Animated Film "Kirikou and the Sorceress" to Become Stage Musical

By Adam Hetrick
June 21, 2007

The award-winning French animated film "Kirikou and the Sorceress" is set to make the transition to a stage musical this fall.

Michel Ocelot, who conceived, wrote and directed the film, has also written the musical's libretto and additional lyrics. Youssou N'Dour and Rokia Traoure, who contributed music for the animated version, are on hand for the stage adaptation.

According to Variety, Victor Bosch, who also produced the French musical spectacle Notre Dame de Paris, will produce the production with Didier Brunner.

The French/Belgian film is a retelling of an African folk tale that centers on a young African boy who must save his village by ridding the world of an evil sorceress.

The wildly popular film spawned a sequel, "Kirikou and the Wild Beasts," in 2005. Both films combined have grossed over $27 million in France, and producers are hoping for similar success with the stage adaptation.

The animated version ignited controversy when distributors refused to release it in some areas because of the natural nudity depicted in the films some went so far as to request airbrushing of male and female nudity. Ocelot maintained the nudity was an essential element in portraying African culture and refused to allow any changes to the film. There is no word on whether the stage adaptation will follow suit.

Before launching a national tour, Kirikou and Karaba will play a limited run at Casino de Paris beginning Oct. 3.