KIRIKOU AND THE WILD BEASTS
(Kirikou et les Bêtes Sauvages)
With Kirikou and the Wild Beasts, Michel Ocelot returns to the safe ground of his early commercial success and revisits the world of Kirikou with a sequel. As the grandfather narrator says with an appealingly candid simplicity in the opening scene The story of Kirikou was too short so we thought wed bring you some more. Unfortunately, Kirikou and the Wild Beasts suffers from the failings of most sequels it is slightly the lesser in that it only seeks to replicate what went before and on a larger scale. There is distinctly the feeling that Ocelot has used his best material the first time around and that maybe Kirikou and the Wild Beasts is composed of leftover ideas that were discarded as suitable for the first film. The first two episodes dealing with the Black Hyena and Kirkous pottery are on the slight side. Moreover, many of these episodes do not focus around the battles between Kirikou and Karaba and without the battle as an overarching structure the stories feels a lot more disunited and episodic. This is particular evident when the film reaches the end where Ocelot just brings the particular episode to an end, rather than building to the amazing left-field climax that Kirikou and the Sorceress had.
On the plus side, during the latter episodes, Ocelot again discovers the magic that Kirikou and the Sorceress had and Kirikou and the Wild Beasts starts to fly with the charm that the original did. Particularly lovely is the third episode where Kirikou escapes from the fetishes by climbing aboard the neck of a giraffe. Here there are some amazingly beautiful scenes as Kirikou goes for a journey across the African landscape on the giraffes head, meeting various different species of animals and discovering the countryside. Ocelots depiction of the scenery is visually stunning. The film also shows Ocelot, who co-directs with his former production designer Benedicte Galup, branching out from the simple 2D dioramas of Kirikou and the Sorceress and animating three-dimensionally. The backgrounds are also much richer and frequently contain a vibrant use of colours, while at the same time also retaining the simple visual design scheme that the first film had.
Michael Ocelot went onto make a further sequel with Kirikou and the Men and Women (2012).
Trailer here (no English subs):-