Dog’s Life

The trials and tribulations of a dog form the heart-felt Marona’s Fantastic Tale. Told from the dog’s perspective, director Anca Damian crafts a sweetly moving animated film. The bold animation style is inspired by the work of Belgian artist Brecht Evens with distinctly expressionist tendencies.

The wry narrative follows a stray mutt named Marona as she looks back on the human companions she has genuinely loved throughout her often difficult life. Marona’s Fantastic Tale is a life-affirming tale with a simple message – look for the happiness in small things and love matters more than anything else in the end. The cute Marona wonders about the confusing lives of the humans caring for her.

Marona’s Fantastic Tale is engaging animation

Made for all ages, the movie’s wholesome message is tied to its dazzling animation. Dog lovers and young children will enjoy the tone. Like early Disney animation, sadder moments are mixed into the plot. The only questionable element in the entire storytelling may be opening with Marona’s death. She then reflects back on her entire life story as the movie unfolds.

Marona goes through a series of different owners. Born as the youngest in a large litter, she’s a loyal dog that loves her owners. An acrobat, a construction worker and eventually a young girl all end up owning her. Told with the simple love of a canine companion for their master, Marona’s patient love makes her an endearing and likable character.

There’s nothing revolutionary in the direct storytelling. That is saved for the beautifully expressive visuals, only possible in animation with its limitless potential. Marona’s Fantastic Tale is engaging animation made with an eye on children with its colorful antics.

Video

Animated in Europe with character designs by acclaimed Belgian artist Brecht Evens, Marona’s Fantastic Tale has expressive animation that marks it almost instantly as European in nature. Vividly animated with saturated primary colors and loopy line art, it’s a far cry from modern CGI or the traditional animation often associated with Disney. The camera zooms in and out, emphasizing constantly changing proportions and backgrounds that pulse with life. Alive with movement, the designs breathe with energy and fluidity.

GKIDS has bestowed Marona’s Fantastic Tale with a technically perfect Blu-ray presentation. The 1.85:1 video receives a gorgeous AVC encode on a BD-50 at top-notch parameters. Bugaboos like banding and chroma noise are completely absent in the clean animation. Black levels are perfect. One thinks that GKIDS went after Marona’s Fantastic Tale for license because its striking visuals fit right at home at 1080P resolution. This is a winning Hi-def presentation that provides a wonderfully animated picture.

Audio

Marona’s Fantastic Tale has both the native French soundtrack and an excellent English dub in 5.1 DTS-HD MA. Actress Lizzie Brocheré voices Marona in the French audio. English listeners should have no problem with the English dub, it’s a quality job with appropriate voice talent.

The well-made sound design has a hefty soundstage, matching the exotic and fluid visuals. Nice dynamics and intelligible dialogue are mixed evenly and without any issue. The discrete surround mix pushes the sounds of Marona’s bustling city towards the rear. While not overpowering, the LFE channel has solid activity.

Optional English SDH (dubtitles), Spanish and English subtitles are offered in a white font.

Extras

Distributed by Shout Factory, GKIDS includes a slipcover for the tasteful Blu-ray and DVD combo package. The Blu-ray is locked to Region A.

Interview With Director Anca Damian (12:39 in HD) – The Romanian director behind Marona’s Fantastic Tale discusses the real-life inspiration for the dog, working with her son on the screenplay, and her goals making the animated movie. It’s an excellent interview that digs into the movie’s primary themes and explains some of the artistic choices made in the animation.

Q&A At Animation Is Film Festival (23:06 in HD) – Director Anca Damian discusses the film at the 2019 animation festival, going into some detail about the project’s background and aims making it.

Art Gallery (HD)

Trailers (06:37 in HD) – Four different trailers are included for Marona’s Fantastic Tale.

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

Marona's Fantastic Tale
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras
3

Movie

The animated dog movie from Europe offers unique animation and a simple life-affirming message.

Sending
User Review
3 (1 vote)

The 15 unaltered images below represent the Blu-ray. For an additional 25 Marona’s Fantastic Tale screenshots, early access to all screens (plus the 120,000+ already in our library), 120 exclusive 4K UHD reviews, and more, subscribe on Patreon.