When “Miraculous Ladybug” first debuted in 2015, it instantly captured the attention of anime enthusiasts and garnered a significant cult following. This captivating animated series was brought to life through the collaboration of ZAGtoon and Method Animation, with the renowned Japanese animation company, Toei Animation, serving as a co-producer. Thomas Astruc, a talented cartoonist, developed the character of Ladybug and played an integral role in shaping the TV series alongside Jeremy Zag, the CEO, director, and producer of ZAGtoon.
“Miraculous Ladybug” revolves around the lives of two teenagers, Marinette Dupain-Cheng and Adrien Agreste. When duty calls, they transform into the fearless superheroes Ladybug and Cat Noir. Together, they valiantly protect the city from the clutches of supervillains. While the series was initially intended to be in a 2D anime style, it ultimately evolved into a CGI production, a decision made by the French producers. However, fans can still find the original anime-style promotional OVA video on YouTube, animated by Toei Animation.Over time, “Miraculous Ladybug” has cultivated a devoted fandom, including passionate cosplayers and artists who proudly call themselves “Miraculers.” The series has expanded into a successful media franchise, encompassing comics, a web series, novels, video games, a manga series, and most recently, the highly anticipated motion picture, “Ladybug & Cat Noir: The Movie“. With its growing popularity and array of merchandise, “Miraculous Ladybug” has firmly established itself as an enchanting world that continues to captivate audiences of all ages.
The Highly Anticipated Motion Picture Film
Embark on a captivating cinematic experience as you delve into this highly anticipated animated film of the year! The film follows the thrilling journey of two teenagers, Marinette Dupain-Cheng and Adrien Agreste, who must uncover the truth about themselves and harness their extraordinary powers to safeguard the illustrious city of Paris. The film is a heartfelt tribute to the dedicated Miraculous Ladybug fandom while appealing to newcomers.
The film briefly introduces the Miraculous and showcases the various Miraculous, leaving room for potential future film projects. As an origin story, the film explores the beginnings of our main protagonists, Marinette and Adrien, and their journey to becoming superheroes and reveals how they obtained their Miraculous. The film touches on universal teenage themes of courage and selflessness, capturing the challenges of adolescence, such as fitting in and facing one’s fear.
It becomes apparent that the film’s narrative adheres to a relatively straightforward and predictable trajectory, albeit keeping in mind its intended target audience encompassing the younger demographic. However, the animation compensates for its anticipated plot developments. Distinct from its television counterpart, where character portrayal tends to lean towards stylized plasticity, the film’s creative team dedicatedly strived for meticulous detailing and hyper-realistic verisimilitude in rendering both Marinette Dupain-Cheng and Adrien Agreste. Their meticulously crafted appearances feature nuanced facial expressions, lustrous hair, and mesmeric eyes. Noteworthy locations such as The Cheng’s boulangerie (French for “bakery”) and Adrien’s mansion beautifully showcase opulent French architectural design and, in certain instances, timeworn interiors, lending an air of “lived-in” authenticity.
In addition, characters’ facial expressions play a crucial role in conveying their emotions and setting the overall mood of the scenes; this is further supported by the production team, animating characters with detailed and realistic skin textures, making them come to life and feel more like lifelike on the screen.
The animators strived for realism, at least more than the TV series. An interesting and subtle highlight is that the animators animated the characters’ hair in various directions, ensuring the hair is not perfectly styled. By adding intersecting strands and different hair directions, the animators created a more natural and authentic look for the characters, once again bringing them to life on the screen.
While there is no official confirmation, avid followers of the series may find several sequences within the film that bear a striking resemblance to scenes from an unaired 2D anime-style ‘OVA Promotional Video’ dating back to 2015. The uncanny similarities between the two raise the possibility that the film’s storyline was initially intended to serve as the introductory episode for the projected 2D anime series. Of course, the speculation surrounding this potential connection is pure conjecture, as the 2D anime iteration never came to fruition, and ZAG has never mentioned the 2D project since.
One prominent aspect of the film that deserves special mention is its captivating musical score. It becomes evident from the very beginning that the melodic voices of the main characters differ from their spoken voices, adding an intriguing layer to the overall experience. Marinette is brought to life through the talented voice acting of Cristina Vee, while the prolific Bryce Papenbrook voices the charming Adrien. The singing voice of Marinette is portrayed by the French singer Lou Jean while Drew Ryan Scott performs Adrien’s singing voice with music composed by CEO and film director Jeremy Zag himself with assistance from Australian filmmaker Michael Gracey.
Noam Kaniel, the talented cartoon music composer, was surprisingly not involved in the film’s musical score. Despite his previous success composing the theme song for the TV series, his unique musical style was unfortunately absent from the film’s soundtrack.
The film’s storyline might be predictable for more experienced viewers, but it remains highly enjoyable and entertaining. While the film does contain a few gaps in the plot, it serves as a compelling introduction to the TV series. Towards the end, there are some noticeable inconsistencies when compared to the TV show’s plotline. Nevertheless, with a bit of imagination, it gives room for speculation and wonder about what might have occurred after the film’s iconic and intense climax.It is not surprising that there is a romantic element between Ladybug and Cat Noir, although the TV series does not delve deeply into it in the first two seasons. However, the film takes the opportunity to explore their relationship in greater detail. Every emotional response from the characters is given careful attention, ensuring that romantic and conflicting feelings resonate with the audience.
Now on NETFLIX!
The movie premiered in Paris, France, on June 11th of this year with a limited release in theaters worldwide. As reported by the French magazine Paris Match, the film was produced with a budget of €80 million (or about $86 million), making it the second most expensive French film in history, second only to the 2017 movie Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.
If you are captivated by this review, prepare to immerse yourself in the enchanting world of Miraculous Ladybug, as both the captivating TV series and thrilling film are now streaming on Netflix! Be ready to join forces with the courageous heroes of Paris as Marinette Dupain-Cheng and Adrien Agreste transform into the extraordinary Ladybug and Cat Noir. Together, they stand as beacons of hope, defending the beautiful city Paris from the clutches of menacing supervillains orchestrated by the nefarious Hawk Moth. All this while struggling with their teenage life! Get ready for an exhilarating adventure that will keep you on the edge of your seat!
Our History with ZAG Studios and Miraculous Ladybug
I would like to express my gratitude to ZAG Animation and its Glendale-based Studio. Even before the release of season two of the TV series, The Kitsune Network has collaborated with Zag Studios to bring our subscribers and followers exclusive interviews and an insider’s perspective on Miraculous Ladybug since 2015. We began by conducting an interview with Jared Wolfson, formerly the Head of the TV Division at ZAG. This was followed by a delightful interview with voice actress Cristina Vee at ZAG studios! Ever since then, The Kitsune Network has been actively covering various, major, Miraculous Ladybug events. Most recently, we attended the exciting grand opening of the Miraculous Ladybug store in Santa Monica, CA. Congratulations to the entire team over at ZAG Studios for this incredible milestone! Let’s take a look at some of the memorable moments from those interviews and other Miraculous Ladybug coverage articles here.
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