Review: Fairytale Tree the Movie (2012)

Fairytale Tree the Movie (2012)

Directed by: Hans Walther | 73 minutes | animation, family | Original voice cast: Hero Muller, Roos van der Waerden, Rinie van den Elzen, Bianca van der Heijden, Lieke Pijnappels, Marike Folles, Fred Meijer, Xavier Werner, Nils Verkooijen, Reinder van der Naalt, Hildegard van Nijlen, Ali B, Armin van Buuren, Frank Focketyn

The first Dutch motion-capture film is a fact. The Efteling production ‘Fairytale Tree the film’ continues where the TROS TV series left off; a story – a bit longer this time – told through a talking tree in which the protagonists from the fairytale forest of the Efteling appear.

Through a wafer-thin plot line, Little Red Riding Hood, the Wolf, the Giant, Little Thumb and Cinderella end up in another world, after which they have to solve riddles to get back. The witch, the fakir and long-neck also play a role in the piece, so that not only fans of the ‘Fairytale Tree the film’ series can enjoy it, but there are also enough beautiful moments for visitors to the Efteling.

In addition to animation, ‘Fairytale Tree the film’ leans on the motion-capture technique that is widely used, especially in America; witnessed ‘Avatar’, ‘Beowulf’ and ‘The Polar Express’. It is clear that home-grown production cannot be in the shadow of these great predecessors, but that was never the intention. In terms of animation techniques, the Netherlands is already so far behind giants such as Pixar and Disney that it is difficult to catch up. Fortunately, the makers have realized that, and especially made a very recognizable film of it. For example, the faces of the Little Red Riding Hood and Little Thumb are not full of details, so that they remain almost identical to the many merchandise that the TV series has released to date.

The film was made by director Hans Walther, who had already made the TV series. He has opted for a simple style with fun dialogues full of morals, in order to serve the youngest. In everything, boys and girls for whom this is their first film have been visibly taken into account. If a young child has never seen a movie in the cinema, ‘Fairytale Tree the Movie’ is a good first step.

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