This evening at 6 p.m., the Instituto Francés of Madrid will screen what was the first animated feature film made in France in 1979, The King and the Nightingale (Le Roi et l’oiseau), directed by Paul Grimault and with texts by Jacques Prévert.
The King and the Nightingale is a milestone in the history of cartoons: it departs from the canons of Walt Disney’s style and aims to offer philosophical reflections beyond the traditional audience of children and teenagers through a political and social fable.
King “Charles V plus Three are Eight and Eight Sixteen” tyrannically rules the kingdom of Tachycardia. Only a laughing, chattering bird, who has built his nest on top of the palace tower, dares to stand up to him. The king is in love with an enchanting shepherdess who, emerging from one of the palace’s paintings, is personified every night to meet the chimney sweep who emerges, on his side, from the neighbouring painting. The king wants to marry her, but the girl he really loves is her humble lover. The two decide to escape from the king and hide at the top of the highest tower of the palace, where they save a reckless little bird that has been caught in one of the tyrant’s traps. The rebellious bird, grateful for this heroic act towards one of his young, promises to help them in their escape. Reservations to attend the screening can be made at this link.