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Pet Sins March 2001

Kirikou and the Sorceress

Kirikou and the Sorceress is a 1998 French animated feature directed by Michel Ocelot. Kirikou is a utterly adorable baby who tries to save his village from an evil sorceress. Based on West African legend, the story of Kirikou and the Sorceress interweaves modern technology and ancient magic, exceptional tyranny and common cruelties, all in one amazing adventure.

This is one of those rare full length animated features with only black African characters. What makes this film even more precious is the exquisite detail, rich backgrounds and lush colors. Unlike American animation, all characters, important or not, are drawn with great detail. Even background characters are a pleasure to observe. The human characters show a diversity of body shapes and hair styles.

For people of color used to watching all-white films in a white world, Kirikou and the Sorceress shows a world where black people are the norm, without making a big deal of it. With a resourceful hero of color who always does the right thing without hesitation, this is a movie every child of color should have in his/her collection.