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Directed by Paul Grimault

France 1980 83 mins.

Widely considered one of the best animated features of all time and a masterpiece of French animation, the Prix Louis Delluc-winning The King and the Mockingbird has been cited by Studio Ghibli’s Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata as a profound influence on their work. The King is in love with a beautiful shepherdess in a painting on his wall, but she is in love with a chimneysweep from another artwork. At night the paintings come to life, and together they attempt to flee. Hiding at the top of the palace, they help Mr. Bird who’s become caught up in one of the King’s cruel traps, before leading the police on a wild chase. A story told with wit, charm, and imagination, with beautifully realized animation and rich with cultural references—Parisian and Venetian architecture, surrealist artists di Chirico and Magritte, Metropolis, King Kong, and Tintin, among many others—the result is a delightful marriage of story and image which animation lovers will recognize as the inspiration for Studio Ghibli.

Genres: Animation