The adventure continues. It only took two years (and a new director) for a second film on young Sébastien and his loyal dog Belle. World War II was a crucial plot point in the first film, but for this 95-minute sequel here, wartime is over. It starts in fall 1945 with a major character from the first film being in a plane crash. The rest of the film is all about the title duo trying to rescue her. It's a long route though until they finally succeed. They make new friends and also meet new family members actually. The film is a lot about the title character's relationship to his dad whom he has never met before. I must say I liked this part. Thierry Neuvic is a worthy addition to the franchise. And it adds some nice heart to the story. What I also liked was Belle of course, such a beautiful animal and even if this film is not really about her, in contrast to the first, she is still in almost all the scenes from start to finish. I just want to touch her soft white fur.
There was nothing really bad about the film. Yes there were some issues with predictability or realism at times, but it was nowhere near bad enough to leave a lasting negative impression. Sadly, also Tchéky Karyo's character was underused in this film and honestly, he would not have been missed if his scenes were left out completely. The comedy with his journey to finding Sébastien and dad mostly relied on him talking down to his companion on this journey, a helper to Sébastien's father at the hangar. What I liked about this movie is that we also see some other animals, not only Belle, during several scenes. They do not play a role whatsoever, but goats and rabbits for example are always cute to look at. And there was even one impressive scene with a bear. You are not alone this year, Hugh Glass!
All in all, I did not enjoy this one as much as the first film, but this is only because the first one was really great and this sequel here is merely good. The true relevance in terms of the story is missing. There was simply nothing that came close to the war references in the first film or also to story about Belle being a dangerous beast. However, this second movie managed to score with a nice father-son relationship story instead. And it was top-notch visually again for sure with the beautiful mountain landscapes. Thylane Blondeau (apparently especially impressive as this was her very first performance) was a nice addition too playing a major supporting character here. The intention was for sure to make this film also appealing to girls and they may identify with her story of being stuck between acting like a boy and being a girl. A handful really nice components in here. I recommend this movie to everybody who liked the first and that includes grown-ups like myself. Thumbs up.
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