Norm Wilner / NOW Toronto
Rémi Chayé’s stunning hand-drawn Arctic adventure will probably be that animated Oscar nominee you haven’t heard of
You know how every year when the Oscar nominations are announced, there’s always one animated feature you’ve never heard of? This year, it’s going to be Long Way North, Rémi Chayé’s stunning hand-drawn Arctic adventure.
Long Way North is set in the late 19th century, and follows the odyssey of a teenage Russian aristocrat named Sasha (voiced in the English dub by Chloe Dunn), who sets off to find her beloved grandfather, an explorer who’s disappeared somewhere in the Arctic Circle. This would be a dangerous journey even for experienced seamen, and Sasha is just a kid. But she’s brave and strong, and she’s willing to go as far as she has to.
Director Chayé – making his feature directorial debut after honing his skills on films like The Painting and The Secret Of Kells – crafts a beautiful, epic tale that pulls its emotional heft from a compelling story, simple (but not simplistic) character design and a narrative with a real sense of risk.
Moreover, it’s just plain gorgeous. Don’t wait for Netflix, see this on a big screen. Now that you’ve heard of it, you have no excuse not to.