Mikulášovy patálie: Jak to celé začalo/Little Nicholas (2022)

Mikulášovy-patálie-Jak-to-celé-začalo/Little-Nicholas-Little Nicholas - Happy-as-Can-Be-(2022)
Mikulášovy patálie: Jak to celé začalo/Little Nicholas-Happy as Can Be (2022)

Movie Details

Movie: Mikulášovy patálie: Jak to celé začalo/Little Nicholas-Happy Can Be (2022)
Director: Benjamin Massoubre, Amandine Fredon
Cast: Alain Chabat, Laurent Lafitte, and Simon Faliu
Music: Ludovic Bource
Genres: Comedy/Family
Release date: 12 October 2022
IMDB Rating: 7.1/10
Language: French
Duration: 1h 22m


Mikulášovy patálie: Jak to celé začalo/Little Nicholas-Happy as Can Be (2022)


I have no idea how today’s youth feel, but during my childhood books about Santa Claus were among the solid phenomena and, together with Asterix, it is probably the most famous children’s export from France. Which, after all, is not a coincidence, when both iconic characters come from the head of the writer René Goscinny. I devoured the little adventures of Little Nicholas – Happy as Can Be and his friends, I had a large number of books at home, and to this day this rauber has a place in my nostalgic heart. Fortunately, the French are aware of their book treasure, so adaptations have been very rare so far. After two solid feature films, the popular character finally got the format that suited her best – an animated film in the style of illustrations by Jean-Jacques Sempé, who consecrated the novelty himself before his death. This is also one of the reasons

Little Nicholas – Happy as Can Be is not, however, an ordinary cartoon story about the misadventures of the main character and his little sidekicks. It is essentially two films in one. In addition to Mikuláš’s classic adventures, we also get the plot of his authors Goscinny and Sempé, where we follow their friendship and partnership bond from the first idea in a restaurant, through the creation of various episodes to the saddest moments.

The animation is not only a collection of Little Nicholas – Happy as Can Be Grateful stories, but especially a nice tribute to its creators, the work itself, and the French culture of the time as such. Even if the film as a whole seems fragmented in certain passages, it completely fulfills its purpose and leaves the viewer with exactly the feelings it has. And the impressions of total nostalgia and melancholy framed by an honest boyish adventure, where readers will turn the pages of the book in their minds and silently reminisce. The humor here is properly childishly simple, but at the same time grateful for all the generations that grew up on the originals, and the creators also managed to perfectly capture the atmosphere and poetics of the originals.

The excellent animation, which copies Sempé’s style with absolute ease and respect for the original, is to a large extent responsible for this. The animation is properly simple, it doesn’t tolerate too much detail and even leaves the edges of individual shots white, following the example of books. Thanks to this, the adaptation acquires the right book charm and at the same time has a nice old-fashioned feel. On the other hand, however, I wonder how much the classic cartoon style and the creative concept of the film will appeal to today’s children or, in general, viewers not familiar with the book. Little Nicholas – Happy as Can Be antics will certainly entertain children, but I’m not entirely sure about the framing of a more mature theme around Goscinny and Sempé. Don’t take that as a criticism, it’s just that, in some ways, parents will enjoy the cartoon novelty more than their children.

Although Little Nicholas – Happy as Can Be will not rewrite animated history or tops in any way, that was not the case for anyone. This is primarily a sweet and magical return to our childhood, which will remind you of the most classic adventures, and above all, pay a touching tribute to its authors. It’s just an old-school anime that might not work as well for today’s young viewers. The fragmentation and sometimes jumps are a slightly disturbing element in the second half. However, it doesn’t matter in the end. As a person who spent a significant part of my childhood with Mikuláš, Vendelín the glutton or Albín the brawler, I had a smile on my face basically the whole time.

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