Flow, Asterix by Chabat, The Lord of the Rings, Arcane season 2... Our favorites from Annecy 2024

Flow, Asterix by Chabat, The Lord of the Rings, Arcane season 2… Our favorites from Annecy 2024

As the International Animated Film Festival ends this evening, here is what struck us the most during this busy week.

Flow, the cat who was no longer afraid of water
Already invited to Annecy a few years ago for his first film, Elsewhere (which he had achieved entirely alone, a feat), the Latvian Gints Zilbalodis shook up the 2024 edition with the formidable Flow, the cat who was no longer afraid of water : an adorable little grandfather wakes up in a world where all human life seems to have disappeared. After a tidal wave which engulfs a large part of the land, the cat finds refuge on a boat with a group of other animals. And what's going on… An adventure as minimalist (no dialogue, the refined features of the animals) as it is massive (the gigantic settings and an incredible sense of setting) which has every chance for the Feature Film Crystal. A visual and tearful shock to discover on October 30 at the cinema.

Asterix, the battle of the leaders
We still haven't recovered from the unmissable presentation of the first images of Alain Chabat's Astérix series. Long months before the broadcast on Netflix, scheduled for the first half of 2025 without further details, the ex-Nuls and his teams detailed at length the process of creating this adaptation of the album The Battle of the Leaders. Absurd humor, visual gags on all levels, 5-star casting… “ Excuse my French, but I hope you will like it », blurted Chabat on stage at the Bonlieu cultural center. Of course we will kiff. Release in the first half of 2025.

Alain Chabat returns to Astérix: we saw the first stunning images of the series Le Combat des Chefs

The Wild Robot
Chris Sanders, the co-director of Lilo & Stitch, Dragons And The Croods returned to Annecy with without his luggage the first images of a film which would almost already have the air of a DreamWorks classic : the story of “Roz”, a robot dedicated to serving humans who ends up on a desert island where he cannot accomplish his main task. Disconcerted, he learns the language of the local animals and ends up adapting an orphaned gosling. The very pictorial graphic style of the Puss in Boots 2 has obviously made small contributions within the studio, but the brilliant Sanders mainly aims to achieve its fusion with the cinema of Miyazaki (the sets to die for). Result: a film of completely crazy visual modernity, both poetic and 100% kinetic. Release scheduled for October 9.

Chris Sanders – The Wild Robot: “Dreamworks is the best place to do animation”

Ultraman Rising
Baseball player by day and Ultraman by night, Ken Sato defends the world against invasions of alien monsters. But when he inherits a gigatron baby, his life will take a big turn. Unlikely mix between Pacific Rim And The Incredibles, Ultraman: Rising is a cute film about the struggles of parenting hidden behind a big Kaiju movie. The animation skilfully mixes pure 3D (visual plasticity, tangy colors) and 2D effects (manga look, lightning transition to black and white) in a pop visual orgy full of humor.

Ultraman: Rising mischievously mixes Kaiju and The Incredibles (review)

The Lord of the Rings: War of the Rohirrim
Strange idea: a prequel to Lord of the Rings in anime? And yet… it works. In any case, the twenty minutes presented at the start of the week were clearly intriguing. As a reminder, The War of the Rohirrim takes place 200 years before the events of The Hobbit and features Hèra, proud and free daughter of the king of Rohan who becomes the heart of a clash between different clans. The very Miyazakian look of the characters (which also recall Vinland Saga), the dry violence of certain scenes, the epic grandeur of the fights and the mythological power of the character design clearly make you want to discover more. Presented by Gollum himself (Andy Serkis in great form) and Philippa Boyens (the screenwriter of the Jackson trilogy) this session clearly crushed the competition in terms of applause. Released December 11, 2024.

We saw twenty minutes of Lord of the Rings: War of the Rohirrim

Arcane season 2
Mix Seven, Snatch, Furiosa, the big sound of Nirvana and the Animated look. Shake. You will obtain the montage of Arcane season 2 presented exclusively in Annecy by the Fortiche studio. In more than an hour, the creative team returned in detail to the process of creating a signature scene where we see the descent into hell of Vi, the heroine of the series. Live. Die. Repeat. Obviously becoming a boxer in illegal fights, Vi fights in an arena, ends up in a nightclub to drink alcohol, collapses on her shabby bed, before… leaving for new fights. A cut edit, a syncopated and worshipful sound, a sublime design (the metallic photo of Seven, the punk look): it was enough to heat up the fans (and us). Broadcast scheduled for November 2024 on Netflix.

Annecy 2024: Fortiche revealed an impressive scene from Arcane season 2

After the fabulous My life as a zucchini in 2016, Claude Barras this time takes the direction of Borneo, in an ancestral tropical forest threatened with destruction by greedy logging companies. And he recounts the fight undertaken by his young heroine to prevent it, by reconnecting with the nomadic part of her family. An immersive film where the enveloping form accompanies its primary desire: to arouse hope, to show the light at the end of the road, to celebrate the struggles of a youth wishing to correct the errors of its elders. Cynical minds will no doubt find the gesture a little vain. But his sincerity and his faith in his words sweep away everything or almost everything in his path. Released October 16.

Annecy 2024: Sauvages, the sublime eco-friendly tale from the director of My Life as Courgette (review)

Wallace & Gromit: Vengeance Most Fowl
We missed them, the two friends: Netflix and the Aardman studio are bringing these good old Wallace and Gromit out of the closet with a new feature film, Wallace & Gromit: Vengeance Most Fowl. Directors Nick Park and Merlin Crossingham made the trip to reveal several (obviously hilarious) scenes. We notably encountered the iconic villain of the stop-motion saga, Feathers McGraw (the penguin is now locked in a prison-like zoo); a garden gnome robot (with a brilliant design) which will be a big part of the plot and of course Wallace's crazy inventions. 31 years later Bad pants, the universe of Wallace and Gromit is more valiant than ever. Broadcast at the end of 2024.

Transformers: The Beginning
Big success with applause for this animated film which tells how Optimus Prime (Chris Hemsworth) and Megatron (Brian Tyree Henry), who we know as sworn enemies, were basically brothers in arms. This origin story attempts to restore some order to a completely Nawak mythology, and offers its share of spectacular action scenes. Fans and neophytes (a little inclined towards robots anyway) should take their panard. Released October 23.

Transformers – The Beginning in Annecy: “We wanted to create our own continuity” (interview)

The Two Rogues
Directed by Phil Johnston (Ralph 2.0) the film features Mr and Mrs Twit, two ugly and stupid beings. The fun trailer and making-of remind us that Road Dahl isn't just the preserve of Wes Anderson. Bad wit and black humor on all levels: the potential is enormous. See you in 2025 on Netflix.

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