They found each other, a tale of a new friendship.
A year ago I saw and reviewed 'Heidi'. This is just like a boy version of that film. The Alps, goats, grandfather, like that each other can be compared. This one came even before that, but I saw it only now. Whenever I see a film this late, I comfort myself saying 'better late than never'. There's already a sequel was made and I'm sure I'll be watching it very soon. By the way the film was based on half a century old children's novel and directed by who is famous for his dog films and documentaries.
This is the tale of a young boy named Sébatien who lives with his grandfather in the French Alps valley. It was during the 40s and the people are devastated by the presence of nazi force. The town has not yet shown any resistance to that. But there was a little compassion for the small Jewish community living among them and they're helping them to get away safely to the other side of the mountain.
On the other hand, the boy befriends with a feral dog and names her Belle, who was responsible for the deaths of goats. Their bond becomes stronger and all his effort is to protect Belle from village people. But one day during the Christmas season, the opportunity knocks to prove their worth, particularly Belle's. That's when the narration reaches the highest point with some adventures in the snowy Alps.
❝It is nicer than 'dirty beast', huh?❞
The first thing about this tale is where it takes place. The locations were the backbone of the storytelling. They used it perfectly, not just as the background, but for the story itself. Then comes the two important characters, Belle and Sébatien. It's like another dog film, but Belle too had parts to show her capable like in the stunt section. Sébatien was a cute little kid and in his first film, he was excellent.
Honestly, I expected more from them, together, to develop their connection even further. The disappointments were the edgy (adventure) portions which were not that thrill. Like the filmmakers preferred safe mode than being more realistic. Like they were aiming for G rating, not even for a PG. On that aspect, it looks a lot like a television film. This view is from me as an adult, but the others' might vary.
Despite its sets in the time of the WWII, there's no violences in the film. That sub-plot was part of the story to complicate and improvise the film. Apart from that, this is a pure children's and family film. But I expected a little more tight plot and developed characters in the rest of the film, excluding visually impressiveness. This film was too simple, especially if you had seen 'Heidi', 'Brothers of the Wind', 'The Fox & the Child' and a few others. Otherwise, it will one of the best films you are going to see and enjoyable for many other reasons.
I can tell, it was incomplete and then I came to know about its follow-up. I don't think that was preplanned, but the idea seems not bad. I hope that film will be even better than this. I can't wait to watch another adventure by Belle and Sébatien. This is a good watch, especially if you are a children's film fan, but it is a must see for the little ones. Films like this will shape up their childhood memories. I have lots of such sweet memories, so just show it to them and watching with them will even better to share the same memories. 7/10