Save The Statue, Save The Village
Nature VS Science is an age-old duel that’s been around for as long as I can remember. From fantasy epics showcasing magic against machines, to Final Fantasy VII’s profound message about Mother Nature, this timeless theme about saving our planet and nurturing what we have continues to be a prominent and important topic. Step forward Pachamama, armed with a unique aesthetic and a big message at the heart of its animated tale. Although the story is a little simplistic, kids are sure to love the vibrancy and charm in this one, with a message as much for their generation as it is for ours.
The film follows the life of a young boy living in a remote village within the beautiful Andes Mountains in South America. With dreams of one day becoming a shaman, Tepulpai finds himself embarking on a perilous and wondrous quest across the mountains, tasked with retrieving an ancient, sacred statue stolen by Incas. From here, the rest of the film follows a pretty predictable path as Tepulpai grows and evolves, eventually seeing himself facing a greater threat in the form of foreign invaders.
Throughout the film there’s a continuous message around saving our planet, accentuated by the numerous beautiful shots of the moon, sun and gorgeous landscape. The art team have done a great job bringing the world to life too and every part of this picture is bursting with life. It’s an aesthetic that’s very reminisce of that seen in the 2014 video game Broken Age and it works equally as well here too, adding a unique charm and style to this picture.
Yes the message is a little heavy-handed, yes the characters are a bit archetypal but to be honest, it’s an important message and one worth sharing again. This is the sort of film kids will enjoy and although Tepulpai and Naïra lack the charisma Pixel characters have in abundance, they’re easy characters to warm to nonetheless and do well to bring the story to life.
Although the ending feels a bit rushed and things are left neatly wrapped up with a Hollywood-esque bow, there’s enough here to make Pachamama a wonderful little film, one that does an excellent job reinforcing the themes at the heart of the picture. I adore this art style too and while the film is unlikely to be an animated title remembered for years to come, it’s enjoyable enough to watch and one you should definitely consider watching with the kids.