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This is a short film being shown at the Toronto Worldwide Short Film Festival this year. The film doesn’t really have a plot line; it’s more a visual piece that allows the audience to briefly follow a spring fairy as he wakes up nature after the end of winter. On the webpage provided below, it is stated that this film is a tribute to nature and is symbolic of the awakening of spring. It’s a whimsical little film and is very short. If you like it, be sure to check out the creators’ other films, which are posted on both the link below and on the Vimeo profile.

Here is the website http://www.inkymind.com/work.html#

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Faeries (1999)

Faeries is an animated film about a sister and a brother, Nellie and George, who are sent to live at a relative’s farm for a time. They are somewhat unhappy about this, Nellie in particular. Once they’re settled in, the children go out to play. George wants to play hide and seek and scampers off to hide from Nellie, and while she isn’t looking, disappears into a tree. While looking for George, a creepy looking man (Jeremy Irons!) appears and tells her of a prophecy. She is a little shaken by this stranger and runs back to the house (not seeing him turn into a crow and fly away). She gets back to the house and continues her search for her brother and comes across a hobgoblin in her cupboard. It appears as though her brother has gone into the fairy realm, and Nellie must hurry and bring him back before he eats something and is unable to return. The goblin takes her to the faery tree and she goes in to find her brother. When she does get to him though, he has already eaten faery food and cannot return to the human realm ever. Nellie calls the faery king and pleads for the release of her brother. The king contents to give them three quests, and if they complete these quests, George will be able to leave fairy land. The nature of the quests change after the prince see’s the farm hand Brigit (Kate Winslet). There is also the matter of the shape shifter, who is after the fairy king’s throne. It is of course up to Nellie and George to save the day.

This film has a mix of both classic 2D animation as well as an early 3D animation style. For the most part the classic cartoon animation is used for the characters and the background, but several movement shots are done in 3D. Fairy land might have been real life foam fauna as well.

Here’s the imdb page

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Faeries is a very short movie, not even half an hour, and is based on Brian Froud’s book Faeries.

The story is about a youth named Oisin who is out on a hunt with the men to bring in some game for his birthday feast, but they have been unlucky are just about to give up and go home empty-handed. Just as the men are lamenting at even bringing the boy, a deer runs by Oisin and his horse chases it off into the forest. The deer stops to graze in a ring of mushrooms and just as Oisin is about to shoot it, it turns into a lovely young woman who states that she is Princess Niamh of the faeries. The princess takes Oisin with her to fairyland because they are in trouble. The king was showing off his magical ability and made his shadow come alive, but over time the shadow grew more powerful and began sucking power out of the king. The shadow took over most of the faerie realm with it’s darkness (which weakens the powers of the seelie court) and was going to go after the princess next. It is of course up to Oisin and his assigned companion Puck to go after the monster in it’s castle and defeat it, bringing peace to faerie realm once again.

The movie was decently done. Even though it was a short film it felt like a feature-length film. The animation of the faeries was very Froud like, which was interesting to see applied in a cartoon and was pretty accurate in regards to some creatures. Certain poses of some of the faeries looked like they came right out of the book. There were some cheesy lines and a few easy way outs that will have you rolling your eyes, but hey, it’s the 80′s. Overall worth while.

Someone actually posted it on youtube, so for the time being you can watch it there

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This is a children’s movie, filmed in a documentary style, about fairy houses. One of the characters features, Tracy Kane, actually wrote the Fair Houses book. She played herself in the movie and it was her book that inspired the concept.

Fairyhouses.com has a nice behind the scenes bit on their website http://www.fairyhouses.com/background/behind_scenes.htm

http://www.fairyhouses.com/kfh_dvd.html

This movie won many awards, which you can see by clicking the second link to the product page, the parent’s choice award being one of them. It’s a different kind of movie for children, a bit slower than your average film. There is no good guy or bad guy, no fighting or angst, but it isn’t exactly boring either. worth checking out.

