Review: Triple Staircase: Animal Sinterklaas (2014)

Directed by: Paco Vink, Albert ‘t Hooft | 67 minutes | animation, family | Dutch voice cast: Georgina Verbaan, Kasper van Kooten, Bartho Braat, Hans Somers, Reinder van der Naalt, Peggy Vrijens, Mees Rijken, Leo Richardson

The discussion surrounding Zwarte Piet is now almost as traditional as the Sinterklaas party itself. Films about the children’s party have also been part of the cultural common good for years, although those films fluctuate too much in quality between well-received films such as ‘The horse of Sinterklaas’ (Mischa Kamp; 2005) on one and countless empty Dutch celebrities. vehicles on the other side. Now an animated film has been added with ‘Trippel Trappel: Dierensinterklaas’. The animation genre is also a traditional but often forgotten discipline in the Netherlands. Certainly in the field of short film, our country has produced some beautiful animation works. However, making a long drawn feature film is quite unique (precursor ‘If you understand what I mean’ is from 1983, for example) and for that reason alone already knows’ Trippel Trappel:

With a production process of five years, it is no easy task to make a long animation film. Fortunately, ‘Trippel Trappel: Dierensinterklaas’ has not chosen to use the hyper-realistic approach that seems to be in vogue in the current animation world. Rather, it harkens back to the delightful handcrafted drawing styles of the 1990s and before. Accessibility is the magic word. And the film certainly succeeds. ‘Trippel Trappel: Animal Sinterklaas’ uses elegant round shapes. The backgrounds are painted in a painterly way. It doesn’t look very sharp, but all the more fun. Just as it suits the Sinterklaas party. The characters look similar. Fluent pencil sketches line their faces. Clear coloring make them recognizable to the public.

The main character in ‘Trippel Trappel: Dierensinterklaas’ is the newly invented character Fretje. The (over) courageous ferret is of the opinion that the animals should also celebrate Sinterklaas. Like the other animals in the neighborhood, he makes a wish list that he wants to put under the fireplace that evening. There is only one problem. The day of package evening has already arrived. There is nothing else for the pets to bring the lists to the saint themselves. Together with Kari the canary and Takkie the stick insect, he sets out to complete their quest. Their adventurous journey to Sinterklaas’ boat is not without dangers, however. Especially when a mean rat threatens to throw a spanner in the works.

The experiences of the trio are interspersed with a number of songs that will especially appeal to the youngest viewers. However, its added value for older children is nil. However, it should not spoil the fun. The humor is decent, the moralism is not too close and the adventures are entertaining.

Filmmakers Albert ‘t Hooft and Paco Vink have not been envied with the creation of’ Trippel Trappel: Dierensinterklaas’. Although the recognizable appearance of the film will also catch on abroad, the subject of Sinterklaas is more difficult to understand for non-Dutch people. A large production like this nevertheless deserves a large number of visitors. Therefore this appeal to everyone with young children: go see this film!

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