Ciné Si/Princes et Princesses (partially lost scenes/episodes of French animated TV series; 1989)

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Original French title card, for the 1989 broadcast on Canal+

Status: Partially Lost

Ciné Si (marketed as We Are the Star internationally [1] ) is a French animated series created by Michel Ocelot for the french premium television channel Canal+, first broadcasted on the said channel on April 3rd, 1989. The series is made of shorts built around the same framework that revolves around three characters: a young man, a young woman (both unnamed), and their friend "Théo" the old projectionist, who go to an abandoned theater every night, imagining their own fairy-tale style stories and playing them "on stage". It uses silhouette animation, inspired by the Lotte Reiniger films of the same style (The Adventures of Prince Achmed notably) for budget reasons. Eight shorts/episodes were produced, but only seven are available, and one of the seven shorts remaining is partially complete.

Loss of the prints

Originally, the animation was made and shot on reels in the "La Fabrique" animation studios in Saint-Laurent-le-Minier in the summer, which were then sent to Paris to be developed during the intervening winters [2]. Said development was done in the Telcipro laboratories with post-production editing done by Télétota. [3]

However, due to time constraints of the TV broadcast, Michel Ocelot had to cut down on editing one episode/tale in particular: Le garçon des figues, where the titular character is given throughout the story many gifts by the Queen of Egypt. One of those gifts was an ebony bed shaped like a lion that the boy held over his head as he brought it back to his fig tree and put it on the branches to sleep on it. Michel Ocelot hoped to bring back those scenes for the theatrical release of 6 of the 8 shorts, titled Princes et Princesses (Princes and Princesses) in 2000, following the success of his previous movie Kirikou and the Sorceress, but in 1996, Telcipro was bought back by its original founder Michel Thévenet from the Tectis holding that owned it since 1988 (which also included Télétota) [4] and when Michel Ocelot and his crew went to search for the original film reels, the unused sequences from Le garçon des figues as well as the shorts/episodes Icare (Icarus) and On ne saurait penser à tout (One Could Not Think Of All) were missing, either lost by accident or thrown away when the laboratory had new owners. [5]

Eventually, the Icarus short was found and is available to watch both on the Agence du Court-Métrage website [6] and the DVD release "Les Trésors Cachés de Michel Ocelot" [7], but On ne saurait penser à tout and the cut sequences from Le garçon des figues are probably lost "forever" from the the filmmaker's own words, only early sketches survived of the latter. [5]

Screenshot of the ebony bed and 'fig boy' from "L'histoire des contes" bonus on the Princes et Princesses DVD.

External Links


  1. Television. La Fabrique. Archived from the original on 13 July 2011. Retrieved 29 October 2010.
  2. [1] Leroy, Elodie (2005). Wayback Machine capture from August 9th 2011, retrieved 2 Nov '23.
  3. End credits Retrieved 30 Oct '23
  4. [2] Retrieved 30 Oct '23
  5. 5.0 5.1 Ocelot, Michel (Director) (2001). Princes et princesses (DVD). France: France Télévisions.
  6. [3] Retrieved 30 Oct '23
  7. Scott, Jordan (November 2008). "Michel Ocelot videography". Le Palais des dessins animés. Retrieved 30 December 2008.