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Photographing Fairies is a sci fi/ fantasy film set in the early 1900’s exploring the idea behind the cottingly fairy hoax. The story is about a young photographer named Charles Castle who looses his wife soon after they are married, and of course he is lost in his grief. He goes off to war and is employed as a photographer in the trenches, and after the war he is still consumed with death as we see him cut and paste photos of dead soldiers into new photos of their loved ones for a living. One day he finds himself at a supernatural convention of sorts and comes upon a lecture of a man telling people of the cottingly photographs and supporting the existence of faeries because of them. Charles then proceeds to interrupt the man, telling him that there is no way the photos can be real, both from a photographers perspectives and as one who has lost faith with all things the eye cannot see. The character of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle makes an appearance in the film, as he was a supporter of the photos, even though he wasn’t so supportive of them in the film. So, after attending the lecture, a woman comes to his studio and shows him some photographs that were supposedly of a real faerie standing on her daughter’s outstretched hand. Of course Charles doesn’t believe this any more than he believed the Cottingly story, but after closer inspection he finds that there is something not quite right about the photo and goes off to find the woman and ask her about it. The woman lives in the countryside with her husband, a pastor, their two daughters, and the governess for the girls. He finds the woman and tells her that he may believe her story, but she just smiles at him and tells him that the photograph doesn’t matter anymore because she has seen them. The details after this point I will not go into because that is where the real mystery lies.

Charles struggles throughout the movie with his wife’s death and cannot seem to get beyond the hold it has on him. Maybe because of this he has lost all faith in an after world or possibilities of another world within ours, until of course he goes in search of the faeries. When he does find a way to see them (whether or not he’s hallucinating is debatable) he clings to this connection ferociously and uses this to try to get in touch with his wife. At the end he is somewhat set free of this, and embarks on an adventure of sorts.

This is not a film for children, or if a child does see it, it should be monitored by a parent. There is both nudity and death in the film, and though neither appear in excess, I would say this is a 14 and up movie.

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FernGully is a great movie about a guy from a logging company who gets shrunk down to the size of a fairy and comes to see the beauty of the rain forest. The logger’s name is Zak, and Zak accompanies his logging workers to the rain forest to cut down the trees there. As they’re cutting down the trees however, a spunky fairy named Crysta is having fun with her friends and stumbles across a vast area of land covered with tree stumps. She’s horrified and tries to find the cause. She finds Zak, shrinks him down her size and after saving him from death by logging machine, spirits him away to where she and the other fairies live.

At first Zak is really skeptical about these fairies and doesn’t open himself up to them, but after he falls for Crysta he starts trying to see the world through her eyes. He eventually comes to see the beauty of the forest and does not want to cut down the trees. The threat caused by the loggers is personified in the movie by a slimy sludgy monster who grows when he drinks oil or breathes in the fumes from the logging machine. He was locked in an old tree years ago by an elder of the fairies, but the loggers cut this tree down and he takes over the logging machine. He eventually grows too big and to stop him the fairies use their magic to trap him within a tree.

The movie is very environmental, but not in an abrasive or overtly political way. It’s just showing kids the wonder and beauty that’s in nature, and how there are people who want to destroy the forests for money. There’s also the subtle insertion of the effects of animal testing. Batty, done by Robin Williams, has wires sticking out he his head and he is literally batty because of them. These messages won’t be lost on child, but the story’s told in a very engaging way and is appropriate for all ages.

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This movie is told with the air of a classic fairy tale, not the watered down versions we give our children today but the real ones with fangs and claws. There is an atmosphere of danger and suspense that constantly surrounds the girl, Ophelia and in response to that there is a persistent arousal of hope, or fantasy. Ophelia’s environment is not ideal. She is in some camp under the jurisdiction of a heartless man who has married her mother and who only cares about producing an heir. Everything around her is militaristic and hard and cold, and yet she continuously bumps into this other world of wonder and mystery, of fairies and fauns and the like. It’s like the metaphor of the flower that grows out of concrete. finding the extraordinary in the ordinary.
It’s debatable whether she is actually interacting with this other world and that it exists, or if she’s creating this world to escape her less than ideal reality. I suppose your answer would come from what kind of person you are and how you perceive the world. I enjoy the experience of believing it is real with a constant skeptic in the back of my mind nay saying everything the believer says, so I guess my view would change depending on what day you chanced upon asking me. The bottom line is that story is very well put together and whether or not you believe the world the girl is interacting with to be real, you’ll enjoy it either way.

Here’s the film’s website http://www.panslabyrinth.com/

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