Kirikou, the hero.
Kirikou and the Wild Beasts is a 2005 French animated film (with English subtitles) about a Senegalese infant boy named Kirikou (voiced by Pierre-Ndoffé Sarr) who goes on a series of adventures involving animals to save his village from Karaba the Sorceress (Awa Sene Sarr) and her weird robot subjects, who are strangely called fetishes. Kirikou is a small boy with superhuman abilities. He is quite intelligent, capable of solving any problem to threaten the well-being of his village. He is fast, and unlike other infants, Kirikou has the ability to speak.
Kirikou and the Wild Beast is a sub-story to Kirikou and the Sorceress and is comprised of a total of four unique stories. In it, Kirikou’s grandfather (Robert Liensol) is a wise man who introduces the viewer to the various tales and adventures in a foreshadowing and relaxing manner. The village loves the little Kirikou, and when he woke, he has a huge smile on his face and was held close to his mother’s heart.
Kirikou already knows how to garden and even create an irrigation system in the planting soil! When there was a drought, he would point out spring water to let everyone know it had returned, and they can begin to plant their vegetables. The village sings and dance because there will be food again. But in a turn of events, as soon as the vegetables grow, a black hyena comes to destroy their crops.
Kirikou is based on traditional West African folk tales.
Kirikou, using his super speed, distracts the hyena and leads it to a tree, wherein a bees nest falls upon its face. The chief suspects it is Karaba the Sorceress trying to sabotage them yet again. She had already killed the majority of the adult men in the village, save for two. Kirikou discovers an injured field mouse and figures that was what the hyena looked for. In an adorable display of generosity, he offers to nurse it back to health.
The film includes tales about Kirikou helping the village making pottery sell to the marketplace in order to purchase food; taking a ride on a giraffe to escape the clutches of the fetishes while exploring parts of his land he’d never seen before; and uniting with the children of the village to save their mothers after Karaba poisoned their beer with deadly flowers.
The animation is of good quality, in particular the nature scenes–the dance scenes are a little hilarious, as their bodies jerk from side to side rapidly. The fetishes are creepy wooden robots with a very creepy way of moving. I would take care if you were to watch this film with small children–the adults are shirtless (including the women) with a wide range of body types. The small children are nude in the film as well but don’t let this distract you from pleasant viewing.
Kirikou is a delightful and charming animated film.