Where do I even begin? This particular experimental piece is a real tough one for me to review as I consider myself a big fan of the great Osama Tezuka, but this film The Legend of the Forest, is a bit of a disappointment. Now keep in mind if your looking for a spoiler free review this inst for you, as for the rest of you read on. Honestly, judging by the poster, I thought this film was going to be a charming tale about a flying squirrel saving his girl from hunters and Hitler. Instead I got this rather mean-spirited film that at many
times was needlessly cruel. Before I go into further detail I want to mention that there are going to be major spoilers, so if you do not want to be spoiled, go watch the film right now, it's only about 30 minutes long.
Now for those if you don't care, this film starts with a flying squirrel who was abandoned by his family after a hunter or lumberjack cut down their tree. We then follow his life in form of the evolution of animation which is probably the most visually interesting thing from Tezuka I've seen yet. The squirrel starts rather mean spirited till he meets the love of his life who shortly after gets shot by a hunter. Not to long after the squirrels story tragically ends with him getting struck by lightning and then we cut to suddenly fairies in the forest, weird right? now t this film's credit it's flat out unwatchable, if anything the animation alone warrants watching it at least once.
This should have been tezuka's last masterpiece but it comes off as to mean spirited to be something he'd make. His works were usually about hope and how important it is to have it but neither of these two things are present. I suppose this might be due to this film being made shortly after he found out he had stomach cancer so i can't blame his works tone changing. If I had to gauge this by a number I'd give it a 5. This is mainly due to the top notch animation attached to it. If you're curious to see a so important piece of animation history from Japan or are a die hard Tezuka fan take a look, if not I'd say skip it.
Rate a 5
No vocals it is instrumental instead
-Introduction was a success. A good intro shows and describes the main character and what is goal will be.
-conclusion was a disappointment and mystifying. In the middle of the movie there is a mini battle of sorts. That requires a godly act to end it. Fast forwarding we end with a vast amount of soldiers and an act that isn't got like ends it. Maybe it wouldn't have been so depressing and down putting if there wasn't a meeting held to discuss what actions to take. For in the meeting it was made clear that although
there were multiple ways in going about it none seemed to be the best.
-The message behind the story was kind. Went with the idea that never give up hope no matter how big the problem is.
This was a mess. While at some points i can agree the change in art style was appreciated for it provided a meaningful flair. Although, the constant jumps in later art styles was not only pointless but confusing. You had stills, then black and white, color, lack of color, old style cartoon and so forth.
While there was good background music that matched the tempo of the story the animation could have benefited from sound effects.
-moderate in depth in background
- normally i find when a story portrays a certain character from the rest i expect to see that character progress until the end. Instead it was as if the main character died.
This is like a Disney film based on a pro nature perspective. Although, given how it was produced i don't see it ever coming close to great films like Frozen.