If only the words of Michel Ocelot's storybook were as captivating as his pictures. Sadly, while the silhouetted images enthrall, the tales they illustrate do not.
Perhaps something is lost in translation (uninspired English dubbing doesn't help), but his six vignettes are heavier on verbosity than drama and intrigue. And while subtly layered - especially in 3D - the pictures merely emphasise how samey the stories are.
Generally revolving around themes of love, loyalty and deception, the chapters are linked by three creative souls who share their love of art and culture in an old, bijou cinema.
They begin with the tale of a werewolf duped by a jealous princess. Next, a cocky Caribbean lad befriends a trio of hungry beasts to outsmart the King of the Dead.
In Aztec times, a soldier dares to save a female sacrifice from an all-powerful monster, before a trip to Africa sees Tam-Tam Boy prevent a tribal war with his magic drum.
The most affecting tale finds a groom who never lies forced to choose between his beloved talking horse and his (apparently) true love – all for the sake of a cruel bet.
But by the time the last young fellow has undone a spell to save his sweetheart from an evil sorcerer, you'll have had more than your fill of earnest youths, greedy royals, hungry beasts and pompous old windbags.
The youngsters to whom the stories are aimed won't take long to get the fidgets. Older viewers will undoubtedly appreciate the scenery a while longer before joining them.