70 mn animated feature film (1998)

A small voice can be heard in the womb of a pregnant woman: "Mother, bring me into the world!" "A child who can speak from inside of his mother can bring himself into the world", answers the mother. This is how tiny Kirikou is born, in an African village on which Karaba the Sorceress has cast a spell. But as he comes forth from his mother's womb, Kirikou is determined to rid the village of her curse and understand the cause of her wickedness. After fabulous adventures, Kirikou reaches the forbidden mountain…
With the "outsider" success of "Kirikou and the Sorceress", one of the frequent questions asked by journalists was: "This success must have come as a big surprise!". It was not a question, but a statement. My answer was always the same: "Not at all!" Even if I was prepared for a disastrous release, I was also ready for a triumph. However, something unexpected happened: the nature, depth and permanence of the Kirikou baby.
A Character was born and loved.
—Why does Karaba have a thorn sticking out of her spine?
The poisonous thorn on Karaba's back symbolizes the harm men do to women and a suffering that never disappears. What the Grandfather describes is a gang rape.
—How do you defend nudity in Kirikou ?
There is no "nudity" in Kirikou. The characters are dressed normally : the men and women wear loincloths and children wait until they are older before wearing these. There was once a time when the West too was not embarrassed by the body. The ancient Greeks (who we like to be so proud of), did not hide their bodies – they even displayed the body freely in the art that is the pride of our "civilisation." 
Press kit
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Les Armateurs, co-produced with Odec Kid Cartoons, Monipoly Productions, France 3 Cinéma, Trans-Europe Films, RTBF (Télévision Belge) and Studio O
World sales: StudioCanal
French cultural network: Institut Français
Technical data
Techniques: Traditional animation
Image format: 1,66
Screening formats: DCP, 35 mm, DVD and Blu-Ray
Languages: English, Catalan, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norvegian, Portuguese, Basque, Serbian, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish
Subtitles: English, Arabic, Japanese, Spanish
Director: Michel Ocelot
Screenplay, dialogues, storyboard and graphic design: Michel Ocelot
Original music score: Youssou N'Dour
Animation studios: Les Armateurs (Angoulème), Odec Kid Cartoons (Bruxels), PTD Tiramisu Studio (Luxemburg), Rija Studio (Riga), Exist Studio (Budapest)
Download full credits (in French)

GRAND PRIZE for Best Feature Film, International Animation Film Festival, ANNECY (France), 1999
Best European Feature Film‚ BRITISH ANIMATION AWARDS, London (UK), 2002

More awards
  • 1st Prize, Children's Jury for the best animated feature film, CICFF International Children's Festival, Chicago (United States)
  • 1st Prize, Adult Jury for the best animated feature film, CICFF International Children's Festival, Chicago (United States)
  • Best Feature Film, International Animated Film Festival, KROK, Kiev (Ukraine)
  • Cinekid Prize, International Film Festival for children and young adults, Amsterdam (The Netherlands)
  • Best Animated Feature Film, International Festival of Montevideo (Uruguay)
  • Public Prize, International Film Festival of Zanzibar (Tanzania)
  • Public Prize (Swahili version), Lola Kenya Screen Festival, Nairobi (Kenya)
  • Best animated film, International Festival Cine Infantil, Santo Domingo-Santiago (Dominican Republic)

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