Trollhunter

Trollhunter is a Norwegian indie film from 2010 directed by Andre Øverdal. This film has already been given a Cult status in Norway. Mind you, this is not a movie for children, even though I would have loved it as a child, but its target audience is teens and adults.
It is filmed in a mock documentary style, a little like Blair Witch Project, and is a presentation of footage filmed by a group of young journalists. The actors in the film are all unknown, except for the trollhunter himself, and it adds to the feeling of it being a documentary. The film is not really scary at all, it’s more funny, especially if you have some pre-knowledge about Norwegian culture and Norwegian trolls. And the trolls themselves are just awesome!

The movie is about a team of students studying to become journalists who set out to make a documentary about this crazy man who claims that he is a trollhunter. The trollhunter is fed up by the government who conceals all traces of trolls, and he wants the public to know what is really going on in the Norwegian forests. Following is a hilarious and brilliant chase, where we get to know a lot about trolls and how they can still be alive!

What I love the most about this film is how thoroughly all the facts are explained, like why the trolls burst in sunlight, what they eat and how they live, all explained by a veterinarian troll expert! I love the descriptions of the different types of trolls, and I love how amazingly brilliant the trolls actually look on screen.

This movie might not be everyone’s cup of tea, as it is VERY Norwegian, but if you like to learn more about other cultures, folklore and the supernatural, then this movie is definitely for you, and I highly recommend it! I would say the movie can be seen by kids from 13 and up, but it depends on the child. I would not have found this movie disturbingly scary as a child, but all children are different. I’d say, if the child enjoys Jurassic Park, he or she can definitely watch this movie. 😊

Of course, five out of five stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

For younger kids, or for all kids of all ages, I would recommend the Dreamworks/ Netflix Series “Trollhunters”. It is an animated series that is, I can’t help but think, slightly inspired by the Norwegian Trollhunter. The storyline is brilliant and the animation awesome!

Tři bratři ( Three Brothers)

Tři bratři is a Czech musical Fairy Tale film from 2014 directed by the wonderful Jan Svěrák. This film is a spinoff of some of our most beloved fairy tales like Sleeping Beauty, also known as Briar Rose, Little Red Riding Hood, and a Czech version of Cinderella. I normally do not like modern musical fantasy films that much, but I adored this film! It might have a little bit to do with the fact that I love the beautiful sing-song Czech language. I especially appreciated the sweet voice of Little Red Riding Hood. And many of the musical scenes had me squealing with delight! 😊😊

This film is not a commercial film, so there are no computerized special effects, well a very very few but nothing to speak of, something that I very much appreciate. I loved all the little well-thought out details, like the witch’s cottage on the murky pond, the big bad wolf, the beautifully folksy decorated inside of Cinderella’s house, and granny’s adorable forest cottage. Everything with its own Czech flair. I also loved the costumes and the beautiful Czech people with their make-up free angelic looks and natural hair. It is a breath of fresh air from the, in my opinion, over-glamorized Hollywood fantasy films with all their high-tech special effects. I also loved how the fairy tales were not made into politically correct modern stories. They were rather made humorous, but not in a mocking way, rather in a sweet deliciously can’t-stop-grinning-ouch-my-cheeks-hurt kind of way.😄

Tři bratři is definitely different, and might not be everyone’s cup of tea, especially those who love big Hollywood productions like the new versions of the Disney classics, but if you, like me, love seeing movies from different countries, to see a glimpse of another way of telling stories, and very unique and beautiful cinematography, then you will definitely appreciate this little gem!

Of course, five out of five stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Christmas Dragon

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The Christmas Dragon is an American Christmas Fairytale Film from 2014. The film was released directly on DVD and it is not your typical ginormous budget Hollywood movie. It is a rather small film, but with a huge heart, lovely storytelling and wonderful child actors. The plot is your typical “save-the-magic-of-Christmas” plot, but it adds dragons, elves, goblins and child snatchers into the mix, and that makes it so wonderfully different!

