ABC Film Challenge – Animation – V – Valley of the Lanterns (2018) Movie Review

Director: Caleb Hystad

Writer: Caleb Hystad (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Samantha Ferris, Thomas Haddaway-Graham, Ian Hanlin, Jonathan Love, Nicole Oliver

Plot: An old woman’s hold on the past puts her family’s future in jeopardy.

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Animation 101

Story: Valley of the Lanterns starts as young village boy Porter is asked to help his mysterious grandmother Olistene out with her work, she builds lanterns for the village for a yearly celebration, all while searching for her own mystery that has been a lifetime of searching for.

When Olistene finds the secret, she ends up putting the village in an endless cycle, which sees her living the same day on repeat trying to fix the problem she created.

Thoughts on Valley of the Lanterns

Characters – Olistene is the grandmother of the family that builds the village lanterns every year for a celebration, all while searching for her own solution to the magic, she is willing to teach her grandson about the ways of the lanterns, until she finds herself repeating the same year over again, looking for a different outcome to save the village from repeating the day. Porter is the grandson that enjoys kicking a ball around, but is being encouraged to learn from his grandmother, passing on the traditions of the family. Keelan is one of the few people that bought into the cycle, where his greed puts Olistene in a difficult position of wanting to fix things or get what he wants.

StoryThe story here follows a woman that has found herself repeating the same year, a special day for the village, where her magic has caught everyone in a loop, where she needs to start finding a way to change things before it is too late for the people. This is a story that examines accepting time in life and seeing just how greed can leave people stuck in a cycle they can’t control, it also focuses on the idea of tradition still needing to be followed no matter what. This is told in a sweet way, that will appeal to the younger audience that are watching.

SettingsThe film keeps us in a small traditional village which has got plenty of history behind what has happened there and shows us just how close the community really is.

AnimationThe animation might not be the strongest, but it doesn’t hold it back from showing us just how the story is meant to be seen.


Scene of the Movie – The first change.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It does play the repeat card too often with how everything happens.

Final Thoughts This is an easy watch animated movie, this can be enjoyed by all and without being anything overly complicated, with a nice sweet message behind it all.

Overall: Sweet Animation.

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