The Legend of the Sky Kingdom
DVD animated movie
Roadshow Entertainment RRP $29.95
The Legend of the Sky Kingdom is a children’s story about three children who make a daring escape from slavery in an underground city and embark on a dangerous journey in search of the Sky Kingdom. Along the way they are caught in a battle for their lives between the great Prince Ariel and the Evil Emperor who will stop at nothing to get them back.
Produced in Zimbabwe using stop-motion animation and a hauntingly beautiful Afro-pop soundtrack, the production of this film is nothing less than a work of art created by a tiny and youthful team on a shoe-string budget.
They call their style “junkmation” and almost the entire set and characters are magnificent constructions made from junk and rubbish such as hessian bags, tyre tubes, rusty shears, paint tins, old toothbrushes, electrical clips, crushed Coke cans and tennis balls.
Unfortunately the absolute brilliance of this award-winning animated movie is wasted on a shallow allegory modelled on the story line of Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, complete with contrived biblical-style place-names.
The heroes of the story escape from wolf-like hyenas, a scrap-metal crocodile and skateboard-riding jackals shooting flaming arrows as they travel through the Desert of Desolation, the Forest of Fear and Doubt, and even the Valley of Death.
The absolute attention to detail and total dedication to the task have produced a visual masterpiece which took the team of 15 three years of painstaking work shooting 24 frames per second for the action scenes and 12 frames per second for the others.
Sky Kingdom has been compared to the animated movie hit Chicken Run made by a team of 180 professional animators in the USA at a cost of US $42 million. That in itself makes this movie nothing short of inspired and consummate.
The testimony of this movie is not the storyline-metaphor of salvation but the ingenious and marvellous accomplishment of God’s created children.
Divine Entertainment releases are available from Target stores across Australia.