In the Korean animated film, My Beautiful Girl Mari, adult Nam-woo remembers his 12 year old self, who struggled with coping with his mom’s new boyfriend who’s awkwardly trying to win him over after his father dies. At school he encounters trouble from a bullying snarky girl. His one friend Jun-ho is even more bungling and awkward than Nam-woo, but Jun-ho is soon to leave for school in Seoul.
While at a stationery store with Jun-ho, Nan-woo discovers a magical marble while enables him to escape to a lyrical, pastel fantasy land inhabited by an ethereal blond girl. Yes, that sounds very non-PC, but it’s cool and Nam-woo does deserve some respite.
The film is quite realistic in portraying issues modern Korea teens face – uncertainty with fragile families, aging grand parents, and school bullies. I think the film’s more suited to adults because of the frame of an adult looking back on his life, but there’s nothing objectionable that’s on screen that would shock a child.
The art is done using Illustrator and has a simple look. It did look like something many people could achieve with a bit of training, but that’s not bad. I liked that the animators made the most of cost-effective tools. The scenery was authentic. I liked that in some instances the setting was an old, dilapidated light house. In American animation, everything seems so new and perfect. In My Beautiful Girl Mari most of the scenes just looked real.
This 2002 can be enjoyed by age 11 and up. Made in 2002, it proved that Korea has a lot to offer the world of animation.
The Which Way Challenge, that Cee began, has been picked up by the Sonofthebeach69 blogger. The beauty of it is that it’s very free form. You can include images of doors, gates, roads, streets exits, signs, paths, waterways, you name it.
Join the fun. Share some directionally oriented photos and link to Sonofthebeach69 so we can find them. Include the image below.
The first film I’ve seen set in Laos is The Rocket. When the hero Ahlo is born, his twin dies causing his grandmother to believe that Ahlo is cursed. Grandma holds this belief for years.
When Ahlo is about 7 or 8, his family must leave their village where a new dam is getting built. As they journey to their new town, they meet with tragedy and Ahlo is blamed. The blame continues once they arrive at the site of their new home, where they discover all promises about the modern new town appear to be broken.
The one break Ahlo gets is meeting another outsider, Uncle Purple and his niece. Uncle Purple gets his nickname for the purple suit he always wears. Uncle Purple’s suit is a tip of the hat to his hero, James Brown. Kia, the uncle’s niece, is cold to Ahlo at first, but eventually befriends him as Ahlo tries to save his family by competing in a contest for the Rocket Festival.
The actor playing Ahlo was a street kid and he’s charismatic and authentic. I hope his career continues. The film was made my an Australian company that felt that countries without a solid film industry deserve to have their stories told.
The film captivated me with its story and acting. At times it’s intense and not for children, but I highly recommend you check it out.