Blu-ray, DVD Release: Tales of the Night

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Jan. 29, 2013
Price: DVD $29.95, Blu-ray/DVD Combo $34.95
Studio: GKIDS/Cinedigm/New Video

Tales of the Night movie sceneThe 2011 animated fantasy family film Tales of the Night by French filmmaker Michel Ocelot (Kirikou and the Sorceress, Azur & Asmar) weaves together six exotic fables, each of which unfolds in a unique locale, from Tibet, to medieval Europe, to the Land of the Dead.

Tales of the Night (or Les contes de le nuit in its original French) extends the shadow puppet style of Ocelot’s earlier works, with black silhouetted characters set off against exquisitely detailed, colorfully kaleidoscopic patterns.

The half-dozen fables in the unrated film include the following:

The Werewolf – Two sisters are in love with the same dashing young man. The older girl wins the young man’s heart through deceit, leaving her younger sister in despair. But this perfect man has a terrible secret.
Ti Jean and the Belle-Sans-Connaître – In the Antilles, a carefree boy breezes along whistling. He enters a cave and goes down, down, down, deeper than he could ever imagine. Will nothing strike fear into his heart or break his stride?
The Chosen One And The City Of Gold – Amidst grand ceremony, a girl is given in sacrifice to a strange beast, and in exchange her people will receive much gold. The girl has a sweetheart who opposes the arrangement – but the creature is invincible!
Boy Tam-Tam – A boy taps away all day long, on anything he can find, driving everyone crazy. He’d love to own a real drum, or better still, the magic tam-tam, which can make anyone dance.
The Boy Who Never Lied – A horse that can speak is a rarity, but not so rare as a boy who never lies. The King of Tibet makes a bet that no one can make his stable boy tell a lie. His cousin accepts the bet – but he has a formidable secret weapon.
The Doe-Girl And The Architect’s Son – A young man sees his beloved transformed into a doe before his own eyes by a jealous sorcerer. The elusive Caress Fairy is the only one able to help him, but she’s so very hard to find.

Tales of the Night was nominated for a Golden Berlin Bear at the 2011 Berlin International Film Festival before opening on a limited theatrical basis in 3D around the world and in the U.S. in September 2012. It received generally positive reviews from critics, particularly fans of Ocelot’s brand of stylized, evocative animation.

The Blu-ray and DVD, which includes the original French-language version of the film with English subtitles as well as an English-language version, carries the following bonus features:

  • Interview with filmmaker Michel Ocelot
  • Featurette “The Festival of Color: Storytelling through Animation”
  • U.S. theatrical trailer

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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.