The Sky Princess (2018)

dir. Dara Harper

The Sky Princess is, frankly, a shame. There are some real glimmers of potential in it, here and there. Parts of the animation, like a patterned headdress here or a gleaming jewel earring there, look incredible. Some of the mythological concepts seem interesting, including the interplay of the sun and moon tribes, and the movie almost lets itself foray into some genuinely dark concepts around captivity and depression. There’s even the odd well-written, funny line of dialogue. Unfortunately, these rare diamonds are lost in a colossal, overwhelming haze of rough. So much of the movie quite simply makes no sense whatsoever. Our eighteen-year-old protagonist dreams of being a princess and sits on a bench, so she’s now subject to the whims of a mystical owl. What? There’s also an incredible lack of focus, with the movie resolutely still continuing for quite a while even after all the main story is concluded. And most of all, most obviously of all, the majority of the animation is truly hideous. Heads rock about on spindly necks, eyes go akimbo, the backgrounds are frequently one untextured colour at a time: the weird angles and bulges all come together to make something very very ugly. Perhaps, in another universe, The Sky Princess is a masterpiece – but in this one, it’s a catastrophe.

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