Orion and the Dark

Orion and the Dark
Orion and the Dark
Home » Orion and the Dark

A child in elementary school who is very afraid of everything learns how to deal with his fears after having a night that was truly magic. Orion and the Dark is a story for kids that gives them an amazing lesson about dealing with existential crises. A soaring, imaginative adventure is made from Emma Yarlett’s great storytelling and illustrations by the genius screenwriter Charlie Kaufman. Incredible animation and a narrative that doesn’t spoon-feed mindless drivel will captivate young viewers’ imaginations. The film expresses complex themes in a way that nurtures intellectual growth.

As he walks through the schoolyard, Orion (Jacob Tremblay) takes inventory of all the potential hazards around him. There’s danger everywhere. Just getting to the lunch table can be quite challenging — although it would also be nice if he had some friends to sit with. It’s lonely chewing on a tuna sandwich alone every day. He notices Sally, who looks cute sitting under the tree by herself … OMG … is she looking at me? He frantically runs back to class, leaving her utterly confused.

Things take a turn for the worse when Orion’s teacher asks for his signed field trip permission slip. The thought of getting on the school bus is absolutely terrifying; even if it does mean he could finally get to sit next to Sally and talk with her. He trudges home still unreasonably scared — what if his parents are gone? Then he’d have to raise himself in this cold world all by himself.

But Orion’s parents haven’t abandoned him; Mom (Carla Gugino) and Dad (Matt Dellapina) lovingly tuck him into bed later that night — he can sleep by himself like a big boy now, right? No — because darkness is still his biggest fear. They leave multiple nightlights on and crack open the bedroom door … but what if there are monsters lurking in his closet at night?

Orion wails like a hyena that is hurt. In his room, a dark mist forms into a round figure. The Dark (Paul Walter Hauser) is done with it all. Orion is the most difficult child he has dealt with. The constant screaming and thrashing around in bed at night has made the Dark’s job unbearable. He promises to show Orion that darkness is not bad and maybe everything else will be less scary too if he faces his biggest fear.

To plant the seeds of Orion’s whopping self-doubt, Kaufman, genius writer of Being John Malkovich, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and I’m Thinking of Ending Things, first uses voiceover narration. He knows his own weaknesses well and records them in an amusingly paranoid delusional sketchbook. These scenes in act one establish that Orion can think abstractly — he can consider things from different points of view. It’s unlikely something bad will happen, Orion knows this; however even a small chance still worries him.

The Dark’s attempt at influencing Orion stems from his frustration alone; he is sick of being hated, feared or completely misunderstood for doing what needs to be done. The Dark along with other Night Entities have been taken for granted as well as unfairly demonized; they are not evil creatures of terror! He introduces Sweet Dreams (Angela Bassett) — ethereal being who never seems wide awake — Sleep (Natasia Demetriou), whose face remains stern no matter how much someone pleads for just five more minutes’ rest time; mischievous Unexplained Noises (Golda Rosheuvel), always up mischief while trying hard not get caught by anyone except those looking specifically during daylight hours when they should be asleep themselves anyway… ; mousy Quiet (Aparna Nancherla) among others too tired from constantly seeing worried looks on each others’ faces due to having always around them none other than a certain little boy named Orion with an endless supply of fears but no room for sleep or peace.

Every attempt the Dark makes to influence Orion is born from frustration; he has grown tired of being hated, feared and completely misunderstood in his essential role. The Dark holds a grudge against all those who take Night Entities like himself for granted, they are not evil monsters! This realization leads him to introduce several beings including Sweet Dreams (Angela Bassett), Sleep (Natasia Demetriou), Insomnia (Nat Faxon), Unexplained Noises (Golda Rosheuvel) and Quiet (Aparna Nancherla). All these characters have had enough looking at Orion’s face filled with worry every day but their hopes are quickly dashed by his clever retorts – this boy isn’t as easy to scare as we thought!

The first feature film directed by Sean Charmatz, a veteran storyboard artist; he does not let Yarlett’s drawings serve as guides but rather use them for inspiration. The visual difference in the movie is notable yet still captures what she was trying to convey. The Dark wears hood similar in appearance with Death from most people’s perception but instead has big warm eyes that do not threaten anyone along an affable voice which soothes rather than menaces; his desire being friendly accepted like benign force. As they go round world pulling night down like zipper on coat over shoulders – breathtakingly artistic scenes! It may seem Lıght(Ike Barinholtz) does everything necessary so life can continue existing however it is only because its works have been taken granted even though they are equally important too.

Charmatz constantly blends and inserts various unique animation styles throughout the film. In general, the story line is done using CGI with characters and settings that aren’t too detailed. Orion’s 2D sketchbook serves as a practical less polished version, like something one would expect from an artist still developing their skills while trying to express themselves better. As the fantasy elements take hold in act two, there is a transition into more intricate animation styles during journeys within the subconscious with Night Entities. This allows Orion appreciate what they do but also affects delicate balance amongst them as well; Kaufman gives us sharp dialogue once again when team hits rough patches on journey towards achieving their goal.

Nothing clear-cut is followed by Orion and the Dark. Enormous surprises change interesting characters according to its extraordinary storyline. This mind-blowing innovation should be applauded if nothing else because it does tend to make things very complicated. The sight of Orion thinking his way through darkness versus nothingness is one that will leave you in awe. Charmatz and Kaufman have no fear when it comes down to being thought-provokingly smart, or any other kind for that matter. For kids, confidence-building is an amazing trip where they need to put on their thinking caps – as well they might!

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