Lote from the Village of Inventors is one of those children’s favorite animated films, which has already experienced its third sequel. The Estonian-Latvian co-production project has become popular, so to speak, a “franchise” whose heroes are already known throughout the Baltics. The latest film in the series, Lotte and the Lost Dragons, has also been included in the program of the Berlin Film Festival this year, proving once again that the language of animation travels across national borders much more easily.
I assume that for those viewers who have known Loti since the first film was released, all the characters have already become so lovely that they could be called friends. It definitely also means that a lot of the jokes are even more funny because they refer to what has been seen in previous films. However, even when watching “Loti and the Lost Dragons” without prior knowledge, the depicted adventures are quite exciting, and the scenario is well enough designed to make everything perceptible and understandable even when you see the main characters for the first time.
This time, a big turning point has taken place in Lotte’s life – she gives birth to a sister who is called Rozīte. It is clear that the filmmakers wanted to portray an event that is often a big turning point for children in the family – the entry of a new brother or sister into the world. That is why the relationship between Lotte and Rozīte is sincere and friendly from the very first moment, because it is important to show that a young child in the family is not a competitor who will deprive his parents, but a playmate and best friend.
Along with this story, two professors – Kārlis Jenots and Viktors Vīķis – also come to the Village of Inventors, who participate in a large folklore competition and record ancient songs. Thanks to both professors, we learn that the most common and undiscovered song is the song of fire dragons, which no one has had time to record. In addition, the dragons themselves have already become almost mythological creatures. So it turns out that the day of Lotte and Rozīte’s adventures also includes the search for dragons started by both professors. And, as Lot says, “We girls always get along,” as evidenced by the fact that curious sisters are quicker to follow in the footsteps of legendary creatures.
News in Inventors’ Village
This time, the Inventors’ Village itself remains more of a background, giving more scope to the search for missing dragons. But the local color works the same way – for example, the intrusive Adalbert, who desperately wants his song to be recorded and he becomes famous, in the end even plays a very important role in this story.
But the main event is and remains the search for dragons, and Lote and his sister “unravel” the puzzles much faster, which could lead to the mysterious creatures. So both girls travel outside the borders of their village and also end up in such interesting places as visiting a famous inventor and even an opera!
Visually, “Lote and the Lost Dragons” combines both impressive computer animation and drawn animation, thus creating both a more attractive and “deeper” image. But still everything is just so colorful and full of different creatures that already confident Lote fans do not feel disappointed.
Especially charming are the episodes in the cave of two gentlemen’s moles, as well as the lively action of the meerkats living in the mystical desert. Of course, in the animated film for children, everything is a bit naive at times, the characters are exaggerated and many jokes will not seem too funny to adults. But the children giggled and rejoiced very actively, and that is the main thing.
The healthy dose of self-irony should also be praised, which makes this story much easier to understand also for adults, who, I understand, will most likely have to watch this “cartoon” many more times at the request of small viewers. Since the screenplay was created in collaboration with the popular writer Andrus Kivirehks, there is a lot of absurdity and irony in it.
It is clear that the aspect of preservation and significance of folklore is one of the determinants of this Lotte and Rozīte’s adventure, but it is nice to see that it can be told without exaggerated pathos and feelings. Although I am not Lotte’s target audience, watching time went by unnoticed and at times I could also become childish.
«LOTE AND THE LOST DRAGONS»
Adventure film, animation, family film, Estonia, Latvia, 2019
Director: Janno Põldma, Heiki Ernits
Recorded in Latvian: Lueta Meldere, Amēlija Barone, Ilze Ķuzule-Skrastiņa, Gundars Āboliņš, Anita Sproģe, Jānis Jarāns, Renārs Kaupers, Pēteris Šogolovs, Imants Pakalnietis, Andris Freidenfelds, Edgars Lipors.