INTERVIEW / JANNIK HASTRUP & FLEMMING QUIST MØLLER / MINI AND THE MOZZIES
By Ulrich Breuning Say hello to Miranda the Girl Flea, Dagmar the Dancing Mosquito and Egon the Cycling Mosquito. Meet the gloomy Caterpillar, Basse the Dung Beetle, Dumrik the Assassin Bug and Snothas the Cockroach. And above all, tip your hat to Mini the Beetle, the star of Jannik Hastrup and Flemming Quist Møller’s Mini and the Mozzies. Their new film is that rare thing – art for a young audience with songs and music, humour and depth, wit and grit. Bullied out of the f lea circus after an awkward fail, title character Mini the Beetle goes astray. But no road is so thorny in Hastrup and Quist Møller’s generous universe that it fails to lead back to the f lea circus and Mini’s friends, to happy reunion and reconciliation. “We want to entertain children with a story and a cast of characters that deal with subjects like bullying and friendship but in the shape of an adventure,” the two directors say. Like its 2007 predecessor, A Tale of Two Mozzies, the new film’s universe and characters are based on Flemming Quist Møller’s timeless 1967 children’s book about the two mosquitoes Egon and Dagmar. Once again, the two directors are working in a classic cutout technique. While computers were used to animate the characters, the drawings are handmade and you don’t sense the presence of digital technology. In other words, Hastrup and Quist Møller’s tactile poetry is a far cry from the slick, turbocharged computer animations that the Americans, in particular, master to perfection. For Children and Adults Alike Mini the Beetle first charmed audiences as a side character in A Tale of Two Mozzies and eventually Hastrup and Quist Møller thought he deserved to be FILM | Berlin Issue 2015
Generation Kplus / Berlinale 2015
Mini and the Mozzies. Framegrab
Mini and the Mozzies is a tie-dye bright story of bullying and friendship, brought to life in a simple cutout technique and peppered with jazzy tunes and anarchic humour. Co-directors Jannik Hastrup and Flemming Quist Møller have put their thumbprints all over Danish animation for close to a lifetime now.
the star of their second film set in the buggy world of Egon and his friends. But the ambitious veterans are not content to just reach a new children’s audience with their latest collaboration. Characteristically, the satirical subtext ensures that an adult audience, too, will be amply entertained by Mini and the Mozzies. “What we really want to achieve is telling a story that even the youngest audiences can enjoy and identify with, while at the same time appealing to their parents. We don’t care to make a film which we ourselves wouldn’t want to go and watch at the cinema,” Hastrup and Quist Møller say. Vibrant Partnership For close to a lifetime now, Quist Møller and Hastrup have put their thumbprints all over Danish animation. 13
Danish Film Institute's magazine with interviews and all the basics on Danish films at Berlin 2015