One of the treasures of the NFB collection is the Four Seasons in the Life of Léon series, which recounts the adventures of a band of merry characters from the kingdom of Escampette in four short films—one for each season! The magical tales in this series, as well as the study guides that accompany them, provide opportunities for discussions of various universal themes, such as family, love, friendship, fellowship and courage. They also allow students to discover some aspects of life in the Middle Ages, with its royal characters, peasants, storytellers, illuminated manuscripts and other features. These beautiful stories not only bring magic to the lives of children, but they also help them develop a sense of justice and morality.
In this short puppet animation we meet Léon, an 8-year-old adopted bear suffering from an identity crisis. The distraught cub runs away from home in wintertime and embarks on many adventures. He stands up to an ogre and saves a princess from ending up in a pea stew. His courage eventually leads him back to his parents, who work as beekeepers. Pure, tender and as sweet as honey, this is a delightful tale.
It’s carnival in Balthasarville and the scoundrel Bonifacio is scheming to overthrow Léon and become King Quack. But he’s outsmarted by Molly Gingerbread and her friend Hedgehog, who manage to save the townspeople Bonifacio has poisoned. This puppet animation by Pierre-Luc Granjon tells a medieval tale of treachery and love.
Bonifacio in Summertime is an animated film for the whole family, a colourful tale that continues the adventures of Princess Molly and her three best friends. During her summer vacation, Molly discovers that her mother has fallen under the influence of a strange sweet talker who is intent on stealing the Kingdom of Skedaddle’s magic fruit.
In this animated short, a terrible curse deprives Balthasar’s kingdom of its stories. Taking the unicorn’s horn back into The Belly of the Earth is the solution. Poppety will lead an expedition, by chance uncovering a hitherto closely guarded family secret. Poppety in the Fall concludes the thrilling animated series of 4 seasons in the life of Léon, the adopted bear cub.