This film ranked #59 in Time Out's list of the 100 greatest French films. Click here to see the full list.
Director: Paul Grimault
The result of a long collaboration (and tortured production history) between animator Grimault and the respected screenwriter Jacques Prévert, this animated cartoon tells of the downfall of the king and kingdom of Tachycardia. Drawing upon ideas and images as different as Fritz Lang's Metropolis and the writings of Hans Christian Andersen, the film is distinguished by stylish graphics and an elegant visual and verbal humour that is guaranteed to appeal to all tastes and ages. The characterisations are a delight, and if the pace is occasionally as stately as the Tachycardian royal title (King Charles V-and-III-makes-VIII-and-VIII-makes-XVI), it merely allows more time to gape at the architecture of Tachycardia, a cool collage of Venetian canals, Bavarian castles, and New York tower blocks that is vast, monolithic, and truly vertiginous.