Unicorn Wars: Full Metal Care Bears Jacket review


They do not lack humor the distributors ofUnicorn Wars. Releasing the film on December 28, in the middle of school holidays, is a blow to relive the cries of outrage of certain inattentive spectators at the exit of Sausage Party. It must be said that the coating is misleading. With pink, green, blue, mauve, an enchanting forest where beautiful unicorns, black as a starless night, Baby among other woodland animals it is easy to imagine Alberto Vazquez’s film as the new Christmas Disney.

Besides, aren’t they adorable these little bear cubs who play at war in their training camp at the funny motto ” Honor. Pain. Cuddly ». It feels like being in an episode of Les Careours. Except no.

wage war with love

For comparison, the series of Happy Tree Friends (for those who remember), it’s Pixar next toUnicorn Wars. And aficionados of the universe of Alberto Vazquez know it well: for him, cuteness is a decoy. In his work as a cartoonist as much as in that of a filmmaker or cartoonist, the Iberian loves when it hurts. The a priori naive features of his drawings are in reality only the deceptive filter of his pessimism and misanthropy.

Just see Decorated (a brilliantly creepy short film presented at the Quinzaine des Cinéastes in 2016) or even his first feature film Psychonauts, adapted from his eponymous comic, to understand the character. For him, whether the world is a theater or an island, it doesn’t matter, the problem is those who inhabit it. Amateur of light parody or nice diversion, go your way: Alberto Vazquez is not there to brush in the direction of the hair or the fun.

Unicorn Wars: PictureIf Satan had a unicorn

band of brothers

And Unicorn Wars is no exception. From one of his short films, Blood of Unicorniothe film imagines a world where cute teddy bears and unicorns are fighting an ancestral war. According to a sacred text, the latter even have the power, for whoever drinks their blood, to transform it into a perfect creature.

At the heart of this conflict lies another: that of two brothers, Célestin and Dodu. One is a born competitor, complexed, obsessed with power and domination, while the other is much softer, preferring the sweetness of blueberries to guns, and hugs to competition. The ingredients are there for a show worthy of a Full Metal Jacket who would have crossed swords with the Karamazov brothers.

Unicorn Wars: PictureThe Reasons Of The Wrath

And Alberto Vazquez spares us nothing. Violence, blood, torture, evisceration, physical and psychological humiliation…anything goes. Unicorn Wars is a real feature film on the ravages of war but also on the birth of hatred. By bringing the general conflict back to the intimate, to the fraternal, the film constantly questions the original wound – if indeed it exists – at the root of the evil. The harm you can do to yourself and to others. It does not justify anything but points the finger at the mechanisms, often egotistical, at work in the birth of racism and devastating jealousy.

This reflection on the opposition between nature and culture can be found even in the green message ofUnicorn Wars, where the pettiness of our anthropomorphic bear cubs only results in the destruction of the world, of their world. By its scale and its story with drawers, the film deploys a loaded political arsenal that he sums up in a timeless and universalist myth.

Unicorn Wars: PictureStrongly merchandising


This is perhaps where lies the most punk act – almost an oxymoron – by Alberto Vazquez : absolutely anticlerical, Unicorn Wars is itself a founding story. The director makes no secret of his references: the film clearly imprints on the Bible or other mythologies, in particular through its story of enemy brothers who are reminiscent of Abel and Cain, or Remus and Romulus. The idea of ​​a strong, dominant, blinding, even murderous religionworthy of the Exodus, is also found in this film with stated anti-fundamentalist intentions.

Unicorn Wars: PictureReligion is only love

And yet. By constantly tending towards this ecumenical narrative, by developing a universe that is both referenced and impossible to identify, Alberto Vazquez offers a genesis as cruel as it is breathtaking which explains – and partially excuse – the human species for its birth, wedged between the sublime and the vile. A way of rethinking the origins in a misguided Garden of Eden stained with the blood of a flouted innocence. The filmmaker and cartoonist has lost none of the pessimism that is his trademark, but in no way believes in simplism. By reinventing our complexity, and bringing it to the screen, it calls on our reason to prevail over our impulses with a view to possible emancipation.

remains thatUnicorn Warsdespite its political and mythological ambition supported by a deceptively candid pencil stroke, suffers from a painful soft stomach which comes to stop the powerful narrative machine of the film. A slump which does not, however, detract from the enthusiasm of seeing a fable so original, so complete reaching our giant screens.

Unicorn Wars: French Poster

Unicorn Wars: Full Metal Care Bears Jacket review