Review by Giancarlo Zappoli

Monday 26 December 2022

Little Sioux Yakari, while his tribe is preparing to migrate, goes on the trail of the mustang Little Lightning that no one has ever been able to ride. His dog friend Orecchio Pieto follows him. As the journey proceeds Yakari receives from her Golden Eagle totem a splendid feather and the power to speak with animals. He will know how to make good use of it.

From a comic strip from the 70s, an animated film tailored for the little ones.

Yakari has two parents. They are André Jobin for the texts and Claude de Ribaupierre for the drawings (stage name Job & Derib) who conceived it in the 70s and saw it translated and published in 17 languages. Both films and animations for television have already been drawn from the comic, but this latest work has the advantage of addressing a new generation that most likely does not know the character and will have the opportunity to appreciate him.

We can say that, an increasingly rare event in the cinema, we are faced with a story devoid of adultism aimed at keeping the attention of the child’s companion to the cinema. Everything here is aimed at a childish audience without ever forgetting, as in respectable fairy tales, a transmission of information and values. Because right from the first scenes you can grasp the brilliant liveliness of the little Sioux who is already very integrated with the world of nature and, in particular, with the animal world.

His desire to be able to ride Little Lightning does not arise from a desire for domination for its own sake. Even if the first time she tries she will feel selfish from the mustang, the quadruped will soon understand what is the true spirit that animates Yakari.

Then the gift of animalistic speech further strengthens a message of immersion in Nature in which domination is never oppression (this will which is entrusted to members of another tribe). In the film, the journey becomes an opportunity for knowledge and meeting with unknown realities that contribute to the growth of Yakari while he develops his relationship with the horse which is placed on a plan of mutual aid.

The drawings and colors which are the result of a careful study of child psychology contribute to making the context even more interesting and appreciable, never leaving room, not even in the necessary moments of tension, for unnecessarily gloomy atmospheres.

The European co-production arrives on our screens two years after its release. Fortunately, it hasn’t disappeared into the maelstrom of films that should have been in theaters in the year in which the pandemic devoured collective vision. Now you can go back to enjoying the wide natural scenarios that are re-proposed with love for detail and also with respect for the aesthetics of a character once destined for a different use.

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Yakari – A spectacular journey