The Legend of Sarila (La légende de Sarila) (NR)

Animation 80 November 1, 2013
By Chuck Wilson
A vibrant color scheme and the deliciously evil cackle of Christopher Plummer elevate this kid-friendly animated adventure from Canada. Plummer is the voice of Croolik, an aging, increasingly evil Inuit shaman whose clan is suffering from an absence of fresh game and vegetation. Fearful of Markussi (Dustin Milligan), a young villager with untapped shamanistic powers, Croolik sends him on a seemingly pointless journey to find Sarila, "a land where only the pure of heart can set foot and gather its bounty." Markussi is joined by two lifelong friends, along with a baby lemming that chirps adorably. For her feature debut, director Nancy Florence Savard infuses the film's slightly uneven computer animation — the humans move with more grace than the animals — with a truly beautiful color palette, one that gives the story's spirit owls, smoke dragons, and undersea goddess a shimmering glow. Children should enjoy the steady stream of action sequences, including a final magic-hurling showdown between Croolik and Markussi, even as their parents delight in Plummer's line readings, as well as those of Geneviève Bujold, playing the clan's wise old medicine woman. These two Canadian pros need to make a live-action movie together.
Nancy Florence Savard Christopher Plummer, Rachelle Lefevre, Dustin Milligan, Ellen David, Geneviève Bujold, Geneviève Bujold Roger Harvey, Paul Risacher, Pierre Tremblay Marie-Claude Beauchamp, Paul Risacher, Nancy Florence Savard


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