Big disappointment, amateurish writing and directing.
I saw this film at the world premiere at the Festival d'Annecy 2008, in Annecy, France. The designs were charmingly old school and the movie seemed cute.
Unfortunately, it's really badly written. The story, although it's for kids and revolves around a very classical them (mean greedy corporate suit destroys nature for money but little innocent girl meets magical beings and fights with only her innocence), is treated way too naively.
Although the characters have clear goals, the story is really badly structured and the overall pace of the film is boring. The fact that the dialogue are extremely poor only makes it worse. They're awkward, sound awfully unnatural, are way too long and inefficient for conveying the needed information to the audience.
So bad story, badly structured, served by bad dialogues. But the actors suck quite a bit too. I saw the movie in its original french version (my mother tongue), and the actors just sound awful and lack believability and every single one of their lines (the fact that they've been given amateur lines in the first place must not help).
All of the above plus a million other details make a movie that just simply DOESN'T work. Every person I spoke to after the screening (many of them animation professionals) said they just couldn't get to care about the characters and that none of the emotion worked in the film. Nobody felt sad when something sad happened, nobody felt any kind of tension during the scenes where there was supposed to be some, the climax didn't work at all, etc.
I'm here judging the film on its "film" qualities (writting, directing, acting), not on the technical side of things. But as a side note: the animation sucked balls, too. A few characters are cute, but the Migou (the strange creature) just look awkward and have an annoying personality.
What was very promising seems just like the poor man's My Neighbour Totoro.
It still bends my mind that it takes so long (6 years) to mount and produce such a film. The animation industry seems like a crazy place that needs to refine its financing channels...