You could easily be forgiven for having never heard of the 1980 animated French movie The King and the Mockingbird. However it’s had a profound effect, not least that Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata have said it helped show them what animation could be, with the lessons they learned from it helping fuel the creation of Studio Ghibli.
Director Paul Grimault and screenwriter/poet Jacques Prevert started work on the film in 1947, when it was planned it as France’s first animated movie. However production was stopped partway through due to a dispute (an unfinished version that wasn’t approved by the director or writer was released at the time). After endless funding and rights battles it took another 30 years to finish it in the way Grimault and Prevert envisioned it. However it was worth the wait. [Read more…]