Michel Ocelot

Michel Ocelot is the writer, primary character and graphic designer and director of several animated films and television programs. He was also president of the Association internationale du film d'animation (ASIFA) from 1994 to 1999.


Trinacra Films era

  • Le Tabac (The Newsagent, 1974, 1 min. short film) [11]
  • Gédéon (1976, 60×5 min. TV series)

aaa era

La Fabrique era

  • Les Quatre Vœux (The Four Wishes, 1987, 5 min. short film)
  • Ciné si (Cinema If, 1989, 8×12 min. TV series)
    • "La Princesse des diamants" ("The Princess of Diamonds")
    • "Le Garçon des figues" (The Fig Boy")
    • "La Reine cruelle et le montreur de fabulo" ("The Cruel Queen and the Fabulo Trainer")
    • "La Sorcière" ("The Sorceress")
    • "Prince et princesse" ("Prince and Princess")
    • "Icare" ("Icarus")
    • "On ne saurait penser à tout" ("One Cannot Think of Everything")
    • "Le Manteau de la vieille dame" ("The Old Lady's Coat")

Folimage era

  • Les Contes de la nuit (Tales of the Night, 1992, 26 min. TV special)
    • "La Belle Fille et le sorcier"
    • "Bergère qui danse"
    • "Le Prince des joyaux"

Les Armateurs era

Mac Guff era

Studio O era

  • L'Invité aux noces (The Wedding Guest, Oct. 2008, 17 min. OVA) [9]
  • Dragons et princesses (Dragons and Princesses, Oct. 2010, 10×13 min. TV series) [10]
    • "La Maîtresse des monstres"
    • "Le Loup-garou"
    • "Le Pont du petit cordonnier"
    • "L'Élue de la Ville d'or"
    • "Le Mousse et sa chatte"
    • "L'Écolier-sorcier"
    • "Le Garçon tamtam"
    • "Le Garçon qui ne mentait jamais"
    • "Ti Jean et la belle-sans-connaître"
    • "Ivan Tsarévitch et la Princesse Changeante"
  • Les Contes de la nuit (Tales of the Night, Feb. 2011, 84 min. compilation film)
    • "La Fille-biche et le fils de l'architecte"
  • Second Dragons et princesses compilation film (201?)
  • Kirikou et les hommes et les femmes (Kirikou and the Men and Women) TV series (2012)
  • Kirikou et les hommes et les femmes compilation film (Dec. 2012, 80 min.)
  • Untitled belle-époque Paris project (201?)

Stage productions



Michel Ocelot was born in 1943 in Villefranche-sur-Mer, on the Côte d'Azur. He went on to spend much of his childhood in Guinea, Africa, his teenage years in Anjou and now lives in Paris. A multi-disciplined artist, he has worked in both cutout and cel animation and now also in 3D computer animation, as well writing for books and the stage. His films are almost always fairy tales (either little-known or of his own invention) and are visually characterised by a rigid use of only side-on, straight-on and ¾ viewpoints, possibly influenced by silhouette films such as those of Lotte Reiniger. He was president of the Association international du film d'animation from 1994 to 2000.

While already a household name in France, Spain and Scandinavia, and greatly respected by Studio Ghibli's TAKAHATA Isao (who has directed the Japanese dubs of his films) his success in the more conservative markets of the United Kingdom, USA and Germany has been restricted by a somewhat mixed reaction to the realistic and non-sexual but nevertheless omnipresent nudity in his breakout film Kirikou et la sorcière. Although the BBFC and its equivalents have approved it as being suitable for all ages, cinemas and TV channels have been reluctant to show it, owing to the potential backlash from offended parents. It was not until 2007 that he once again gained some recognition within the English-speaking world, this time due to being chosen by the internationally famous Icelandic musician Björk to direct the "Earth Intruders" video, for which he uses some live-action shooting.

The same year later saw the début of Kirikou et Karaba, the stage version of the Kirikou films for which he wrote the book and lyrics. Since then he has been putting together another compilation film (which will include two newly-created stories) and a DVD-Video release comprised of three early, short films and a new, alternate ending to Azur et Asmar. His most prominent ideas for future projects include a celebration of French civilization in late-nineteenth century Paris and an adults-only portmanteau film with the working title Les Contes sensuels et cruels (Stories Sensual and Cruel), [5] described by him as "very erotic but very pretty." [3] His plan is for it to be in monochrome and contain some live-action.


By Ocelot

"I use everyone's ideas in my own manner. I play with balls that innumerable jugglers have already used for countless centuries. These balls, passed down from hand to hand, are not new. But today I'm the one doing the juggling." [1]

"I've always been conscious of the ability of children to follow serious subjects, to guess at the meaning of unknown elements or to store up things that are incomprehensible to them now in order to understand them at a later time. If you make a film in which a child understands everything, you're making a bad film, and you're doing a bad thing: you're not helping the child to grow." [2]

On Ocelot

"I do not think my work has had an impact. Take Michel Ocelot: I personally ensured the supervision of the Japanese versions of his films. And if I did it, it's because there's nothing comparable in Japan. I can assure you that there is not the slightest trace of my influence in the works of Mr. Ocelot!" TAKAHATA Isao [4]



  • Emmanuelle makes for something of a tenuous link with René Laloux in that Sylvia Kristel, who played the title character in that film and some of its many sequels, was an acquaintance of Roland Topor (visual designer and co-writer of La Planète sauvage) and later directed the autobiographical animated film Topor et moi (Topor and Me, 2004) in tribute to him.
1. BAZOU, S. Princes et princesses : Les contes de fées revisités. ArteFake [online]. [Accessed 01 August 2008]. Used with permission from the author.
2. CHARPENTIER, O. Interview with Michel Ocelot. Seventeenth Annual Cascade Festival of African Films [online]. [Accessed 19 October 2008].
3. LEROY, E. 2008. Interview : Michel Ocelot (Azur et Asmar). DVDrama [online]. [Accessed 02 August 2008].
4. MAGNIN, M. 2008. Compte-rendu de la rencontre avec Isao Takahata à Nantes. 09 July 2008. Hemisphair — 2e saison [online]. [Accessed 01 August 2008].
5. NARDOUX, R. 2006. Azur et Asmar. Le Forum des Fous d'Anim [online]. [Accessed 02 August 2008].
6. RECIO, L. 2005. Portrait : Michel Ocelot. Court-circuit [online]. 253, [Accessed 02 September 2008].
7. 2008. Beyond Oil. aaa [online]. [Accessed 07 September 2008].
8. 2008. La Princesse insensible. aaa [online]. [Accessed 19 October 2008].
9. 2008. Les Trésors cachés de Michel Ocelot. DVD-Video. Directed by Michel OCELOT. Paris: France Télévisions Distribution. 2008.
10. 2008. Nord-Ouest [online]. [Accessed 25 August 2008].
11. 2004. Princes & Princesses. Wise Policy [online]. [Accessed 07 September 2008].
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