"Il y a bien longtemps, deux enfants étaient bercés par la même femme. Azur, blond aux yeux bleus, fils du châtelain, et Asmar, brun aux yeux noirs, fils de la nourrice. Elevés comme deux frères, les enfants sont séparés brutalement.Mais Azur, marqué par la légende de la Fée des Djins que lui racontait sa nourrice, n'aura de cesse de la retrouver, au-delà des mers. Les deux frères de lait devenus grands partent chacun à la recherche de la Fée. Rivalisant d'audace, ils iront à la découverte de terres magiques, recelant autant de dangers que de merveilles..."
(Long time ago, there were two children who were upraised by the same woman. Azur, a blonde with blue eyes, was the son of a noble man, while Asmar, a black-eyed brunette, was the son of the nurse. Having brought up like brothers, the two children were then separated in an unconvenient way. However, Azur, mesmerized by the legend of the Fairy of Djin told by his nurse in his childhood days, had determined to find her in the land across the sea. The two blood brothers then embarked on a grand journey to find the Fairy. Their effort would bring them to the magic land, where danger and wonder awaited...)
Having a father who will tell his children wonderful stories of the adventure of Sinbad fighting the giant bird monster is something I am always grateful of. Until this very day, I remember the time when my father recounted bed time stories to me and my sister. When his words poured out of his mouth, at the back of my head an imaginary motion picture of a great hero fighting the evil would play.
That is why I love it when there’s someone able to narrate a good children story. Last Saturday, I got the chance to discover a very good children story, only this time, it is told in the form of a cartoon movie. The movie is a French-made called “Azur et Asmar”. It was among the dozen of movies played during the recent Festival Sinema Perancis.
Normally I would pick no cartoon movies during any film festival. I always think it’s a waste of money if I choose cartoon over regular movies. However, this one commanded an exception since I read a recommendation on the movie in a Jakarta Post article. And thank God I made this choice! Of the French movies in the festival list I chose to watch, I say this one is surely my no. 1 favorite.
The simple way “Azur et Asmar” tells the story makes this cartoon movie worth to watch for children. It injects moral messages on bravery and loyalty, and about making friendship without judging our friend’s physic (skin, eye color), native, nor religion, in no sense of preaching. What’s making this cartoon even better is the colorful quality it has. It is so beautiful that I need to share about it here. The only drawback to this movie is that part of the conversation that is made in Arabic has no subtitle (fyi language used in the movie is French and Arabic but it has English subtitle). So, if you have kids or if you yourself love watching quality children movies, this movie is definitely something you cannot miss!