Dragon Princess (Princesse Dragon) {Children’s International Film Festival/CHIFF} – Film Review

A lonely powerful dragon wanted nothing more than his offspring to be the successors of his treasures. The highly anticipated birth of his children leads to quite a shock when Bristle is born looking like a human girl.

Bristle’s adventure begins when she meets Princess who has wandered deep into the forest. Raised being told that humans are dangerous and evil beings, Bristle’s curiosity launches a journey to befriend and learn about the world beyond her own.

French animated feature Dragon Princess (Princesse Dragon) is a great fantasy film for anyone who loves dragons, princesses, sorcerers, and wild adventures. Was it your typical whimsical fairytale? Yes. Did I love every second of it? Most certainly. It was a simple story made right with beautiful illustrations, touching use of music, and engaging voice acting.

I really loved the hand drawn effect of the animation, which is reminiscent of the Studio Ghibli style. I adored this as I felt it added to the fantasy, old folk story feel. Most of the characters are drawn very simply with bright colours and clear black outlines, making them really pop from the background. The main exception to this is Bristle’s father, The Dragon, whose animation style is very different to the rest. He is a lot more detailed with colour and blending; forming a far more grand and powerful appearance compared to the other characters.

The details of the environment and background are stunning from the greenery in the forest, the beautiful clouds in the sky, to the dragon’s everlasting mountain of treasure; helping to paint the perfect fairytale aesthetics to pull you into the magical world of Dragon Princess.

Despite its short 74-minute run time, this is more than enough time to grow attachment and fall in love with the characters. Seeing Bristle as a blank canvas; it was beautiful to see her learn and become painted with the good and bad of reality. Throughout her journey, we see the development of friendship, courage, love of family and the journey of self-discovery, greed, and growth. There were a lot of valuable life lessons to take away, with the story centred around the building of relationships, and how at the end of the day, that should be the most cherished treasure.

Dragon Princess is an absolute delight to watch for all ages. And it’s great to know that there’s another film added to the list of movies that heartfully focuses on female empowerment and the importance of friendship.

​​Dragon Princess is currently playing as part of the 2023 Children’s International Film Festival (CHIFF) until June 12.
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