Mike McCahill 

Tales of the Night – review

Michel Ocelot uses the darkening properties of digital 3D to make his animated silhouetted characters come alive and enact sad, strange and funky stories, writes Mike McCahill
  
  

France's Michel Ocelot made a striking case for the revival of traditional animation techniques with his Kirikou films and Azur & Asmar. His latest is a technological leap of sorts, using the darkening properties of digital 3D to make its silhouetted characters – an old man and two youngsters, enacting global legends on an abandoned cinema stage – pop out even further from vividly shaded backgrounds. The tales, sad, strange and funky, are a riot of wandering accents, nipples, morals and monsters, underpinned by a love of storytelling and pretty things, whether melancholy princesses or illustrations ripped from art history books. The pick-and-mix approach is limiting, but there's no denying these are gorgeous amuse-bouches, likely to be devoured by older, more discerning children and dyed-in-the-wool stoners alike.