L’Enfant et la Sirène (lost unproduced French animated film; 1960s)

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Two of the construction models.

Status: Lost

L’Enfant et la Sirène ("The Child and the Mermaid") is an unfinished French animated film from the 1960s. Its existence is primarily known through the large underwater miniature that was constructed in preparation for the film, sometime between 1963 and 1965.


The website La Scala Retrouvée posted [1] an article in December 2009 on the supposed director, a filmmaker by the name of Néjad Atzamba. The article states (in French):

"[At the time, we all had a great admiration for him, because he worked, parallel to his studies, on an animation project that was to revolutionize the "cartoon", as it was then called, and to shake the foundations of the production of Walt Disney itself! In 1967, I met him by chance in the South, where we were spending our holidays. We had not seen each other since 1949 and I gave him our address in Paris. I had the pleasant surprise of seeing him reapply to the Scala, at the end of '67 when we had gone to the cafe theater. I learned that Nejad was still dedicated to his project, but that he still had, after so many years, great monetary difficulties. He stayed in Paris for a long time and came regularly to attend the shows, to which he took great interest. Then, one day, he disappeared, leaving us some photos of miniatures from this animation. Since then, I do not console myself for this waste of huge talent that will never see the light of day! I do not know what has become of Néjad, but I wanted, in my own way, to pay tribute to a colleague for whom I have always kept great esteem and admiration!]" All the scenes of animation were shot in these sceneries underwater, in the Aegean Sea, in Greece. The animation of characters, fish or other moving objects, was performed in the studio. I do not know what happened to these sets and rushes already shot!]".


All that remains of the project are production stills left from Néjad's time in Paris. Here are two of these production stills.

Besides these, and the large underwater miniature, little is known about the film. The plot of the film is completely unknown. It is not even certain if the film was ever finished, or if Néjad died before finding enough money to finish it.

Either way, the film has never resurfaced in any degree of completion.