DOFUS BOOK 1: JULITH
(Dofus Livre 1: Julith)
I had no familiarity with either the Dofus online role-playing game or the animated series before I sat down to watch Dofus Book 1: Julith. This could have been helpful in terms of explaining some of the background of the characters and their relationship to one another but in truth it is all fairly easy to pick up and you absorb into the world in no time. The film falls into character types that are familiar to anyone who has watched a reasonable degree of anime the young pre-adolescent protagonist hero with great powers he is unaware of; the aging mentor; the black hat villain(ess); the quest for the artefact of world-destroying power and so on.
The look of the animation kept reminding me of Ralph Bakshis Wizards (1977) with its mix of simply drawn talking animal and elven fantasy characters. On top of this, the directors also throw a reasonable amount of epically sized mass destruction and animated power blasts. This is okay but we have seen enough anime for all of this to slip into pretty but forgettable eye candy as soon as each sequence kicks in.
Far better is the engagement of the characters. The film comes with a more than reasonable sense of humour. The level of fantasy seems pitched down to childrens animation but the sense of humour is often something adult. Young Joris and his quest to save his adolescent love engages you in the way that child-like characters in these films usually do. The best piece of characterisation is that of the pompously self-important sporting hero Karkass Khan and his seemingly unfazed pursuit of the princess Bakara, which gives the film its greatest moments of amusement throughout.
(Screening Courtesy of Sparks Animation Festival)
Trailer here (no English subs):-