It was one of the shocks of the Annecy Festival 2022 and our favorite animated film. Alberto Vázquez's Unicorn Wars mixes a childish aesthetic reminiscent of the Care Bears with violent war sequences – even downright gore – worthy of war films like Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now or Mel Gibson's You Shall Not Kill .
Two teddy brothers and warriors, with the looks of childish cartoons, confront the unicorns in a surge of bewildering brutality which is why the film is prohibited for children under 12 years old. “My wish was that the spectators expect a comedy but find themselves confronted with a very hard drama, explains Alberto Vázquez to 20 Minutes . This discrepancy between the design of the heroes and what they live seemed fascinating to me. The director of Psiconautas does not go with the back of the spoon for this pacifist and ecological fable of great originality.
A political and philosophical fable :
The duo of cubs fight against the unicorns, their enemies for ages, but the brothers also fight among themselves to curry favor with their mother. We think of Happy Tree Friends in front of a tangy aesthetic combined with bloody effects, but Unicorn Wars goes further than joyfully provocative gore. It is a real political and philosophical fable that the Spanish director delivers to us. “ Unicorn Wars denounces dictatorships, whether political or religious, as well as the atrocities that humans inflict on nature,” insists the filmmaker.
Alberto Vázquez's freedom of tone constantly surprises. “We had to astonish the spectator, shake him without ever letting go so that he feels in his flesh what the characters feel when they are forced to participate in atrocious acts for which they do not really know the reason. And it works so well that you let yourself be totally carried away in a torrent of sensations. Alberto Vázquez masterfully juggles graphic styles in a merciless world.
No one will ever dare to pretend that adult animation doesn't have a bright future ahead of it after participating in the Unicorn Wars . This virtuoso film is made of the stuff we weave nightmares while offering a sharp reflection on the world.