Sirocco and the Kingdom of Air Streams: A Psychedelic Brainstorm for All Ages

Sirocco and the Kingdom of Air Streams: A Psychedelic Brainstorm for All Ages

Sirocco and the Kingdom of Air Streams is a fantastic adventure that may be intended for children, but it offers a lot for adult viewers who have always believed in the infinite possibilities of animation. It is a refreshing palate-cleanser from Disney’s narratives, which have been trying to convince viewers that animation has limits. Benoît Chieux’s film tells a tender love story that is tucked away in an incredibly imaginative psychedelic world that is captivating to watch. The movie is a product of a collaboration between Matt Groening, Miyazaki, and The Beatles, and it is a suitable benchmark for Chuck Jones’s 1970 classic, The Phantom Tollbooth.

The story starts with the mighty wizard Sirocco summoning the elements out of boredom. However, it turns out to be a false start. The story is being written by renowned children’s author Agnès, who forgets that she is supposed to look after her friend’s two little girls for the day. Agnès urges Carmen and Juliette to read a book while she takes a nap. The girls find a wooden toy that falls from the book’s pages. The toy realizes that it is in the wrong dimension and draws a hopscotch grid on the floor before disappearing into the final square. Juliette follows the toy, and Carmen chases after her, leading both of them into the Kingdom of the Air Streams.

The mystic hopscotch can trigger transformations, and both sisters arrive on the other side in cute half-human cat form. The Kingdom is an inclusive place ruled by a fat, ugly mayor who is besotted with the singer Selma, an imperious duck with the voice and grace of an enchanted Nina Simone. The mayor decides that Juliette must work for Selma as a maid and sentences Carmen to marry his idiot son because Juliette knocked over his welcoming sign. The wooden toy has broken after attempting a hopscotch jailbreak, and it is now unfit to get the girls home.

Selma sees right through the vulgar mayor, and she offers Juliette her freedom as soon as he leaves. To Juliette’s astonishment, she knows all about Selma since Selma is a major character in Agnès’s work. Selma reveals that she is Agnès’s sister and that Agnès reimagined her as a restless adventuress after her untimely death in a storm. Selma bonds with Juliette and offers to help her prevent her big sister’s imminent marriage.

The quest is bracketed by the need to get home, and the film piles on a genuine sense of peril that is genuinely edge-of-the-sea thrilling as opposed to scary. All roads lead to the wizard, who alone has the power to return the children safely to the human world. In finding him, Selma discovers a surprising truth about Sirocco, whose relationship with the wind creature is not what it seems.

The movie is a classic children’s adventure story that has a happy ending, suggesting that it wasn’t all a dream. Despite the familiarities, Sirocco and the Kingdom of Air Streams is unique and effortlessly surprising. The events within the film suggest that Selma has had many more adventures, making the idea of her returning for more female-fronted sagas an enticing one. After all, adventure is like riding a bike, and you never forget.


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