Azur and Asmar: The Princes Quest is the best thing to come out of French animation since The Triplets of Belleville. It hasnt gotten a blockbuster promotional campaign, but it was released at the Cannes Film Festival and other international venues to great acclaim. Its kid-safe, family-friendly, and perfect for the holidays.
The films about two boys, one blond and the other olive-skinned. Raised by the same nurse, they come to see themselves as brothers. The nurse impresses upon both of them the legend of a djinn-fairy (genie) waiting to be freed by a hero. At a young age, the two boys are wrenched away from each other. They meet up later to track down this djinn-fairy.
The animation is like nothing before. Director Michel Ocelot drew on French, Dutch, Persian, and Islamic art from the Middle Ages. The result is that Azur and Asmar flows like 16th century cinema. Catch it through Christmas day.
Azur and Asmar shows at 1, 3, 6 and 8 p.m. tonight at the Lakeworth Playhouse (713 Lake Avenue, Lakeworth). Tickets cost $8 or less. Call 561-586-6410, or visit lakeworthplayhouse.org.
Dec. 19-25, 2008