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The Man Who Planted Trees
The Man Who Planted Trees
Director: Frederic Back
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Kids & Family, Special Interests, Animation
UR     2004     1hr 0min

The Man Who Planted Trees tells the story of a solitary sheperd who patiently plants and nurtures a forest of thousands of trees, single-handedly transforming his arid surroundings into a thriving oasis. Undeterred by two ...  more »


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Movie Details

Director: Frederic Back
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Kids & Family, Special Interests, Animation
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Kids & Family, Special Interests, Animation
Studio: CBC Radio-Canada
Format: DVD - Color - Animated,Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 11/01/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 0min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 7
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English
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Movie Reviews

Brilliant Animation with a Heart, a Soul and a Purpose
BlaskoFilms | Coon Rapids, MN United States | 02/13/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Whether you are a longtime fan of the work of Canada's Frederic Back, or you are just discovering the masters of animation, you'll both be equally and incredibly pleased with this four-disc anthology. Nine films are included: Abracadabra, Inon or the Conquest of Fire, The Creation of Birds, Illusion?, Taratata!, All Nothing, Crac!, The Mighty River and The Man Who Planted Trees -- as well as several insightful interviews and a documentary retrospective of the life and work of Frederic Back. All are presented beautifully, with each film looking and sounding fresh and well-cared for.

But beyond the presentation, these films (particularly The Man Who Planted Trees, Illusion? and The Mighty River) get to the heart of environmentalism and stewardship. They are not shrill or glib, not reactive or stalely didactic -- these films are awash with animism and life, each using this unique medium to exhalt the beauty of creation, and to exemplify the folly of excess. Back's impressionistic style flows like a river itself, rolling and moving and churning, urging us to face the simple truths of our abuses, and to consider the possibility of a more harmonious course.

I'll stop there, because I'm afraid I'm making Back's work sound contrived. Walt Disney once said that a true animated film could not be put into words, and he was right. I can only urge you to see these truly remarkable films, and to share them with the youngest generations."
Pricey, But Worth Every Single Cent
mchwen | Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia | 03/07/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I have heard of Frédéric Back's The Man Who Planted Trees before by virtue of it being an Oscar winner for Best Animated Short in 1988, but have never seen it. When I found out that there was this DVD set collecting all his work, I was quite enthusiastic about it. It was expensive, but I ordered it anyway. And then I was left thinking or the next three weeks if my money was dumped into the drain for something I didn't know what to expect.

Since receiving my copy of The Man Who Planted Trees DVD, I have watched all the animated shorts, and bonus features. I am so amazed by his work -- both as an animator as well as an environmental activist.

When I was watching the films, I was thinking that this guy is carzy -- To think that Back hand-drew and used coloured pencils to complete every individual frame (background and foreground) of the film is just incredible. His films play with a continuous flow of images that is very much like a stream of consciousness projecting life at it's fullest -- alert, active and vibrant. And to add to that liveliness is the suitably used Impressionistic style with the rich beauty, movement and colour.

To some extent, as I watched the "The Man Who Planted Trees" and "Crac!" I was reminded of Winsor McCay's work such as "Gertie the Dinosaur" (1913). Here is a man so dedicated to his art. When McCay drew 10,000 ink-drawings to make the Gertie move, Back spent five years doing some 200,000 drawings to make his 33-minute The Man Who Planted Trees film.

That's what I call dedication and passion to his work and art. And you don't come across people like that very often.

So is the DVD set worth buying? I believe it was money well spent."
A beautiful story that will inspire you forever.
Daniel R. Taylor | Maryland, United States | 12/23/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a beautifully animated short film for all ages, based on the short story by Jean Giono. It is a narrated tale about a quiet shepherd who takes it on himself to plant a vast forest in a deserted part of the French Alps. Throughout the course of his life he plants just a few seeds at a time until, over many decades, he transforms what was a barren wasteland into a veritable garden of eden. His progress is marked by a lost hiker (travelling through Provence trying to forget his war experiences) who meets the shepherd during the post WW1 years. The hiker returns to see him periodically for many years and is astounded by the transformations that take place in the years he is off living his own life - 'transformations' that the world at large sees as a startling natural phenomena, but that the narrator knows is due to the herculean efforts of one, quiet man.

I saw the animated film once many years ago, and I was so taken by the characters and the story itself that I searched for years to find the book or a recording of it in some form. Thankfully it is now available on DVD for a new generation to admire.
I would recommend this inspiring animation to anyone of any age. It would make a great gift to someone you really care about, because the recipient will never forget who it was that turned them on to "The Man Who Planted Trees.""
Back's work deserves to be seen by a wide audience
Robert Reynolds | Tucson, AZ United States | 04/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Others have listed the contents, so I won't bother. I bought this on the strength of two shorts-Crac! and The Man Who Planted Trees, both of which I have on VHS, but wanted on DVD. I figured anything else was a bonus. All nine of the animated shorts are good to excellent, but I now have two more reasons to be delighted to have bought this set: All Nothing and The Mighty River. The Mighty River is almost as incredible as The Man Who Planted Trees. It deserves to be more widely known than it is.Everything on the set is worth checking out, but most especially watch the various Photo Galleries. The detail is all the more impressive in stills. A most highly recommended set."