French animation struts out in Cendrillon au Far West
by Fabien Lemercier
25/07/2012 - After The True Story of Puss ‘n Boots [trailer] (2009), his first film that was distributed in about 30 countries and even became the most successful French-language film of the decade in Mexico, Pascal Hérold is back in cinemas today with 3D animation film Cendrillon au Far West [trailer] (lit. “Cinderella in the Far West”). The film is distributed in France by Bac Films.
Featuring a bad-tempered yet generous Cinderella, a hideous stepmother, a Russian prince, and a band of pirates shipwrecked in the middle of the desert, the film’s screenplay (written by the director with Alexandre and Jérôme Apergis, as well as Frédéric Le Bolloc’h) is definitely an original adaptation of the classic fairy tale.
"Cinderella is not a character by Disney, Charles Perrault, or the Grimm brothers, it’s a timeless myth," stresses Pascal Hérold. "The glass slipper storyline did not appeal to us at all. It’s inherited from one of the first Cinderella stories from China over 2,000 years ago. We thought she would lose a tooth in a fight instead. To us, it made more sense and, quite frankly, was funnier."
The director-producer also takes full responsibility for the film’s style: "Once again, we followed our taste for the baroque and the theatrical, for expressionistic, mad characters. We definitely deviated from the artistic and narrative norms imposed by the big American studios like Pixar."
A mixture of performance-capture (or motion-capture) animation and traditional hand-drawn animation, Cendrillon au Far West is also in 3D.
"It allows for total immersion into the action because it’s a ‘real native 3D’, not a production gimmick,” insists the filmmaker, who produced the film via Herold & Familly in co-production with Nexus, the Belgians from uFilm, and Delacave Studios.
Among the 14 other new films also out this Wednesday are the British title Jane Eyre [trailer] by Cary Fukunaga (starring Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, and Jamie Bell - UGC Distribution) and Adrienn Pal [trailer, film focus], a film by the talented Hungarian director Agnes Kocsis that was well reviewed at Cannes' Certain Regard in 2010 (distributed by Les Films à Un Dollar). Also worth noting is British-Austrian-Franco-Brazilian co-production 360 [trailer] by Fernando Meirelles (featuring Anthony Hopkins, Jude Law, Rachel Weisz, Ben Foster, and Jamel Debbouze - Wild Bunch Distribution) and Man Without a Cellphone [trailer] by Sameh Zoabi (a co-production bringing together France, Palestine, Israel, Qatar, and Belgium – awarded Best Film at the Montpellier Mediterranean Film Festival – distribution: Eurozoom).
(Translated from French)