A Minuscule Adventure Review
After a curious Ladybird (or bug depending on your preference) gets accidentally shipped away to the Caribbean in a cardboard box, it’s up to his fellow insect pals to save the day as they go on the journey of a lifetime.
A Miniscule Adventure, directed by Hélène Giraud and Thomas Szabo, who were behind Minuscule: Valley of the Lost Ants, a popular French television series which won the César Award for Best Animated Film in 2015, is a charming tale of determination, resilience and love.
The film, which combines live action and 3D animation, begins in a thriving French Valley with a family of ladybirds as they gather food supplies in preparation for winter. When one of the older ladybirds receives a call for help from a black ant who has run into some trouble with a group of aggressive red ants at a local grocery store, the ladybird is followed by his young son who attempts to help rescue their ant friend. During a struggle with the fierce red ants, our younger red and black spotted hero is knocked aside and gets trapped in a box headed straight for the Caribbean.
In a desperate attempt to rescue his son, the determined insect, along with the help of his friends, journey across the globe to find the young bug and bring him back home to the French valley. However, upon their arrival on the island of Guadeloupe, the gang discover that an even greater challenge awaits, and they must help to defeat a dangerous movement threatening the lives of the creatures living on the island.
Despite the fact the film contains almost no dialogue, it’s not difficult to understand and sympathise with the characters within the film. Each set of insects has their own set of tones and sounds that they use to communicate and it’s surprisingly easy to interpret their conversations. Interestingly, the way the faces of the insects are animated, particularly the eyes, makes it easier to understand the emotions of the characters. Watching the film felt like you were being given access to this incredible, complex world of tiny, intelligent creatures, and it was a joy to see all of the intricate little details which made the film so unique and clever. It was particularly enjoyable to watch the ants communicating through some sort of Morse code-like ritual.
The film’s score works beautifully and perfectly accompanies what is happening on the screen, and although the animation isn’t particularly detailed, its simplicity is effective against the live action background. The bright, bold colours used in the animation as well as in the live action sequences are very attractive and manage to avoid looking tacky and gaudy.
There is nothing especially new or exciting about the basis of the storyline in A Minuscule Adventure. In fact, the basis of the plot will almost immediately remind you of Finding Nemo. Despite this, through the quirky, adorable characters and the fun, imaginative sequences, it still manages to be original and engaging. Even without the use of dialogue, you really start to care about the creatures in the film and sympathise with their various predicaments.
A Minuscule Adventure may lack originality in the basic elements of the storyline, but it makes up for it with its visually pleasing sequences and charming characters. The film's core messages of adventure, tenacity and love are refreshing, and the movie provides a relaxing form of escapism for children and adults alike.
A Miniscule Adventure is released on 6th September