Long Way North

Film, Animation
long way north
1/3
long way north
2/3
long way north
3/3

A young girl heads for the Arctic in search of her explorer uncle in this creaky cartoon

Pity the poor child who gets dragged along to this crawlingly slow, French-made Arctic exploration animation. In upper-class nineteenth-century St Petersburg, all the talk is of the Davai, a state-of-the-art steam ship missing in the Arctic sea. But young Sasha, niece of the lost vessel’s captain, refuses to believe the Davai has sunk – and when she finds a scrap of paper implying that the rescue parties have been searching in the wrong place, she sets out to bring her beloved uncle home.

The visual style here is pleasingly simple, with round, Moomin-ish faces and washes of icy pastel colour. But the story is pretty flat, spending ages setting up a rivalry between aristocrats that turns out to have no bearing on the story at all. The brunt of the blame, however, has to land on those responsible for the English dub: the bored-sounding voice cast are interchangeably posh, and it’s hard to take a rugged Russian sailor seriously when he sounds like he should be in ‘The Archers’.

By: Tom Huddleston

Posted:

Release details

Release date: Friday June 17 2016
Duration: 81 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Rémi Chayé
Screenwriter: Claire Paoletti

Average User Rating

3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
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Tastemaker

This is a really beautiful film. I love the easy, flowing art style, and when the scene shifts to the arctic, the snow and whiteness is beautifully rendered, almost coming alive. The storyline is simple enough for a film targeting younger audiences, and it's always refreshing to see a strong female character helming a film. The pace does dip significantly towards the middle however, and can be a little difficult to sit through. It's not a bad film, but it happens to suffer from not being particularly interesting, despite how visually arresting it is. Thankfully, the ending kind of makes up for the trudge towards it, but if you plan on seeing this, be prepared for what is truly a long way to the end.