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In the opening scene we are witness to the killing of Ayden’s (our Heroine) parents by a dragon. Six years later we meet her again, now the resident of an orphanage. One day Ayden ventures into the forest, and there she meets an elf who gives her a magic crystal, a compass that will help her save the magic of Christmas. As soon as the crystal leaves the elf’s hands he turns into a dark goblin. Meanwhile the children in the orphanage who have come of an age are being sold to the highest bidder to meet their destiny as slaves in the mines. Ayden convinces some of her friends to come with her on her quest to save the magic of Christmas and put an end to the dark times in the village. Ahead lies an adventure none of them could have expected where what the children thought of as their enemies become their most valuable helpers.

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I love this film wholeheartedly! It is sweet, magical and inspires the imagination to come up with lovely new universes! Yes, the special effects aren’t very good, but some of the sets are absolutely beautiful, and the children are such good actors! If had seen this film as a kid I would enacted the story in make-believe games over and over again, and probably made up my own stories set in the same universe. I will say though, that I think the film would have worked better as a TV series, I say this only because it would have reached a broader audience, and the fairy tale thrill of it would have allowied each episode to end on a cliffhanger which would have made it even more popular. But anyway, regardless of other reviewers, I loved the film and have already watched it twice!

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I absolutely recommend this sweet fairy film to children and adults alike!
Of course, five out of five stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

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Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is a musical fantasy film from 1971 directed by Mel Stuart and written by Roald Dahl, who is also the author of the book the film is adapted from. The film has later attained a Cult Classic status and is still being shown on television in many countries.

I think there is no need for my to retell the plot here, as we all know the story well, so I am just going to dive into the review. 😊

When I was little I loved Roald Dahl’s books, and I loved Willy Wonka. To me, he was such a magical, eccentric character, who cared about kindness, not about being liked by everyone. I remember thinking that Willy Wonka must have been tired of not fitting in to the wicked world of men, so he made a world for himself full of sweetness and fun and imagination. But as the story enfolds we understand that this world has become lonely, and that Willy Wonka is seeking a kindred spirit to share it with, and he finds this in Charlie Bucket, our hero.

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When I watched the 2005 adaptation of this film, the one directed by Tim Burton, starring Johnny Depp in the lead as Willy Wonka, I was completely torn out of my childhood fantasy. The Willy Wonka in that film was not MY sweet and magical Willy Wonka, he was a selfish dark character, and I did not like him one bit. The whole movie took a very dark turn in interpreting this story, probably due to both Tim Burton and Johnny Depp’s influence, and consequently I did not like the film. The 1971 adaptation on the other hand, I loved!

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Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is a much sweeter and more innocent take on the story, except for perhaps one scene (the one in the dark tunnel). I also loved the singing and dancing sequences, especially the opening one in the Candy Shop. The song “The Candy Man” is such a whimsical hit. (It was later recorded by Sammy Davis Jr.)

And I love, love, love the colors, the costumes and the sets, especially the first room in the Chocolate Factory. So magical! It is very typical the 70s, and of course free of computerized special effects and animation. Everything is actually made by hand! This, to me, gives the movie real soul and artistic quality, something I feel I rarely find in movies of this nature today. Today’s movie industry has a feel of being more about making money than art, I think. (But let’s not get political! 😀 ) It is not only the Chocolate Factory sets that are beautiful, the footage from the streets and buildings in the city is also lovely! The film was shot in Munich in 1970, and the authentic vintage shops are delightful!

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If you love old movies, especially the musical ones, you will also love this sweet film. I highly recommend it to children and adults alike! 👨‍👩‍👦‍👦

(Oh, and by the way, a warning: I still can’t get that Oompa Loompa song out of my head!! 😂😂)

Of course, five out of five stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Dark Crystal

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The Dark Crystal is a Fantasy film from 1982 directed and written by Jim Henson, and artistically designed by the legendary fantasy artist Brian Froud. The story is a dark tale about a splitting of the world into two, good and evil, and how this has caused evil to rule and destroy the world. It is up to the Gelfling Jen to bring the two parts back together by healing the dark crystal.

The film was marketed as a family film, but it is quite dark, not disturbingly so, but the evil Skesis are really evil, and also quite gross and “monstery”, so I would not necessarily call it a family friendly film, at least not suitable for very young children.

