kids movies

This gorgeous cake!

11 years old

This gorgeous cake! is a 2018 animated film. The film is in stop-motion, with puppets that look like felt and fabrics, it is the sound effects that remind us that we are sometimes dealing with stone. The film wants to be divided into five interwoven short films (The King’s Dream. The Pygmy of the Hotel. The Destiny of Van Molle. The Lost Porter. The Deserter.) They highlight people, but it remains in fact the same story, with characters who reappear over the chapters. A three-week ellipse in the fifth part. Dreamy moments that are not always clear, there is a game between reality and dream.

MESSAGES

Colony

A king is happy to have colonies. We will see his subjects, who for different reasons, will take off for Africa. The whites end badly there, die in the virgin forest, aggression against the natives, need for greatness, and finally to satisfy the king. This magnificent cake is in fact the Africa that the European powers wanted to monopolize. Slavery. We can see how little the servants were considered.

Historical

We are shown the King of the Belgians, Leopold II, around 1885. We will see the virgin forest of the Belgian Congo.

Dream

Many dream moments, it can reveal who we are, or what we need. Enuresis. The king wakes up from a nightmare, he peed on himself, has to take a bath.

Operation

A king seems to have all power over his subjects, including having a clarinet player exiled. But the exploitations are above all against Africans. We see how the Pygmy of the hotel is the ashtray. We see how porters are exploited, and how their life is not important. Racism. We are shown how a white person looks down on the people he employs.

Dead

Suffering from seeing the other dead. Need to remember the good times spent with. Death doesn’t need to be an extraordinary moment, death happens and that’s how it is (whether it’s following a fall or an illness). Life after death. Louis finds his parents, given the situation we can only understand that he is dying.

Alcohol

We’re shown that it’s a way to feel better, but it can make us do dangerous or silly things.

This gorgeous cake!

Poetry

A film that plays on the appearance of its animation and the effects of dreams to create a special atmosphere.

Hope

Wanting to get out of it, finding ways to join his tribe (but since he’s going to die stupidly a few seconds later, hope is rather gone).

Work

Importance of having a job, but not under any condition. We can clearly see that the Pygmy is not happy.

Army

Louis is afraid to face the army, he deserts then decides to flee to the colonies.

Friendship

Two men are seen forming a friendship.

Illness

The Van Molle heir is ill, he dies during the night. When you are in the virgin forest, you can die suddenly.

Monarchy

We see the impact that royalty could have on the subjects. Here before sinking, a man hopes for recognition from the king. Totalitarianism.

This gorgeous cake!

This gorgeous cake!

DIFFICULT SCENES

Hazards

2. The Hotel Pygmy. A little boy approaches the window with his dog, and he suddenly throws him down. The little boy shakes a grand piano, which ends up moving forward and falling through the balustrade, on the Pygmy’s head. 4. The Lost Bearer. There is a man behind the lost carrier, it is the clarinetist, and when this one plays his instrument, the Pygmy slips and hits his head against the rock and falls into the water.

Faintness

1. The king’s dream. The king gets up in the middle of the night, he walks alone and advances in the dark, we don’t know what he will find. The king is facing a statue of his head, there is water flowing from his mouth and ears, it’s strange, the jet intensifies and squirts the king (who wakes up with a start having urinated on him). The king makes a clarinettist leave in the middle of a concert, we can see how upset the man is. 2. The Hotel Pygmy. We are told of a Pygmy who lost his wife and children in a fire. Person lying on the ground, a bottle a little further. The Pygmy confides in his brother, he has a dream in which he no longer finds his family. A man who wanted to play the clarinet is yelled at and he has to stop. The end of the short film shows us the Pygmy in the dark shouting that he can’t find them. 3. The Destiny of Van Molle. We are told of an elder who left with all the money for a company to go to the colonies, and he behaved badly there. We hear the man singing, he talks about a prostitute and her work. We then find the man strangely in different places, he is pissing against a wall after drinking, he is so drunk that he falls to the ground, we see him asleep on his chair on the ground, a big snail wants to drink from the bottle of beer, he brings him a beer and sees that he has gone through a small hole, the man enlarges him and arrives in a cave, he toasts with the beast, puts his wig on his head and finds that he is beautiful, he falls asleep with him. We will then see him kiss her. The man eats what is on the ground, this creates a landslide which crushes the snail, the man cries. He is now very bearded, sees like human stalagmites that he takes for his family. He is drunk and vomits a kind of long blue jet at the same time as there is a very scary noise. 4. The Lost Bearer. One of the porters survived, he finds one of his comrades who was chained with him, but only his head remains (we see that he is crying). He is lost, he does not recognize the place, he would almost envy his dead friend. 5. The Deserter. When an alcoholic man’s bottle falls into the water, he will try to retrieve it and fall into it too. One of the Van Moll sons talks about his family and his uncle’s flight, he says that his father is dead (we see that he committed suicide by jumping from a tree). Plus he found beer bills from Africa. Pierre doesn’t feel well, he’s cold in the middle of the jungle, Louis has to carry him on his back, but he can’t, leaves him on the ground in a little improvised hut. The Van Molle heir is ill, he dies during the night and the next day there are already plenty of flies that have swollen his face. Pierre strangely falls on a house in the middle of the jungle, there are skulls lined up outside, no one answers when he knocks, he enters, it’s tense. We understand that this is Van Molle’s house, there is still a little beer everywhere. Pierre drinks it. He relieves himself in a snail statue. Pierre enters the safe from which a noise comes, he arrives in the cave and reaches the liquid that Van Molle had vomited, he manages to walk on it, it’s soft, he walks a long way to reach a kind of snow and to a house (he finds his parents there, his mother is crying in his arms).

Mockery

1. The King’s Dream.. Everyone interrupts during a cabinet meeting to help the king who just has a hiccup. 2. The Hotel Pygmy. We laugh at the white man who is afraid of ants and who throws his shoe away. 3. The Destiny of Van Molle. We are shown a pathetic fat man in love with a snail.

Denigration

1. The King’s Dream. The king makes a clarinettist leave in the middle of a concert, we can see how upset the man is. 2. The Hotel Pygmy. We see a Pygmy who has found a job, he carries an ashtray on his head and the Europeans stub out their cigarettes in it. 3. The Destiny of Van Molle. The white man throws a banana as he crosses a bridge, one of the porters behind falls and goes across the bridge taking the others on board with him, the one holding back has tears streaming down and the man yells at him, he finishes by letting go and is swept away with the others in the rapids.

Health

3. The Destiny of Van Molle. Alcohol: a man drinks a lot of alcohol and is drunk, he cries. 5. The Deserter. Alcohol: an alcoholic man is also on the boat. The Van Molle heir and the deserter drink to pass the time during the crossing, it’s a way to make it bearable. Cigarette: Pierre smokes in the cabin.

VOCABULARY

Different languages, the characters speak in English, English or Dutch.

If the appearance seems to show us that we are dealing with a children’s film, this is however not the case. Dark humor, surreal, absurd situations revealing our dark humanity in colonial times. An interesting film for adults visible from 11 years old (and that’s the limit). As long as we want to make the child aware of colonialism and that we accompany him, if not, wait a little longer.

Not recommended for children under:11 years oldFormat:feature filmYear:2018Duration:44 minutesStudio:Beast Animation, Pedri Animation, Strongly Monday!Country:Belgium, France, NetherlandsCreators:Emma de Swaef, Marc James RoelsUniverse:HistoricalTechnical:stop motionThemes:Africa, Alcohol, Army, Colonialism, Slavery, Exploitation, Illness, Death, Poetics, Racism, Dream, Totalitarianism




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