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Oseam

Simple charm, allied to a delicate, watercolor look, goes a long way in South Korean kidtoon "Oseam," adapted from a fairytale by poet-writer Jeong Chae-bong. Story of a 5-year-old orphan boy who discovers his own Nirvana while dreaming of meeting his dead mom would make good tyketime tube material in dubbed versions offshore.

Simple charm, allied to a delicate, watercolor look, goes a long way in South Korean kidtoon “Oseam,” adapted from a 1983 fairytale by famed poet-writer Jeong Chae-bong. Story of a 5-year-old orphan boy who discovers his own Nirvana while dreaming of meeting his dead mom performed weakly on local release in early May, but would make good tyketime tube material in dubbed versions offshore.

Blind girl Ga-mi and her younger brother, Gil-seon, are given shelter in a monastery on scenic Mt. Seorak by two Buddhist monks. Prankster Gil-seon still hopes to see his missing mom again — Ga-mi hasn’t told him she perished in a fire — and when one of the monks invites him on a trek to a remote temple to learn to “see the breeze,” Gil-seon tags along. Slim narrative, which only rarely slips into melodrama, is enlivened by much larking around amid the flora and fauna and snowy landscape; the resolution, like that of recent toon “Wonderful Days,” involves a typically Korean, magical transfiguration. Semi-fluid animation is fairly conventional, though light of touch thanks to the pastel coloring. Running time is just right.

Oseam

South Korea

  • Production: A Sinabro Entertainment release of a Shinbo Investment/Discovery Investment presentation of a Mago21 production. (International sales: Cinema Service, Seoul.) Produced by Lee Jeong-ho, Yun Jeong-yun. Co-producer, Kim Byeong-beon. Directed by Seong Baek-yeob. Screenplay, Choi Min-yong, Lee Seo-gyeong, Seong, from the modern fairytale by Jeong Chae-bong.
  • Crew: Camera (color), Mun Seong-cheol; music, Kang Ho-jeong; theme song, Yun Do-hyeon, Lee So-eun; character design, Hong Weon-taek; backgrounds, Choi Hyeon-ju; color co-ordinator, Kim Mi-sun. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (market), May 17, 2003. Running time: 74 MIN.