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It is also noteworthy to mention that the film’s special effects ( known as animatronics) was considered quite groundbreaking when it was released, and I can certainly see why. I love these old movies, completely free of today’s computerized special effects and, often poorly done, animation. You can really see the magnificent artistry that has gone into hand-making every little detail in this film, and it is for that reason I just fell in love with it! You really are in a different universe when you watch it, a universe highly influenced by the amazing imagination of the incredible Brian Froud.

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I particularly loved the character of Kira and her friendly monster-dog Fizzgig, she was the hero of the movie for me. I love how she could talk to animals, break them free from cages and summon them to her aid, I also loved that it was she who saved herself and Jen over and over again.

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The adorable Podlings were also amazing! And the scene of the Podling party was my favorite scene in the entire movie (until the evil Garthim came and ruined it all 😠😠!)

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Oh, and I just have to mention that at the end of the movie, in one of the final scenes, I literally screamed at the screen: “JUST HEAL THE CRYSTAL!!!!”, I mean, I screamed really loudly (I hope the neighbors didn’t hear me 😳)

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So, of course, if you haven’t already guessed it by now, I absolutely adored this amazing movie! And I would highly recommend it to everyone, especially, if you like me, love the world of Faery and Fantasy!

When it comes to age…I would have loved this film even as young as 6-7 year old, but I was not very scared of monsters when I was little, so maybe I can say that it is suitable for ages 10 and up (it is just fantasy after all, and I think by that age most kids can tell the difference between fantasy and reality).

A million trillion stars to this AMAZING film!! ✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨

La Belle et La Bete (Beauty and the Beast)

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La Belle et La Bete (Beauty and the Beast) is a French Fairy tale film from 2014 based on the famous fairy tale with the same name. The first time I watched this movie I was cruising above the Arabic Sea, happily sipping wine enveloped by white fluffy clouds. After that, I have watched it two more times, and finally ended up adding it to my own library.

Beauty and the Beast has always been my favorite fairy tale and this beautiful film is now right up there with my favorite fairy tale movies (alongside “Three wishes for Cinderella”). The film is a visual feast for the eye, the attention to detail in the architecture, landscaping, interior design and costumes, is just amazing!
The cinematography is stunning as well! I love the way the director (Christophe Gans) has solved the twists in the story, and the characters are styled and directed beautifully.

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I love how Belle (Beauty) is not overly sweet, but just a kind, brave, but otherwise normal girl who is put in an impossible situation. I love how the film showed how Bete (Beast) became a beast, and I loved the beautiful ending!

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I am going to watch this movie probably hundreds of times, just to dive into that fairy tale world and become absorbed in the costumes, the amazing artistry and visual beauty. Oh, and did I say that I loooove this movie! 😀

A hundred million stars! 😀 ✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨

* All the images are from the movie sourced via wikimedia

Kooky ( Kuky se vraki)

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Do you believe that the forest is full of tiny creatures, invisible to us humans, but very much alive and busily leading wonderful and extraordinary lives in between bushes and trees? Have you ever thought you saw something, just a tiny nut-shaped head or a brown stick-body, peeking up from the woodsy wayside? Then this is is the film for you!

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Kooky is a Czech fantasy film from 2010 combining puppet animation, stop motion and live action, to bring you the most amazing little story you’ve ever seen on screen. It has all the magic I love, artistry, imagination, comic lines and endearing eccentric characters! And it’s completely free of computerized animation and special effects!

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The story is about a little red teddy bear named Kooky who finds himself alone on a garbage dumpster. He has to use his wit and imagination to escape the guardians of the dumpster, and flee in to the magical forest world, where he meets the captain, a half blind guardian car racer who needs Kooky’s help to save a family of bird stuck on a tractor.

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Together, they embark on a magical adventure filled with fire, snow, river crossings, wet stuffing, bottle-melting prisons, and a villain who wants to take over the guardianship of the entire forest!

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This film had me laughing out loud, tearing up, smiling, cheering and applauding! It is exactly the kind of movie I just adore!

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Again please! 😄😄

Of course five out of five stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️