Saturday, October 22, 2011

Elias och jagten på havets gull / [Elias and the Hunt for the Gold of the Sea]

Elias ja aarrejahti / Elias och jakten på havets guld. NO © 2010 Filmkameratene A.S. P: Sveinung Golimo, John M. Jacobsen. D: Lise I. Osvoll. SC: Anne Elvedal, Lise I. Osvoll - based on an idea by Frode N. Nordås & Øyvind Rune Stålen. AN: André Hay. M: Gaute Storaas. ED: Benjamin Sjur Blom.

Finnish voice edition supervised by: Pekka Lehtosaari. Finnish voice talent: Joel Bonsdorff (Elias), Seera Alexander (Mini-Sub 043 Dippy), Titta Jokinen (Polar Queen), Ossi Ahlapuro (The Lighthouse), Petri Liski (Pedro), Marko Stjärnvall (The Cruiser), Katja Sirkiä (The Crane), Antti L. J. Pääkkönen (The Herring), Jenni Sivonen (The Boathouse to the Right), Vappu Virta (The Boathouse to the Left), Pauli Syrjö (Father), Kaisu Kaikkonen (Junior), Rasmus Lehtosaari (Red Boat), Ruska Lehtosaari (Yellow Boat), Tonia Kovanen (Pedro's Sister).

77 min. Distributed by FS Film, 2K DCP of the Finnish-spoken version viewed at Tennispalatsi 10, Helsinki, 22 Oct 2011.

From the official synopsis: "Familiar from the movie Elias and the Royal Yacht and previous dvd releases, the little rescue boat Elias with his friends is set to seach for a treasure buried in the bottom of the sea."

"The annual winter fishing season is about to start, and the future of the tiny Puffin seaport is at stake. If there will be not enough fish during the winter, the idyllic harbour will be closed down."

"The same fishing ground is, however, also being targeted by a fleet of competing vessels, ultra-modern trawlers which belong to the Polar Queen. She has built a modern fishing station right to the north of the Puffin and plans to put the cozy little fishing boats out of business."

"But fish are not the only thing the Polar Queen is after. She has gotten wind of the treasure in the bottom of the sea. Elias plans to acquire it first and use the gold coins to rescue the Puffin port." (From the distributor's synopsis, my translation.)

My first encounter with the Norwegian Elias animation series. I'm positively surprised by the interesting and original animation idea and the excellent production. Impressive visions include: the old-fashioned Puffin seaport, the ultra-modern fishing factory of the Polar Queen, the abandoned fishing port (in the Finnish version called Puhurilahti = Gale Bay), and the thousand-year old Viking shipwreck with its immeasurable gold treasure.

Like Cars 2, this movie also seems inspired by James Bond adventures. The Polar Queen and her lair bring to mind Bond villains and their strongholds. The intention of the Polar Queen is to ship the old fishing boats in a container to China to be recycled as scrap iron. The Polar Queen's mini-sub Dippy switches sides and becomes Elias's best ally.

Despite certain familiar connections the Elias movie feels fresh with scenes such as the one where the container lands on the top of an iceberg. The final turn: the gold may remain in the sea, the fish are the real treasure of the sea.

An exciting movie for children (of all ages) with topical themes such as overfishing, ecological concerns, and offshoring. Yet it functions very well as a pure adventure yarn.

The animation of buildings and machines is surprisingly effective. No problem with digital in visions of winter, snow, ice, buildings and machines. The ocean looks photorealistic, and it would be interesting to learn how the effect was achieved.

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