Minuscule - Mandibles From Far Away
3D animation is superimposed atop gorgeous nature photography in this dialogue-less, Finding Nemo-esque tale of a French ladybug who accidentally stows away to the Caribbean and his dad who sets off to find him.
"A gorgeous, completely dialogue-less movie that's suspenseful, easy to follow and a real pleasure to watch."—The Hollywood Reporter
Current advances in 3D animation technology may have ushered in a new Golden Age of pure cinema with the Minuscule films. Based on the popular French television series of computer-animated comic vignettes about the insect world, the directing duo of Helene Giraud and Thomas Szabo made their giant leap to the bug… er, big screen in 2014 with their debut feature, Minuscule: Valley Of The Lost Ants, about a young ladybug's adventures with two warring factions of ants at a picnic. This sequel, Mandibles From Far Away, expands the bugs' world to a global scale. When a ladybug gets caught accidentally in a box being shipped to the Caribbean, his father sets off on a Nemo-style transatlantic journey to rescue his son from the jungles of Guadeloupe and the island's exotic tarantulas, mantises, caterpillars, and other hungry creepy-crawlies. Shot with a combination of lush, live-action photography and manic 3D animation, Mandibles contains no dialogue or narration for its 92-minute length, relying entirely on sight gags and sound cues to tell the story—which could be a Discovery Channel nature doc seen through the colorful imagination of Chuck Jones. While the hyperkinetic hijinks are aimed mostly at kids, the film's humor is sophisticated enough to entertain viewers of all ages—and species. Recommended for all ages.
After an extensive career as a writer, storyboarder, and sound editor, Szabo directed the short Mouche A Merde, combining animation and real nature footage, in 2002. He then developed it into the TV series Minuscule - The Private Life Of Insects in 2004 and collaborated on the series' second season with Hélène Giraud in 2010. Minuscule - Mandibles From Far Away is their second feature together. As a 1991 graduate of ESAT (Ecole du Spectacle des Arts et des Techniques), Giraud's first high-profile project was graphic design on The Fifth Element, and she has worked on many animation series and video games since then.
Sponsored by Alliance Française de Seattle, French American School of Puget Sound, North Seattle French School
- Original Language Title: Minuscule - Les Mandibules du Bout du Monde
- Director: Thomas Szabo, Hélène Giraud
- Country: France
- Year: 2018
- Running Time: 92 minutes
- Producer: Philippe Delarue
- Screenplay: Thomas Szabo, Helene Giraud
- Cinematographers: Dominique Fausset
- Editors: Valerie Chappellet, Benjamin Massoubre
- Music: Mathieu Lamboley
- Website: Official Film Website
- Filmography: Minuscule: Valley of the Lost Ants (2013)
- Language: No Dialogue
- Has Subtitles: Yes
- Format: DCP
- International Sales: Backup Media