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Albertine Cinémathèque’s March Recommendations for Young Cinephiles

The Painting

By Nathalie Charles, Program manager, CinéSchool

When it comes to finding French films or TV shows for kids to watch, the number of programs available on streaming platforms in the US can be overwhelming. That’s why, each month, CinéSchool program manager and all-around film expert Nathalie Charles puts together a list of the top French content for kids and teens that is available online. While some films or series are pure entertainment, others are designed to share useful educational concepts, and more still are great for the whole family to enjoy! So, what’s on this month?

Les Schtroumpfs ©Peyo – 2023 Licenced through I.M.P.S (Brussels)

The Smurfs (Les Schtroumpfs)
Directed by George Gordon, Bob Hathcock, Carl Urbano, Rudy Zamor, 1981, France-Belgium, animated TV series, recommended for ages 5+

In all there are 102 Smurfs, living in mushrooms that grow in a forest. Particularly fond of sarsaparilla, they all look deceptively alike but each has its own character! Their enemies? The wizard Gargamel and his ginger cat Azrael, who would dearly love to add them to their menu… Based on the books by Peyo.

Available in French on TV5MONDEplus (3 seasons) and in English on AmazonPrime | AppleTV | PlexTV


White Mane by Albert Lamorisse

White Mane (Crin Blanc, le Cheval Sauvage)
Directed by Albert Lamorisse, 1952, France, 47 minutes, recommended for ages 6+

In the south of France, in a vast plain region called the Camargue, lives White Mane, a magnificent stallion and the leader of a herd of wild horses too proud to let themselves be broken by humans. Only Folco, a young fisherman, manages to tame him. A strong friendship grows between the boy and the horse, as the two go looking for the freedom that the world of men won’t allow them. Long unavailable in the U.S., this extraordinarily shot wonder from Albert Lamorisse, the director of The Red Balloon, is a work of technical sophistication and immense natural beauty.

Available on The Criterion Channel


The Jungle Bunch

The Jungle Bunch (Les As de la Jungle)
Directed by David Alaux, 2017, 1h38, PG, recommended for ages 8+

Maurice may look like a penguin – but he’s a real tiger inside! Raised by a tigress, he’s the clumsiest kung-fu master ever. Along with his friends, The Jungle Bunch, he intends to maintain order and justice in the jungle, as his mother did before he. But Igor, an evil koala, wants to destroy the jungle once and for all—helped by his army of silly baboons.

Available on PeacockTubi | Plex | Crackle | Fubo | AmazonVideoGooglePlay | YouTube | Vudu | Apple TV | The Roku Channel | PlutoTV | Microsoft | RedBox


Astérix at the Olympic Games

Asterix at the Olympic Games (Astérix aux Jeux Olympiques)
Directed by Thomas Langmann and Frédéric Forestier, 2008, 1h57, recommended for ages 10+

In their new adventures, Asterix and Obelix come to the aid of their friend Alafolix, who must fight Brutus, Cesar’s son, to win both the Olympic Games and the hand of beautiful Irina. But heinous Brutus is determined to beat the Gaul and take his father’s place.

Available on AmazonVideo | Vudu | GooglePlay | YouTube | Tubi | AppleTV


Le Tableau

The Painting (Le Tableau)
Directed by Jean-François Laguionie, 2011, 1h16, France-Belgium, recommended for ages 10+

In this wryly inventive parable, a kingdom within a painting is divided into three castes: the impeccably colored Alldunns, the incomplete Halfies, and the barely outlined Sketchies who are treated as outcasts. Chastised for her forbidden love of the dashing Ramo, Claire runs away into the cursed forest. Ramo and his friends journey after her, crossing over the boundaries of the forest only to arrive at the very edge of the painting – where they tumble through the canvas and into the Painter’s studio. The abandoned workspace is strewn with paintings, each containing its own vividly animated world and characters – and in a feast for both the eyes and the imagination, Ramo, Lola, Quill and Magenta explore picture after picture, in a quest to discover just what the Painter has in mind for his creations.

Available on AmazonVideo | Vudu | Tubi | AppleTV | Hoopla


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