Friday, September 16, 2011

Ella & Aleksi - yllätyssynttärit / Ella & Aleksi - Surprise Birthday Party

Ella & Aleksi - överraskningskalas. FI © 2011 Bronson Club. EX: Jukka Helle, Markus Selin. P: Jesse Fryckman. D: Juuso Syrjä. SC: Katri Manninen. M: Sampo Haapaniemi, Markus Koskinen. Songs: Ella & Aleksi. Animation producer: Ilmari Hakkola. Character designers: Eliza Jäppinen, Antero Nuutinen. Animation dramatist: Lauri Kontto. Key animator: Janne Ronkainen. S: Magnus Axberg. Voice talent: Antti Luusuaniemi (Aleksi), Malla Malmivaara (Ella), Laura Malmivaara (Hely Huuhkaja / [Hely the Great Horned Owl] AND äitilokki / mama seagull), Paleface (MC Koppakuoriainen / [MC Beetle]), Jarkko Tamminen (komisario Lerppu Koiranen / [Inspector Dog] AND Lenni Lokinpoikanen [Lenni the Little Seagull]), Marek Urbanski (Ripu-Rapu / [Ripu the Crayfish]), Olavi Uusivirta (Professor Myyränen / [Professor Mole]), Eero Ritala (Hannu Huuhkaja / [Hannu the Great Horned Owl]), Juuso Syrjä (lokinpoikaset / little seagulls AND herra Saaste / Mr. Saaste AND konduktööri / conductor), Jesse Fryckman (Vaakku Varis / [Vaakku the Crow]). 48 min. A sing-along animation suitable for little children released by Nordisk. A 2K DCP without subtitles viewed at Tennispalatsi 1, Helsinki, 16 Sep 2011.

From the official presentation: "The adventures of the siblings Ella and Aleksi with their dog friend Inspector Lerppu Koiranen at home, on the town and in the nature making new friends. Aleksi is the reflective big brother who knows a lot about the world. Ella is the curious little sister full of the joy of life and creative solutions. Trusting in their imagination the siblings can shrink and grow, understand animal language and create an express train with their magic chalks. They help MC Beetle to fix his music gadgets, Lenni the little seagull to fly, the pretentious fashion designer Ripu the Crayfish to regain inspiration, Professor Mole to produce magic humus soil, Hely the Great Horned Owl who has been evacuated from her home forest to find a new home, and the North Star which has fallen on the home yard to climb back to the sky. And everybody joins in the celebration of Inspector Lerppu Koiranen's birthday."

A delightful surprise, one of the best (Finnish) films of the year. The music-driven movie is based on four children's hit albums (2004, 2005, 2008, 2009) by the pseudonymous team Ella & Aleksi (the performers behind the pseudonyms have been changed once already). The songs are electronic music inspired by rap. The lyrics are funny ("Huhuu, kuka puhuu" ["Ooh-hu, who's talking"] is the owl song). There is a sing-along feature in the movie.

Katri Manninen's screenplay is witty. The narrative consists of funny adventure episodes of situation comedy. Ripu Rapu the crayfish is a French haute couture designer with his able claws. I was positively surprised by the literate quality of the dialogue.

The limited animation style is successful. Ella & Aleksi can be compared with Peanuts, Beavis and Butthead, South Park or The Simpsons: the lines are simple, but the ideas are witty. The colour space is warm, and there are also rich scenes full of action, such as the culminating birthday party.

Ella & Aleksi has permanent value, and I look forward for more.

The song list is beyond the jump break:
Made for the movie: the first track (the movie theme) and the last one. The rest of the songs are from the four Ella & Aleksi albums:

Tunnari
Säv. Sampo Haapaniemi, Markus Koskinen
San. Markus Koskinen
(P) 2011 Warner Music Finland Oy

Huhuu kuka puhuu
Säv. Sampo Haapaniemi, Markus Koskinen
San. Markus Koskinen
(P) 2008 Warner Music Finland Oy

Myy myy myyrä
Säv. Sampo Haapaniemi, Markus Koskinen
San. Markus Koskinen
(P) 2005 Warner Music Finland Oy

Ripu-Rapu
Säv. Sampo Haapaniemi, Markus Koskinen
San. Markus Koskinen
(P) 2004 Warner Music Finland Oy

Lenni Lokinpoikanen
Säv. Sampo Haapaniemi, Markus Koskinen
San. Markus Koskinen
(P) 2004 Warner Music Finland Oy

MC Koppakuoriainen
Säv. Sampo Haapaniemi, Markus Koskinen
San. Markus Koskinen
(P) 2004 Warner Music Finland Oy

Yöjuna Rovaniemelle
Säv. Sampo Haapaniemi, Markus Koskinen
San. Markus Koskinen
(P) 2008 Warner Music Finland Oy

Yllätyssynttärit
Säv. Sampo Haapaniemi, Markus Koskinen
San. Markus Koskinen
(P) 2011 Warner Music Finland Oy

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