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Long Way North     review by Bobby Blakey

While Shout Factory has become mostly known for their great cult classic releases over the years, they have also been putting out some interesting new features from all genres. Their latest release is the French-Danish animated feature Long Way North, but does it offer up something that helps it to stand out or will it be yet another animated feature that fails to make the journey.

Long Way North follows a young Russian aristocrat in 1882 who has always been fascinated by her grandfather's life as an adventurer. A renowned explorer, he designed a magnificent arctic ship, but he hasn't returned from his last expedition to the North Pole. To save her family's honor, Sasha runs away. Headed towards the Great North, she follows her grandfather's trail in search of his famous ship. As an artist I love classic style animated features which we just don’t get enough of these days and on that level this film is outstanding. The vibrant colors and unique character design makes for a visual treat for the eyes from beginning to end. On the other side I never found the story itself all that compelling. There are moments that feel like it is heading in one direction and then it seems to stall. Going into this beautiful film I was expecting a bit more adventure with this journey as well as and while there are a few moments there is never anything that is really all that exciting. I think it was just the toned down nature of it all that makes the film miss the mark as an overall adventure.

Like most films animated ones are subject to different opinions and this one has already received rave reviews, but just didn’t completely work. That doesn’t make it a bad film and visually it is gorgeous and worth seeing just for that, but decide for yourself if it seems to appeal to you.

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