Tots ‘Wild’ for kidpic

1,800 tykes treated to 'Kirikou' clip

Hordes of local schoolchildren besieged the red carpet Friday for the Cannes Film Festival’s first kids’ gala screening.

Some 1,800 tykes taking part were treated to a 20-minute self-contained extract of the animated film “Kirikou and the Wild Beasts,” Michel Ocelot’s much-awaited follow up to his hit African-set adventure “Kirikou and the Sorceress.”

First “Kirikou” film, which recounts the adventures of a brave little African boy, was a big hit in many parts of the globe but pic’s bare-breasted African women made it a no-no for release in some countries — including the U.S.

Greeting the kids on the steps of the Palais des Festivals was the Circus Baobab, a troupe of Guinean musicians and acrobats. Screening was preceded by a cinema lesson given by Ocelot, and followed by a half-hour concert by Manu Dibango — who composed the score of the film — and singer Rokia Traore. Festivities wrapped with a picnic, courtesy of the Cannes City Hall, and more music and acrobatics on the beach.

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