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The King and the Mockingbird(Le roi et l'oiseau)

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France · 1980
1h 23m
Director Paul Grimault
Starring Jean Martin, Pascal Mazzotti, Raymond Bussières, Agnès Viala
Genre Animation, Family, Fantasy

There is but one thing that brings the evil ruler of Takardie joy: his portrait of a beautiful shepherdess. But when the shepherdess runs away with a chimney sweep, the king in all his rage sends his forces out to find her. The couple is helped by one Mr. Bird, who refuses to be subjected to the king's cruelty.

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CineVue by

Quickly paced and oozing with visual ingenuity, The King and the Mockingbird is an off-kilter but enormously enjoyable passion project whose stance as the vanguard of gorgeous, purely hand-drawn animation is as notable as its notorious production.


Empire by Angie Errigo

There’s beautiful visual and verbal comedy, and the film has the creative spontaneity of a dream, foreshadowing Spirited Away (it influenced Miyazaki). However, the lack of momentum and focus may end up boring children, while the English dub actors sound a little stilted.


New York Post by Farran Smith Nehme

The surreal images, offbeat jokes and pointed human-rights allegory make this an altogether different experience from most American animation. It’s dreamy, poetic and not to be missed.


Slant Magazine by Sean Nam

If the film were to propose a mandate for animation, it would be what the medium's etymology has longed suggested: to make the inanimate full of life.


The Dissolve by Tasha Robinson

Seen today, The King And The Mockingbird doesn’t have the tight pacing or propulsive narrative of modern animated stories, or the consistency of a film made to a specific house style. It’s recognizably the work of an idiosyncratic artist dealing in bizarre caricature, and exploring weird ideas... But its visual design and movement are striking, and its story beats are intriguingly unpredictable.

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