“Unicorn Wars”, a “gore rainbow” animation, lands in Paris

Paris, 9 Dec. “Unicorn Wars”, the war film about bears and unicorns with which the Spanish director Alberto Vázquez competes for his fourth Goya award, arrives at the “Carrefour du cinéma d’animation” festival with “rainbow gore” that reflects, according to his author in Paris in an interview with EFE, of the worst and the best of the human being.

“For me the real prize is to be able to make another film, to live from this. It’s no use winning prizes if I don’t make another one later,” says this 42-year-old Galician filmmaker, who in 2017 was among the great winners of the great gala of Spanish cinema by achieving two Goyas at the same time, in a short film and in an animated feature film.

The winners were, respectively, “Decorated” and “Psiconautas”, but in 2011 he had already won another Goya for his animated short “Birdboy”. Her nomination for “Unicorn Wars,” while winning the award is always “nice,” thanks her more for being a speaker for the film than for the recognition itself.

Especially within an industry, he says, that although it is “clearly growing” in Spain, it lacks a lot of support.

“I think it’s simply a political issue, because it provides many jobs. In animation, if you have a little experience, a little level, there is practically full employment. It was very difficult for us to find workers, animators, artists… It has cost us God and help to find them,” he says.

Vázquez -also an illustrator and author of comics that often serve as the seed for his films- sees the model to follow precisely in France, a country where his work is received with appreciation and where cinema is considered a national industry.

This new edition of the “Carrefour du cinéma d’animation” festival, organized by the Forum des Images in Paris, is being held in this privileged setting, where “Unicorn Wars” will enjoy an honorary preview before its debut on French screens on 28 from December.

The film had already been released before in Spain, in addition to having made its way through festivals such as Sitges or Annecy (in France, a reference for animated cinema).


“When we define this film, we always define it as a mix between ‘Apocalypse Now’, ‘Bambi’ and the Bible,” explains Vázquez on the eve of the festival, which, in addition to showing his film, has brought him to Paris as a guest of honor.

Militarization, environmentalism, religious fanaticism or ties between brothers are just some of the vertices of the story without a moral that is “Unicorn Wars”, a proposal that subverts children’s iconography through irony and terror, with a warning to sailors : Animation, as Vázquez understands it, is a very adult genre.

In fact, children under 12 years of age will not be able to enter French cinemas to see this film.

“You speak with a universal language and there is a certain pleasure in twisting these childish figures and treating them in a different way: making them suffer, making them cry…”, says Vázquez, who admits that in certain ways he likes to “provoke” his viewer .

In this case, the fanatical and militarized bears who want to destroy the sacred forest of unicorns represent man, his warmongering and his “eternal” fight with nature.

The film was also released at a time when its plots could not be more topical, with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the fight against climate change turned into a crisis against time.

Far from being a plan on purpose, “Unicorn Wars” took several years to develop and Vázquez sees the coincidence of times and contexts of 2022 rather “with sadness”.

“What I wanted to talk about is the common origin of all wars, because for me all wars are the same. In the end they come from geopolitical conflicts and there is a management of the story, of public opinion,” he says.

“Six years ago, when I started writing this script, I did not imagine that there was going to be a war in Europe. And even less a war of conquest (…) It is what you have when you work from universality, from the story, from the story, from the allegory, that these films or these themes never go out of style because, unfortunately, they are typical of the human being”, he completes.

And it is that for this cartoonist and Galician filmmaker, animation is, after all, “the most poetic way of talking about reality”.

nerea gonzalez

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“Unicorn Wars”, a “gore rainbow” animation, lands in Paris

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