Apache grandfather tells of a time when the sky was so low that only children we able to look upwards.

Genre: Animation

Length: 09:08

Free To View

3 out of 5 stars

Producer/s : none given,

Director/s : Mathieu Navarro, Sylvain Nouveau

Writer/s : Aurore Turbe, Francois Pommiez

Actor/s : Benoit Allemane, 


Things are looking up

Superbly animated rendering of an Apache legend about the time when looking up was impossible. In a tepee, a grandfather tells the children about how, long ago, the sky was too low. Trees grew flat, clouds did not know where to go, birds couldn’t fly, and adults had to walk with a stoop.

Only children were able to run around freely. But even they knew that when they grew, they too would only be able to look downwards. So they came up with a plan to raise the sky.

The grandfather is reminiscent of the old man in Up, and the kids are, interestingly, American tropes straight out of  Pixarland. The animation style swings between cgi for the real-time story-telling in the tepee, while the fable itself is presented in 2-d drawings, looking like nothing so much as a moving Bayeux tapestry.

It was made by students from Esma (Ecole Superieure des Metiers Artistiques) in Montpellier in France. Being brought up on Asterix, the notion of the sky being too low probably had deep resonances.

You’d never know it was a student film, as there is much sophisticated design and editing. The scene in the tepee could be static and boring, but with the children’s characters being shown, and the use of different camera angles, it doesn’t flag. The legend is portrayed in a more cartoony and childish style, and it’s a charming and inventive juxtaposition.