We think this movie stands out for:
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that while most kids (and grownups) will be charmed by and fully engaged in this film, there are some moderately scary images that might frighten the very young or very sensitive. The main child character is challenged by a skunk with bared teeth, a wart hog chases him, a boat carries off some of the village children against their will, and a villainous sorceress makes powerful threats and uses magic. The simple animation depicts the population of an African village with women naked from the waist up (breasts of all shapes and sizes are seen) and children sometimes naked or with a loin cloth. Kirikou -- the main character -- is a toddler, and his genitals are sometimes visible in profile but without any detail.
What's the story?
Kirikou is born into an African village that is ruled by Karaba, an evil sorceress and her minions (robots called "fetishes"). She has cut off all their water and is believed to have eaten all the men of the village. The women and children who remain, live in fear and poverty as a result. In his innocence and with great self-confidence, the tiny Kirikou sets out to find the source of Karaba's wickedness, destroy her evil, and return the village to peace and prosperity. Along the way, he is faced with many obstacles the sorceress places in his path, as well as a gaggle of older children who make fun of him, and, finally, a wise man who helps lead him closer to his goal.
Is it any good?
This unique, beautiful film is thoughtful, funny, imaginative, and, at the same time, speaks to the best human impulses and behavior. Kirikou, the heroic toddler, with the wisdom of the ages and unwavering love for the world around him, does not wish merely to defeat the evil sorceress, but also to understand why she behaves as she does. Magically, because of Kirikou's tenacity and courage, the villain is not defeated, but redeemed. With vivid, simple animation that evokes African culture and its art, with music that enhances the always-engaging story, and with rich, full characters KIRIKOU AND THE SORCERESS is highly recommended. It's a movie that grownups and kids of all ages can delight in together.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how art and the music in this animated film from France and Belgium differs from the art and music in American animated films?
Most cartoon heroes set out to defeat the larger-than-life villains they encounter. What is different about Kirikou's quest?
How do the animators represent the human body in this movie? If you were embarrassed when you first saw Kirikou and the female villagers, did that change as you became accustomed to the way they were drawn?
In lots of movies, we can figure out how it's going to end very early. In what ways did this story surprise you?
Find more movies that help kids build character.
For kids who love fascinating stories
Our editors recommend
Top advice and articles
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.