Annecy International Animation Film Festival 2021
Masasashi Ando, Miyaji Masayuki
Tsutsumi Shinichi, Ryoma Takeuchi, Anne Watanabe
Years of begrudging peace have held since the Zol empire subjugated the kingdom of Aquafa – except for its Fire Horse region, for fear of the Black Wolf Fever. The ancestral curse now returns. A horde of otherworldly wolves ravage the land, leaving deadly illness in their wake. A brilliant physician desperately seeks to cure the plague, and dispatches a skilled bounty hunter to track down those who might hold the key. A terrible attack on prisoners in a mine has left only one man and a child alive, and salvation may lie with them. With his uncanny strength and command over animals, this is no ordinary man, but then, these are not ordinary times. As both his past and his pursuers draw ever closer, and palace schemes threaten to shatter the peace, the legendary warrior Broken Antler Van must reluctantly face his destiny.
Co-directed by Masashi Ando (an alumnus of SPIRITED AWAY and PRINCESS MONONOKE) and Masayuki Miyaji (of ATTACK ON TITAN and more), with the peerless standards of quality we expect from the studios of Production I.G (GHOST IN THE SHELL etc.), THE DEER KING is a grand anime fantasy epic of the first order. Based on the books by bestselling Japanese fantasy author Nahoko Uehashi, also the originator of the MORIBITO series, the film boasts elegant, exacting design and animation, the equal of Uehashi’s sturdy world-building and compelling conflicts. Fresh off its world premiere at the Annecy festival and yet to screen at home in Japan, THE DEER KING commands an audience at Fantasia! – Rupert Bottenberg
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