Have always loved Michael Morpurgo’s books/stories, it was the case from an early age when reading it in primary school and it still is now with no change, and ‘Mimi and the Mountain Dragon’ is among his biggest delights. Beautifully written, rich in emotion and impossible to endear to or be touched by, if anybody has not read it they are seriously missing out and find a copy as soon as they can. Not intending to sound ignorant or anything, it’s just my thoughts.
Anybody who hasn’t read the book but saw this animated adaptation when it aired today may find themselves wanting to do so if they loved this adaptation. Found 2019’s ‘Mimi and the Mountain Dragon’ to be of absolute beauty in every way and it is another one of this year’s festive television period’s best. As an adaptation of such a great story it is as big a delight as one can get and on its own merits there is just so much to love here.
‘Mimi and the Mountain Dragon’ looks gorgeous, like turning the pages of the book and seeing the images come to vivid life. Have not seen such exquisite colours for an animated short film in a long time and the background detail does so well in immersing one into this quite magical setting. The narration is sincerely written and always engaging and the sung words really touch the soul.
The story never feels cluttered or over-stretched, effective in its simplicity yet rich in emotion. The charm never stops and even hearing the music is enough to make one feel emotional, the heart of the story is never lost and translates to poignant effect. The two titular characters are ones worth identifying with, never being cloying, and the portrayal of togetherness and fear have surprising depth. It is true in detail and spirit to Morpurgo’s source material and any additions and such are thoughtfully done and benefit the storytelling here.
What stands out here is Morpurgo’s narration, so soothing and the equivalent of the calm feeling a child gets when a parent reads a story out loud at bed time. One can feel the emotion in the sung vocals too. Standing out even more is the stunning score by Rachel Portman, so distinctive of her in orchestration and style and worthy of a feature-length film. Not only does it sound stunning, it got me emotionally too and to me music is even more beautiful when it makes me feel something.
Review by TheLittleSongbird