Long Way North
|Long Way North|
|Directed by||Rémi Chayé|
|Produced by||Ron Dyens |
Claus Toksvig Kjaer
|Written by||Claire Paoletti|
Fabrice de Costil
|Starring||Christa Theret |
|Music by||Jonathan Morali|
|Edited by||Benjamin Massoubre|
France 3 Cinéma
|Distributed by||Diaphana Films (France)|
Soda Pictures (UK)
Shout! Factory (US)
|Box office||$1.2 million|
Long Way North (French: Tout en haut du monde, lit. "At the very top of the world") is a 2015 French-Danish animated film directed by Rémi Chayé. The film premiered at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award.
In 19th-century Saint Petersburg, a young girl named Sasha watches as her beloved grandfather - a noted explorer named Oloukine - departs upon a voyage to reach the North Pole on board the Dava, a specially designed icebreaker built to withstand the harsh arctic conditions and paid for by the Tsar of Russia. After years without word from the vessel, the Tsar declares a reward of 1 million rubles for proof of the Dava's final resting place, effectively declaring the vessel sunk with all hands.
Sasha, now 15 and about to host her Debutante Ball, sneaks into a newly-built library wing to be named for her grandfather in order to view the many artifacts he had donated, but while there, she overhears a conversation in which Prince Tomsky belittles her grandfather's achievements. Tomsky considers Oloukine's failure to return as a political humiliation to the Tsar, who had invested heavily in the expedition, and so Tomsky intends to see that Oloukine's name does not adorn the building. Attending Sasha's ball, he loudly feigns outrage when Sasha points out that her grandfather's notes detail how he took a different route than the one assumed by the Tsar's advisors, and after Tomsky storms from the building, the other guests follow him, keen to distance themselves from the family. Denied a position as the ambassador to Rome because of Tomsky's deception, Sasha's father blames his daughter for the family's fall from grace.
Sasha runs away from home, traveling by what means she can to the coast, where she locates a vessel - the Norge - with a reinforced hull, which indicates that it is built for travel to the icy Northern seas where Sasha wishes to go. After negotiating passage with Larson, a man falsely claiming to be the captain, the Norge departs without her and she is forced to wait for its return while working as a dogsbody in a tavern. When the Norge returns, Sasha uses her grandfather's notes to convince the real captain - Lund - that she can locate the Dava, meaning Lund and his crew may claim the Tsar's 1 million ruble reward. Lund is bound by honor to grant Sasha passage, as Larson is both his first mate and brother, and Larson has gambled away the price of Sasha's passage during the unprofitable voyage from which the Norge and its crew have just returned.
The crew at first warm to Sasha over the long course of the voyage, but when the Norge is destroyed because of Larson's lack of experience, the crew turn upon Sasha as rations dwindle and they begin to blame her for their dire predicament. Days into their seemingly futile journey across the Arctic snows, Sasha flees the group into a raging storm, where she is found by a husky she befriended on the ship, but rather than lead her back to the crew, the dog leads her to the frozen corpse of Oloukine. After retrieving his log book, the corpse is carried away by the disintegration of the ice shelf. Sasha reads the log and discovers Oloukine's journey played out much as Sasha's has, with his men abandoning him on the ice-locked Dava because of his obsessive quest to reach the North Pole, forcing him to go forth alone across the ice, where he claims to have reached the North Pole, but, weakened by hunger, sat down in the snow to better appreciate the harsh beauty of his surroundings, where he is found two years later by Sasha. Sasha uses the coordinates in the log book to find the Dava, and the crew use the dynamite they brought with them to blast the ship free and take it back out to sea. Exploring the vessel, Sasha finds her grandfather's cabin, in which a picture of her as a child rests upon his desk, frozen in place.
As the credits roll, a montage of still images play out: the Dava's return to St Petersburg, Tomsky's humiliation as Sasha is proven correct, and Sasha's reunion with her father. A post-credits scene also plays, in which the flag planted by Oloukine at the North Pole is blown away by the Arctic wind.
French voice cast
- Christa Theret as Sasha
- Féodor Atkine as Oloukine
- Thomas Sagols as Katch
- Rémi Caillebot as Larson
- Audrey Sablé as Nadya
- Fabien Briche as Tomsky
- Rémi Bichet as Father
- Julienne Degenne as Mother
English voice cast
- Chloé Dunn as Sasha
- Geoffrey Greenhill as Sasha's grandfather
- Bibi Jacob as Sasha's mother
- Martin Vaughan Lewis as Sasha's father
- Peter Hudson as Father
- Antony Hickling as Larson
- Tom Perkins
- Vivienne Vermes
- Leslie Clack
- Kester Lovelace
- Damian Corcoraan
|List of awards and nominations|
|Annie Awards||February 4, 2017||Best Animated Feature — Independent||Long Way North||Nominated|||
|San Diego Film Critics Society||December 12, 2016||Best Animated Film||Long Way North||Nominated|||
|Tokyo Anime Award Festival||2016||Grand Prize||Long Way North||Won|||
|COLCOA French Film Festival||2016||Coming Soon Award||Long Way North||Won|||
|Chicago International Children’s Film Festival||2016||Children's Jury Prize — Animated Feature Film||Long Way North||Won|||
|Chicago International Children’s Film Festival||2016||Adult Jury Prize 2nd Prize — Animated Feature Film||Long Way North||Won|||
|Annecy International Animated Film Festival||2015||Audience Award||Long Way North||Won|||
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