France | China 2018
Opening February 21, 2019
Directed by: Hélène Giraud, Thomas Szabo
Writing credits: Hélène Giraud, Thomas Szabo
Principal actors: animation
Ladybugs collect an apple with the help of some beetles. Spiders defend their areas; black ants are experts in sending signals for communication - all part of interaction among the insects. One ladybug family of father, mother, and four children, sadly loses one of their sons, Cocoanut. By accident he is sealed into a box which is loaded onto a ship and sent to the Caribbean Sea to arrive at one of the 12 islands of Guadalupe. Here he experiences an environment even more beautiful than his own home, befriends another race of ladybugs and caterpillars and begins to learn the language of the strangers. At the same time his father organizes a search group, with the aid of the communicating ants; they try to fly over on a boat hitched to balloons. In the end the father successfully finds his son, but returns empty-handed because Cocoanut has fallen in love with this new home.
This is a sequel to the French Minuscule – Valley of the Lost Ants which came out in 2013. Prior to that, it was a short film and then a television series. The insects are animated but the background is beautifully real, filmed in Guadalupe, as well as in the French Mercantour National Park. The insects speak their own gibberish languages, which we can understand perfectly. The few actors never talk (and were hired for their ability to communicate well via pantomime). Music contributes to the experience of understanding. The plot is so familiar that we might easily identify with something. In my case, it was the story of my life: leaving my home to travel on a boat to a foreign country, learning a new language, making friends, and finally deciding to stay in the new country. I highly recommend this film experience, a film open to kids of any age (who are mature enough to sit still for 90 minutes) as well as whole families. “No insects were harmed in the making of this motion picture.” (Becky T.)