour stems from their experiences. These are communicated with sufficient vagueness so children won’t be scared, but adults will fully comprehend the horrors implied.

The filmmakers tend to their characters with care, and as they bloom we’re given a feast of emotion to tuck into.


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