You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Black Mor’s Island

A modest but solidly constructed toon cousin to "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "Master and Commander," Jean-Francois Laguionie's "Black Mor's Island" follows a 15-year-old would-be pirate on a singular hunt for buried treasure. Handsome visuals and an especially classy instrumental score make this a quality adventure for kids.

A modest but solidly constructed toon cousin to “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Master and Commander,” Jean-Francois Laguionie’s “Black Mor’s Island” follows a 15-year-old would-be pirate on a singular hunt for buried treasure. Handsome visuals and an especially classy instrumental score make this a quality adventure for kids, with enough narrative drive to keep adults engaged. Pic has been performing well since February release, and offshore distribs and programmers can board with confidence.

Opening sequences are Dickens-meets-“Metropolis” as young boys toil in a dungeon in Cornwall, southwest England, at the dawn of the 19th century. Between hard labor and bowls of gruel, their only amusement is being read to from a thick volume recounting the adventures of Black Mor, the notorious pirate.

The handsome but illiterate protag known as “Kid” purloins a map from the book and escapes by diving through the lone window without metal bars into the water below. When he washes ashore, one-legged MacGregor and lanky Beanpole, two colorful and unscrupulous brigands, find him.

Determined to be the captain of his own vessel, Kid swipes a Coast Guard cutter. Taka — an African deserter in the hold — and a monkey named Jim complete his resourceful crew. When they land later for supplies, they take aboard a young monk whose reading skills (and secret identity) come in very handy.

Appealingly drawn toon sports a nice ratio of problems to problem-solving and boasts a surprise subplot that will entertain girls as well as boys. Vet animator Laguionie, whose work dates back to 1965, won the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 1978 for his lilting, hand-painted short, “Rowing Across the Atlantic.”

Black Mor's Island


Production: A Dargaud-Marina/Gaspard de Chavagnac presentation of a Dargaud-Marina, La Fabrique, Les Films du Trainge production, in association with Teva Studio. (International sales: Celluloid Dreams, Paris.) Produced by Gaspard de Chavagnac, Patrick Moine. Directed by Jean-Francois Laguionie. Screenplay, Laguionie, Anik Le Ray.

Crew: Editor, Pascal Pachard; music, Christophe Heral; production designers, Richard Mithouard, Jean Palenstjin; storyboard, Bruno Le Floc'h ; sound (Dolby), Jonathan Liebling, William Flageollet; character creation, Laguionie, Le Floc'h; lay-out, Le Floc'h; character modeling, Daniela Natcheva; associate producers, Christophe Juban, Eric Jacquot, Christopher Panzner; assistant director, Henri Heidsieck. Reviewed at Elysees Biarritz, Paris, Jan. 17, 2004. Running time: 85 MIN.

More Film

  • Agustina San Martin Talks Cannes Special

    Agustina San Martin Talks Cannes Special Mention Winner ‘Monster God’

    CANNES – An exploration of the ramifications of God, “Monster God,” from Argentina’s Agustina San Martín, took a Special Mention – an effective runner’s up prize – on Saturday night at this year’s Cannes Film Festival short film competition. It’s not difficult to see why, especially when jury president Claire Denis own films’ power resists [...]

  • Atlantics

    Netflix Snags Worldwide Rights to Cannes Winners 'Atlantics,' 'I Lost My Body'

    Mati Diop’s feature directorial debut “Atlantics” and Jérémy Clapin’s animated favorite “I Lost My Body” have both been acquired by Netflix following wins at Cannes Film Festival. “Atlantics” was awarded the grand prix while “I Lost My Body” was voted the best film at the independent International Critics Week. The deals are for worldwide rights [...]

  • Stan Lee, left, and Keya Morgan

    Stan Lee's Former Business Manager Arrested on Elder Abuse Charges

    Stan Lee’s former business manager, Keya Morgan, was arrested in Arizona Saturday morning on an outstanding warrant from the Los Angeles Police Department. The LAPD’s Mike Lopez confirmed that the arrest warrant was for the following charges: one count of false imprisonment – elder adult; three counts of grand theft from elder or dependent adult, [...]

  • Moby attends the LA premiere of

    Moby Apologizes to Natalie Portman Over Book Controversy

    Moby has issued an apology of sorts after writing in his recently published memoir “Then It Fell Apart” that he dated Natalie Portman when she was 20 — a claim the actress refuted. “As some time has passed I’ve realized that many of the criticisms leveled at me regarding my inclusion of Natalie in Then [...]

  • Bong Joon-ho reacts after winning the

    Bong Joon-ho's 'Parasite' Wins the Palme d'Or at Cannes

    CANNES — The 72nd edition of the Cannes Film Festival wrapped with jury president Alejandro González Iñárritu announcing the group’s unanimous decision to award the Palme d’Or to South Korean director Bong Joon-ho for his sly, politically charged “Parasite.” Following last year’s win for humanistic Japanese drama “Shoplifters,” the well-reviewed Asian thriller represents the yin [...]

  • Invisible Life Brazilian Cinema

    Cannes Film Review: 'The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão'

    A “tropical melodrama” is how the marketing materials bill “The Invisible Life of Eurídice Gusmão.” If that sounds about the most high-camp subgenre ever devised, Karim Aïnouz’s ravishing period saga lives up to the description — high emotion articulated with utmost sincerity and heady stylistic excess, all in the perspiring environs of midcentury Rio de [...]

  • Best Movies of Cannes 2019

    The 10 Best Movies of Cannes 2019

    The Cannes Film Festival is too rich an event to truly have an “off” year, but by the end of the 72nd edition, it was more or less universally acknowledged that the festival had regained a full-on, holy-moutaintop-of-art luster that was a bit lacking the year before. It helps, of course, to have headline-making movies [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content