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Part of the list nominated for last year’s animation Oscar, I wanted to see this for such a long time. Now that I did, I am a bit hesitant: there is no reason not to like it. Interesting colour scheme in brown and ocker tones that convey the muddiness of the middle ages. Dark and grim villains, be it wolves or Vikings (even though I would like to protest: why is it always that the Vikings are depicted in such a pernicious way? Come on, these poor guys came from dark and cold places, and had to eat fish or fur seals all day – no wonder they were a bit off). Enchanted forests and lovely white spirits on the other hand, and a little hero mini-monk called Brendan who needs to complete the mysterious book of I can’t remember the name.

The film is very nice, but also a bit slow-paced. Not because it would be for small children – that it is definitely not (too much stabbing and burning and wolves with bred teeth). Rather because it just decides to be so, conveying its slow rhythm in the way grandfather would narrate the story from his armchair in front of the fire, slowly puffing away on his pipe. The voices (Brendan Gleeson, among others) support that, always keeping a low level of excitement, and keeping the atmosphere at low flame.

All in all a nice film, but I had hoped for a bit more.

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