It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas so those sugary, saccharine, sweet movies are about to descend on our screens to dispense syrupy sentiment to our much more cynical kiddies.

AILO’S JOURNEY, on the face of it, sounds like such a confection, a film about the birth and early adulthood of a reindeer, a doe-eyed Disneyesque tale we’ve seen a dozen times before.

But no.

AILO’s JOURNEY is a startling surprise, a beautifully rendered reindeer saga, grabbing the antlers from Attenborough and delivering a very beautiful and very funny natural science narrative.

Narrated by Donald Sutherland, this is the incredible story of Ailo, the little reindeer who almost never survived his birth as his mother got separated from the herd when she went into labour.

The film makes the point that climate change has altered migratory fields and thus interferes with instinctual and intuitive behaviours in animals and clearly illustrates its impact on conception, birth, life and death.

AILO’S JOURNEY does not however dwell on the devastation climate change is causing, but persists in accentuating the positive in an infectiously uplifting tale that follows the journey of baby Ailo as he navigates his first year of life in the snowy landscapes of a picturesque Lapland.

Frail and vulnerable, Ailo must learn to walk, run, leap, swim and hide to ensure he survives the long, treacherous journey with the herd.
Set against the awesome Arctic wilderness, AILO’S JOURNEY evokes beauty out of the bleak, a film bustling with the comedy of life with speedy stoats, feverish foxes, rascally rabbits, and wily wolves and wolverines.

Wildlife film veteran Guillaume Maidatchevsky has made one of the funniest films of the year, spawned by the animal antics captured by his beautiful camera work and honed by the witty and oft times ironic narration.

AILO’S JOURNEY is a journey well worth taking, with or without the kids.