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Mune: Guardian of the Moon Movie Review

Title: Mune: Guardian of the Moon

Director: Alexandre Heboyan, Benoit Philippon

Genre: Animation

French animation studio Mikros Image – which will soon release Mark Osborne’s ‘Le Petite Prince’ – has wrapped a delightfully inspiring coming-of-age animation fantasy.

‘Mune: Guardian of the Moon’ – based on an original story idea by Benoit Philippon (director/screenwriter of the live-action feature ‘Lullaby of Pi’) – takes place in a universe in which the sun and moon are protected by guardians. The new inexpert fledgeling guardians are appointed and will find themselves unprepared for their role. Sohone, in charge of the sun is arrogant and only interested in impressing the girls, whereas Mune, gawky and naïve doesn’t even expect to be bequeathed the guardianship of the celestial body.

The design of the animation is extremely diversified, some characters that evoke mythological creatures are majestic, while others aren’t as charming. But the choice of opting for a cartoonish technique, when characters enter the world of dreams, is very enchanting. The story per se is a classic: day and night have to come to terms with each other, to defeat evil and reprise harmony. All through a double coming-of-age story. It will tickle you pink to spot out the play with words of the character’s names: Mune (as the moon), Sohone (as the son of the sun) and Glim (as the gleam that lives betwixt light and dark).

The cute flick definitely boasts and A-list crew: longtime DreamWorks designer Nico Marlet (‘Kung Fu Panda,’ ‘How to Train Your Dragon’) designed the characters, and Aurélien Predal (‘Room on the Broom,’ ‘A Monster in Paris’) art directed. Other crew included animation supervisor Sebastien Bruneau (‘Hotel Transylvania’ and also a lead animator on ‘The Little Prince’), character technical supervisor Hidekata Yosumi (‘Tangled,’ ‘Wreck-It Ralph’), and storyboard artists David Berthier (‘Despicable Me’) and Antoine Antin (‘The Illusionist’).

Mune has already been picked up for distribution in Italy (Notorious Pictures), South Korea (Smile Entertainment, Middle East (Gulf Films), China (Domo Media), India (Zoom Entertainment), Russia (Volga Films), and Poland (Monolith Films), but so far there is no American distribution.

Technical: C+

Story: B

Overall: B-

Written by: Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi

Mune: Guardian of the Moon

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Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi, is a film critic, culture and foreign affairs reporter, screenwriter, film-maker and visual artist. She studied in a British school in Milan, graduated in Political Sciences, got her Masters in screenwriting and film production and studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York and Los Angeles. Chiara’s “Material Puns” use wordplay to weld the title of the painting with the materials placed on canvas, through an ironic reinterpretation of Pop-Art, Dadaism and Ready Made. She exhibited her artwork in Milan, Rome, Venice, London, Oxford, Paris and Manhattan. Chiara works as a reporter for online, print, radio and television and also as a film festival PR/publicist. As a bi-lingual journalist (English and Italian), who is also fluent in French and Spanish, she is a member of the Foreign Press Association in New York, the Women Film Critics Circle in New York, the Italian Association of Journalists in Milan and the Federation of Film Critics of Europe and the Mediterranean. Chiara is also a Professor of Phenomenology of Contemporary Arts at IED University in Milan.

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