A simple story, told about as simply as one could, about the pains of growing up. Un Tour De Manége (Merry-Go-Round) begins as a young girl hops aboard a floating merry-go-round only to be separated from her mother. After its initial anxiety, the world fascinates with all its wonders and possibilities—bright colors pop as if seen for the first time. And then love, of course love, makes its innocent approach, and when its vicious side is at last revealed, the girl’s bright world turns dark and grey.
It’s a story so familiar that it almost demands the use of cryptic metaphors and symbolic imagery. A visual poem—what I consider Un Tour De Manége to be. And you know how I love poetry (The Spider, At the Quinte Hotel).
Stylistically, Un Tour De Manége is stunning. It’s rainbowed watercolor-like warmth reflects the wide-eyed enthusiasm of a child exploring color for the first time. Far it is from the cold, lifeless characters common to 3D animation. Applause please for Les Manéges— filmmakers Nicolas Athané, Brice Chevillard, Alexis Liddell, Francoise Losito, and Mai Nguyen. All students of the seemingly unstoppable, Gobelins in France. They are so good with their visual storytelling—you can faintly see dandelion seeds floating out to sea as the girl is first separated from her mother—a subtle summation of the events unfolding. The characters play the parts but the details tell the story.
In the end, our little heroine is rescued from the dark depths and reunited with her mother. And thus, the ride begins again…