English: Fairy Florence
Synonyms: Yosei Florence, A Journey Through Fairyland
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 26, 1985
1 hr. 31 min.
G - All Ages
L represents licensing company
Score: 7.121 (scored by 131 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
No tags found
SynopsisA gentle and talented boy named Michael played beautiful music on his oboe, and his greatest love was to play for and tend to the flowers in the greenhouse at the school of music where he attended. Unfortunately, his gardening made him constantly late for orchestra practice and resulted in his dismissal from the school. When Michael fell asleep that same night, he was awakened by a dainty Flower Fairy named Florence, who would take him on an enchanted journey to a land where flowers came alive, treble notes were mischievous, and adventure beckoned. There, he would soon come to realize that his love of flowers and desire to become a great musician could go hand-in-hand and help him to become focused in life and discover himself.
Characters & Voice Actors
~Mr. Panda's VCR of Doom: #6~
English-speaking members of MAL might recall this feature movie as "Journey Through Fairyland." The movie feature by Sanrio (the makers of Unico and Ringing Bell) was their last animated movie until just a few years ago. It tells the story of a faltering music student (Michael) who spends more time with the flowers in the greenhouse than with the orchestra. After being kicked-out, a fairy named Florence comes out of one of the flowers and takes him to visit fairyland. There he finds both love and his muse.
The story is a bit simplistic, and is utterly predictable to anyone that has seen Fern Gully (and upon critical examination, I now realize where they got their inspiration. bonus points for inspiring an American movie). Being a children's movie--if a bit sophisticated for the very young--this is not very surprising. I would actually have scored the movie higher in this regard if it wasn't painfully anti-climactic. Apparently children weren't meant to notice this needless drawing-out of the film; and in retrospect I in fact did not notice as a child.
The way I see it, the art in most portions of the movie is excellent. Obviously they ripped several pages right out of Disney's Fantasia, but there are enough added visuals of their own to overcome the similarities. For once I have to actually bemoan the fact that the VHS version is the only version around for America--thus much of the visuals are muted by the degraded quality of the tape over time. The art is amazingly trippy by the time they get to Fairyland, and we are even greeted by an all-too-familiar face as a cameo (which I will save as a bonus for those of you that watch it). The viewer is bombarded with music-related visuals and swarsm of fairies--to say nothing of the gigantic monster near the end.
Yet again we must come to grips with the Fantasia playbook. With one exception; the movie soundtrack consists of classical music. This is quite likely by design, as the feel of the movie is that of getting kids to like the genre. The songs are well-chosen, at least. They settle quite nicely with the animation and even the corny introduction song (the only piece of discernibly original music in the movie) is not too difficult to sit through.
The English dub is the only viable copy around, so there's not much I can compare it to. The script isn't very elaborate, and the voice actors perform their lines on about par with other VHS-release animated movies of the time.
There are a grand total of five characters with lines/purpose of any note. All of them seem to be standard stock characters, from the tragic heroine Florence to the troublemaker Treble. Shallow characters are a notorious occurrence in children's movies, and this one is no exception. The movie was not designed with character development in mind, and there's really no other way to put it.
My recent rewatching of Florence reminded me that (quite often) childhood movies are better in our memory than in actuality. Florence is actually a rather charming piece, and despite its flaws I enjoyed the viewing. It really is a kid's movie though, and thus I cannot easily recommend it to the average MAL user unless you are a connoisseur, looking for a classical music anime, or have a younger (12 or under) associate to watch with you.
On the bright side, I would consider Flroence to be a very nice alternative to Disney's Fantasia. Don't get me wrong, I love the movie. However, Florence provides both a single plot and a continual stream of actual animation. Really, happen to know from experience that the introductions by Deems Taylor were not enthrawling for younger audiences. To put it another way, Florence is the very young's Fantasia.
I don't expect anyone to seek this movie out; espeacily given that the VHS-only release continues to see price-gouging on ebay. However, if you do happen to get the oppertunity to view or own Yousei Florence, I encourage you to keep it as an animated treasure. At the very least, you can pass it off on your kids who will, I think, enjoy it more than we adult otaku ever could.
Follow Mr. Panda's VCR of Doom at:
ANIME MOVIE DEPOT SERIES
Full list of the review series can be found on this page, 3rd post from bottom:
With proper aesthetics, even the simplest story can look gorgeous. It’s all in the presentation and this movie is a fine example where the atmosphere is more important than the plot. It is the simple story of a boy who is torn between his love for music and love for gardening. Right when he was about to give up on music and focus on being a gardener, a flower fairy takes him to Flowerland in order to show her appreciation for him taking care of any flora is need of protection. There, he is messed around by a music goblin from the land of Musica, which tries to lure him in its side with various ways.
Obviously, this is reflecting the boy’s double desire to be one or the other and seemingly the fairies are the good, calm, romantic, in touch with nature side, while the goblins are the evil, wild, passionate, lustful side of his personality. Yet along the way this view changes as he realises that being passive and pacifist is not always a good thing; thus the movie escapes the obvious black and white view most children’s stories aim for.
Visually and acoustically, the movie looks wonderful as it is made to be both theatrical and musical at the same time. It is basically like watching a good ballet play and everything is made to look like an ever changing, ever shifting and ever singing sensual delight. On one side the entire BGM consists of many famous European classical music pieces, on the other the animation is full of motion and fairy tale sceneries than occasionally become psychedelic. The most important thing is that everything is made to look and sound relevant to the basic premise, which is the boy’s double desire/nature. It is really successful at sucking you in its mood and make you remember it long after it finishes.
Story and characters are all too basic and dry before the aesthetics but then again, this movie does manage to not go for good vs evil and even have an unexpected change of heart in the end. That is noteworthy in its own simple way.
I strongly recommend this movie as something out of the ordinary, a tale that focuses on what it’s all about and never drifts to pointless action scenes, ridiculous fan catering or irrelevant to the plot aesthetics. It is a one of a kind treat.
Sea Prince and the Fire Child
Cello Hiki no Gauche
Princess Tutu read more
Opening ThemeNo opening themes found, add themes.
Ending ThemeNo ending themes found, add themes.
|No posts for this board were found
No discussion topics have been made yet, how about starting one
Which fansubbers do you like the best? Click + to approve of their subs for this show. Click - if you don't think they did such a great job.
Related ClubsOld School Anime Club, The OVA/ONA/Anime Movie club, ♫ The Music Genre ♫
Recently Watched By