By Jack Dignan
I went into Long Way North knowing next to nothing about what I was about to watch. I'd seen a single image of the movie, and that was it. I sat down and was instantly enthralled by the magical storytelling this film has to offer. We follow the story of Sasha (Christa Théret), a young girl who was very close to her explorer grandpa (Féodor Atkine), and is left distraught once he passes away on an expedition. That is until she uncovers a piece of information that suggests he may be alive after all, and that everybody was looking for him in the wrong place. With nobody to help her, Sasha sets out on her own, looking for her lost grandfather.
With a unique animation style and a story that's full of heart, Long Way North is a marvellous adventure. The plot, from time to time, does move at a rather uneventful pace, especially towards the middle of the film, but when it's going ahead at full steam, it really is rather exciting. It's a simple story with aspects that have been done several times before, but when blended together and ramped up with emotion, it works well. The film's conclusion was nothing at all like I predicted, and that is definitely a good thing as it's a sweet and touching finale that fit the tone of the film to perfection.
3 1/2 Stars