DVD & Blu-ray Reviews

Nocturna, Blu-ray (2014)

A charming family animated feature from Spain with lots of cats.

Published on November 5, 2014

Nocturna, Blu-ray (2014)

Nocturna, Blu-ray (2014)

Directors: Victor Maldonado, Adria Garcia
Studio: Filmax/Cinedigm/GKIDS [11/11/14]
Music: Nicolas Errera
Video: 16:9 color 1080p HD
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 2.0
Subtitles: English, English SDH
No region code
Extras: “The Making of Nocturna;” “The Art of Nocturna;” U.S. trailer
Length: 88 min.
Rating: ****1/2

A clever and somewhat unusual animated film from Spain. It explores the mysteries of the night in an adventure filled with Alice in Wonderland-type characters.  A little boy named Tim lives in an orphanage but has trouble sleeping like all the other children. While up on the roof he discovers a whole different world at night, and characters like the giant flying cat shepherd of the guardian cats, the little light men, and the hairdressers. The latter three ladies, who reminded me of the sisters in the wonderful animation The Triplets of Belleville, rearrange the children’s hair while they sleep, into “bed hair.”

Tim and the cat shepherd discover a danger to the night world of Nocturna: a giant black shadowy creature who is able to turn out the lights everywhere. If they don’t succeed in battling the intruder, Nocturna will never be the same.

The curious night creatures are a kick, and the backgrounds of the city are fascinating – based on views of Paris as well as some medieval cities. It doesn’t say who the English voices-over are, but they are approprirate and easily understood. Strange there is no option of a Spanish-language soundtrack with English subtitles. Also strange is that the many cats (with immensely long tails) appear two-dimensional, whereas all the other creatures have some 3D quality to their appearance. The making-of documentary in the extras is interesting as usual.

—John Sunier




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