The Davai is a legendary nineteenth century vessel, under the command of the similarly mythic captain Oloukine. Unfortunately, its journey to the Arctic has proved ill-fated, and the ship can’t be found. That’s where our intrepid hero comes in. Sacha is Oloukine’s granddaughter, a fifteen year old aristocrat who believes she knows where to find it, trading a palace in St Petersburg for a perilous sea voyage.
It’s a defiantly uncomplicated plot, equal parts quest and cinematic bildungsroman . There are touches of Studio Ghibli, but more in theme than style. Where the Tokyo studio favours ultra-detailed graphics, this French-Danish production is much less elaborate. There’ll be those who find the animation style amateurish and overly simple, but we think it’s charmingly naïve, and deceptively masterful; some of those landscapes display a mastery of light usually reserved for Impressionist canvases (OK, slight exaggeration.)
The film is far from perfect; it’s overly twee at points and the dialogue a little flat. But thankfully, it’s so good-hearted that these faults are easily forgiven. It's a promising start for Chayé and, who knows, with Ghibli suspending production, perhaps it’s a new hope for quality animation.
|What||Long Way North film review|
|Where||Various Locations | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Leicester Square (underground)|
17 Jun 16 – 12 Aug 16, Event times vary
|Price||£determined by cinema|
|Website||Click here to visit the film's IMDB page|