CRITICISM / FILM OPINION – For his first film, animator Carlo Vogele tackles the myth of Icarus. With his work soberly titled “Icarus”, the filmmaker offers a modern reinterpretation of this Greek tragedy, carried by a fantastic animation.
Icarus: an impressive re-reading of the myth
With Icarus, Carlo Vogele signs his first feature film alone. But this animation specialist is not at his first attempt. After working at Aardman Studio then went through the Pixar giants. He has notably worked on the animation of films such as Toy Story 3, Cars 2, Rebel, and Monsters Academia. With Icarus, it moves away from American blockbusters and slick animation, to turn to independent cinema and superb polished animation which is very reminiscent of the cinema of Michel Ocelot (Kirikou, Azure and Asmaror Princes and Princesses).
The filmmaker tells here the famous Greek myth with a new glance. After all, it’s true that the legend of Icarus remains relatively obscure as a whole. Apart from the fall of the hero who burns his wings because he flew too close to the sun, the rest of his story is relatively unknown to the general public. And even Ovid remained quite evasive on this point.
Thus, Carlo Vogele comes to plug the holes and tells the genesis of the myth and the origins of young Icarus. How did he become a legend? What is his story? An approach that makes Icarus, in addition to being a technically sumptuous work, a relevant educational film.
A splendid work
Even if this adventure is a bit short (less than 1h20), Icarus touches heights of grace. Far from burning his wings, Carlo Vogele offers a technically impeccable film, which plays between an always superb 2D and 3D animation. Magnified by splendid baroque music, and the sweet sound of Vivaldi, this animation even finds an unexpected visual quintessence during the fight between Theseus and the Minotaur which offers a violent and aesthetically crazy vision in black and white.
Icarus is a wonderful job. Universal, it will appeal to young and old alike, with a morally ambiguous adventure that breaks the standards of the current animation. Icarus is an intelligent re-reading of Greek mythology, of a brutal ancient tragedy, which in no way detracts from the original plot. Quite the contrary. The director manages to breathe a dose of modernity with poetic flashes.
Icarus by Carlo Vogele, in theaters on March 30, 2022. Above the trailer. Find all our trailers here.