For fame and fortune!!!! Quick quiz: what do a knight, princess, tall tower, and dragon have in common? If you guessed that the knight is trying to slay the dragon and save the princess (who it just happens will fall in love with him), then you’ve guessed right! Or you know, you know the story of Rapunzel or Shrek, or literally any knight & princess & dragon related fairy tale. And you don’t know what’s coming next in 850 Meters.
Released onto the worldwide festival circuit in 2013, 850 Meters is the brainchild of Joeri Christiaen of Thuristar, coproduced by Lunanime. The film stars a hapless, lute playing knight, hoping to get his big break in fame and fortune, save the princess, and get fame and fortune. In that order. It’s actually kind of a:
fame = “Fame & Fortune!”
thing = getThing();
print(thing+”and get “+fame);
type of situation where the input of “save the princess” gets you an output of “save the princess and get Fame & Fortune!”.
850 Meters plays with the aforementioned stereotypical knight story, satirizing it, without resorting to just poking fun at the concept. In a way that will remind many people of shows like Family Guy, the knight jumps into cutaway gags, serving to give an insight into his motivations. As a result, the knight is believable as a character, not in spite of his pettiness and inherent silliness, but because of it. The film knows that it’s a silly story, and that the knight is not the most actually chivalrous person, and it doesn’t pretend to be otherwise.
The animation itself is surprising expressive when it comes to the body of the knight, with particular care put into aspects like coordination of his facial expressions. During a number of scenes, when the action is slow, his expressions work hard to sell his way of thinking, happiness, and fear to the viewer, in a way which was unexpected to me, given the stylization of the animation.
If you need a laugh, and have about 15 minutes to kill, check the film out below!