Dec 24, 2010
5camp (All reviews)
Legend of Sirius is a Dis­ney Movie. OK, it’s not by Dis­ney or by any of the staff from Dis­ney, but not a single aspect of it makes me feel like it ori­gin­ated from Japan, obvi­ously helped by watch­ing the dub. It’s a re ima­gin­ing of the clas­sic Romeo and Juliet tale except this time set in a myth­ical land between Fire People and Water People. Because if there’s ever two things that don’t get along, fire vs water is only beaten by light vs dark and moe fans vs mecha fans. So much of this is clas­sic Dis­ney. The main char­ac­ter has a wise-cracking smal­ler friend who helps him out when he is in a des­per­ate state towards the end of the movie. He also has doo­fus rival who comes in and messes up his plans in a sig­ni­fic­ant way where as earlier he was just a minor annoy­ance. There’s even the ever clas­sic ‘for­bid­den zone’, that is actu­ally called in-story the ‘for­bid­den zone, where the main char­ac­ter can’t go but does so any­way and makes his father angry. The more you look at it, the less it becomes Romeo and Juliet and the more it looks like The Lion King.

The anim­a­tion style has come straight out of Fantasia. Again, none of this looks like anime in any way. The pen­cil lines to depict the roar­ing waves is very Night on Bald Moun­tain. The way the show sets it’s frames comes out of clas­sic Dis­ney as well with the way it draws the centre focus of the pic­ture in a eth­er­eal glow next to the hard pen­cil lined back­grounds they were set against. This was pretty under­stand­able given the centre focus of a shot was often a Being of Fire and hence are meant to glow. It’s often been touted that Ghibli are a Japan­ese Ghibli, which is a pretty accur­ate descrip­tion. How­ever the fact remains that Ghibli still feels Japan­e­sey and has it’s own unique style. Legend of Sirius is not Ghibli. It is Disney.

None of this is a bad thing, des­pite my descrip­tion of it sound­ing like look­ing like the work of the most suc­cess­ful anim­a­tion com­pany of all time would be a bad thing. It’s just the easi­est way to get you to pic­ture what this movie is like. Because this movie, like much of clas­sic Dis­ney, is really damn good. There is the slight feel­ing that I’m in the wrong age bracket for this movie obvi­ously, neither being below the age of 10 nor old enough to hav­ing 10 year olds call me dad. This is very much a fam­ily movie, des­pite the obvi­ous tragedy that is the Romeo and Juliet story. The movie does work the story into a hope­ful and beau­ti­ful end­ing, but I still found myself feel­ing pretty sad by the end of it all. I’d got­ten myself really into the corny ideal­istic romance of Malta and Sirius. Well, See–ree-oos as Malta called him. No won­der the guy went batty for her when she had such a sexy accent, although wear­ing no clothes and hav­ing high heels nat­ur­ally built into her physique prob­ably helped.

Oh yes, I should prob­ably add that you should watch this dubbed. Watch­ing it in Japan­ese des­troys the Dis­ney feel of it and detracts from the beau­ti­ful art­work you should be ogling at. This is the type of movie corny line deliv­ery adds to the exper­i­ence. And since you’re watch­ing it dubbed, you might as well watch it as it was inten­ded. That is, stick it on one day when you’ve got to keep kids quiet for 2 hours but don’t want to stick on the bullcrap that passes for children’s tele­vi­sion nowadays. They may try to hide behind the couch when the big vil­lain makes his tentacley appear­ance (I cer­tainly wanted to) and dry a few tears when the inev­it­able end­ing occurs, but it’s well worth the watch for the excel­lent storytelling and ima­gin­at­ive world building.