Review: Rose and the Stone Troll
- The feature debut from Karla Nor Holmbäck is a charming film that will delight very young audiences and be a rejuvenating balm for the adults
"There is nothing wrong with being scared, but know that surrounded by her friends, a tiny flower fairy like you will be able to face a lot more than you think.” Animated films aimed at very young audiences are a fountain of youth whose ingenuity can sometimes make the adults smile, but that is where future generations of viewers are formed, hence the importance of creating works for children that combine entertainment, formal qualities and positive messages (whose subtext can resonate with older audiences). One such film is Rose and the Stone Troll [+see also:
film profile], the charming feature debut from Danish filmmaker Karla Nor Holmbäck, screening in the Contrechamp competition of the 42nd Annecy International Animated Film Festival.
"We will live some great adventures… Let’s discover the world together." For Rose, whose bucolic existence in Summerland consists simply in waking up the flowers in the morning using her magic wand, and putting them to sleep in the evening, the sudden arrival of the audacious butterfly Satin is a real revolution. The small flower fairy is somewhat lonely, and has even promised out of sympathy to marry the baby mouse Gustav, who cannot find any of his fellow creatures willing to be with him. But her new friend Satin saves her from this union (“you have to think of yourself, too”) and leads her on a quest to find the ocean, before disappearing one night while exploring the forest. Overcoming her fear of the creatures of the Black Mountains, Rose goes looking for Satin… But a stone troll (who petrifies all the fauna and flora) prowls the area and to eliminate this obstacle, Rose will have to face other dangers and find new allies…
A short-sighted owl, a pie-baking mice family, a flatulent troll, an altruistic fly, an elder council summoned by the king of the river (an elf), a maleficent witch and a magical mirror needed to rid Summerland of its threatening intruder… Rose and her new friends will learn to listen to themselves, to better understand the world around them, and to find within themselves the collective strength to be fearless. These stories are written by Toke Westmark Steensen (based on the characters from the book series Rosa by Josefine Ottesen) and gently brought to life by Karla Nor Holmbäck with a very vivid colour palette showing an omnipresent nature. A film that will delight the youngest audiences and remind the older ones that movement, the courage to face danger and the gift of friendship make up an ideal recipe against solitude, routine and petrification.
(Translated from French)
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