The West African Cartoon You Probably Missed

Kirikou and the Sorceress

This work is difficult to call underground — it has solid budgets, it was widely distributed, and was favorably received by critics. But it is difficult to attribute it to the mainstream because it is quite different from most modern cartoons.

“Kirikou and the Sorceress” (1998)

This cartoon is based on West African fairy tales and is quite unlike most modern cartoons.

History is cemented with fundamental wisdom instead of superficial morality. A leisurely thoughtful narrative replaces rapid development.

The cartoon is very beautiful and original. But its beauty is not in the detailed footage typical of high-budget paintings. “Kirikou and the Sorceress” are symbolic and deliberately simple paintings.

The soundtrack, which makes an African fairy tale look very authentic on screen, deserves special attention. Youssou N’Dour is a Senegalese singer and drummer who wrote it (he served as Minister of Culture in Senegal for a while).

This cartoon is a great way to get to know another culture. Let me know if you already have watched it!

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