Azur et Asmar (Azur and Asmar: The Princes' Quest)
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Two lifelong friends set off on a remarkable adventure in this animated feature. Azur (Rayan Mahjoub) is an orphaned boy living in 18th century France, where he's being raised by Jenane (Hiam Abbass), a nurse of Arab heritage who cares for the boy alongside her own son, Asmar (Abdelsselem Ben Amar). Jenane regales the boys with tales of the mysterious Fairy Djinn, a magical creature with great powers but equally great protectors at her disposal. Azur is sent away to school, but when he returns home as a grown man (now voiced by Cyril Mourali), he finds Jenane and Asmar have gone. Convinced… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 81%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"This is a unique effort that art film crowds and families will both be able to appreciate."
‑ Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle
"Gorgeous and mesmerizing, Azur & Asmar eschews computer-generated imagery to render a flat, storybook-style animation that never stops delighting with its ornamental detail, range of color and exotic story."
‑ Tom Keogh, Seattle Times
"Magical tale about a French and Arab boy's adventures, but the sparkling artwork is dulled by the lackluster plot."
‑ Sarah Sluis, Film Journal International
"Michel Ocelot's jewel-like fable unfolds in a once-upon-a-time version of medieval North Africa alive with vibrant colors and dazzling patterns."
‑ Maitland McDonagh, Miss FlickChick
"a multicultural masterwork that is sure to delight viewers of all ages"
‑ Peter Sobczynski,
"Azur has the DNA of a captivating bedtime story, not a sugar-high Saturday cartoon."
‑ Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Is it too early to announce the most beautiful film of 2009? Two days into the new year, it's hard to imagine a more transporting cinematic experience coming our way than Azur & Asmar, an animated feature from the French writer-director Michel Ocel"
‑ Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
"Like the best fairy tales, Ocelot's film takes a recognizable world and injects a sense of magic and wonder into it in service of creating a fable far bigger than the story in which it is contained."
‑ Ian Buckwalter, DCist
"The film is full of out-there artistic decisions that don't quite pay off, it makes you feel like you're taking medicine without a spoonful of sugar."
‑ Phil Villarreal, Arizona Daily Star
"Energy-wise, it would barely register a pulse in the world of Disney...but its straightforward storytelling and low-key humor are a relief from the reference-stuffed fever pitch that Hollywood animation delivers."
‑ Tricia Olszewski, Washington City Paper
"The tale of two brothers from childhood to manhood, it is rife with timeless storybook themes and offers an inspiring vision of harmony between different cultures, different people."
‑ Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
"Combining cutouts with 3-D digital animation, Ocelot turns every frame of his film into a beautiful, dynamic page out of a picture book."
‑ Jen Chaney, Washington Post
"The result is not entirely seamless... but the filmmaker still uses plenty of long shots and landscapes that feature his traditional look and feel and movement."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"It's a simple tale with magical imagery and a worthy message, but it's also alive with offbeat humor and witty observations of childhood behavior and adult suspicion."
‑ Sean Axmaker, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"The backdrops and settings are ornate and stunningly, vividly colored, while the people are depicted with a two-dimensionality like that of a historical tapestry."
‑ Marc Mohan, Oregonian
More reviews for Azur et Asmar (Azur and Asmar: The Princes' Quest) on Rotten Tomatoes