Azur & Asmar: The Princes' Quest

Movie review by Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Azur & Asmar: The Princes' Quest Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 7+

Animated fairy tale teaches cultural understanding.

PG 2008 99 minutes

Parents say

age 6+

Based on 6 reviews

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Community Reviews

age 3+

Exceptional - to be watched over and over again - with deep messages

My 2 year old has been watching this over 100 times in meditative fascination - and so have I... By the makers of Kirikou - also very good, this animation art in a children's tale - the basics have been covered by "everyone" - tale of a child who loses his mother in child birth and gets a servant wet nurse - becomes infatualted with the nursery rhymes she tells and her story from "the country accross the sea". to the point that he dedicates his life in realizing the story of the nursery tale. ok great.. there is a lot more to look for - yes immerse yourself in this story how rival children become firm brothers how a family is made from those in unfortunate circumstances and how they all see the reality of the world hs harsh, judgmental and cold and seek a magical loving life. Azur and Asmar – Meaning behind the story - to look out for At a point between the journey on the ship and the breaking of the second day after eating rotting carcass, Azur has died and gone into a fantasy story projecting from his experience as a child and youth. The father despite objecting to the tales of the jinn still agrees to pay for passage on the ship the North Africa and Azur is washed overboard. The prospector appointed by the father to take Azur away, is the same character projected after the “waking on the second day” knows as Crapaud. The Prospector is tasked to educate him and drive out the tales of the land of the Jinn and form him as a young man Crapaud continues his propector characteristics by being - from the same country – having blue eyes, the same glasses and gait and way of looking down his nose, his disprect of Arabic culture and the land and people, disregarding all. Other factors about the land of the Jinn immediately change after Azurs “death” in the first day after eating rotting meat, the city of Medina is not far (though geographically it is form the North African Coast) the language he speaks fluently and is understood whereas on the first day he could not string a phrase together and was stoned and chased away by locals. The importance of bilingual characters is constant, those in positions of intelligence learning and knowledge are “bi-llingual”, in his mind, Azur is fixated on not being able to speak the language of Nourisse. The story rolls out step by step with the children’s tale he drew up with. . Azur is identified by Nourisse by being able to sing the nursery rhyme he was sung as a baby. The story , the finding of the keys the beautiful landscape the danger and overcoming the beasts all follow exactly like the nursery rhyme. Nourisse comments that Azur and Asmar are her two sons and that they have both always wanted the same things. Nourisse and Asmar are in a position of great wealth and power though were discarded in the night as penniless vagabounds in France when Azur was sent away Azur in dying or death projects the story of the land of the Jinn in his dying moments. The folly of travelling across the sea to a barren war torn land based on a Childs nursery rhyme dispute the interventions of his father in attempting to discipline him into society and away from the dream lead him to his death. Azur ‘s mother died in child birth and he was left by his father to bet wet nursed by a servant wet nurse and akind with her son. The father continually attempts to establish class and status between them and is constantly frustrated with Azur’s fascination with Nourisse and a maternal figure. This bonds and also causes confrontation between Azur and Asmar. Asmar is bored constantly and jealous of Azur. Asmar has nothing to do except be forced into the company of Azur which bonds them though the divisions put between them made him aggressive to Azur and he fight constantly. In the story after the second day when AZUR “Wakes up”, all the elements of their former life argument and rivalry are included but turned around becoming fraternal bond and supportive competition. In short Azur is mal-adjusted to the world he is born in, he latches on to Nourisse for comfort though the relationship is constantly hindered due to class divisions, he is unable to exist within the social structure he is born into and is sent a way for correction. On turning an adult though corrected he still is locked into the trauma of his inability to adjust to the world he has been born into and seeks to return to the only point of happiness in his entire life being his time with Nourisse and seeks it out only to find his death. Azurs story is that a child needs a mothers ove over and above everything or will forever be unable to adjusted and fit within the cold hard reality asylum that they ae born into. Nourisse and Asmar die of starvation or the elements after being cast out into the cold night with nothing but the clothes on their back. OVERALL 5 star. Recommend hell yes - watched in original french version.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 5+

Beautiful film

This movie is done in beautiful colors but the animation is very different from what most are used to. My sons LOVE this movie. I think the messages are good. It's nice to see an animated movie where the "princes" are center stage.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages

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