Complete A-Z list

Greyhound of a Girl, A


Stars: Voices: Mia O'Connor, Sharon Horgan, Brendan Gleeson, Rosaleen Linehan, Charlene McKenna, Paul Tylak, Lorcan Cranitch, Fiona Condon

Director: Enzo D'Alo

A charming, beautifully coloured, multi-national cartoon for both adults and children. Adapting Roddy Doyle's book, Italian animator D'Alo keeps the Irish settings and focuses on Mary (O'Connor), a 12-year-old girl with ambitions to be a chef, encouraged by her ailing granny (Linehan) and certainly by her non-cooking mother Scarlett (Horgan) who keeps her husband Paddy (Gleeson) keeping one eye on the frozen food in the fridge.

Rejected by a cookery school - she tries something too fancy - having to say goodbye to her best friend, who's moving to London, and mortified when Granny falls ill after they are caught in a storm, Mary finds solace in the company of the mysterious Tansey (McKenna), who appears from nowhere in the woods, and proves to be the ghost of her great-grandmother, who died young from influenza.

The ghost ia bit too Disneyesque, although she does provide some fun for us when trying to cope with the modern world, while vanishing when getting into trouble. Scarlett can also see her, and the quartet eventually embark on an odyssey into the past to fulfil dying Granny's wishes. And Mary cooks traditional colcannon on her second audition.

The old-fashioned animation is a mix of Studio Ghibli style and 1970s' Disney, though none the worse for that. Backgrounds are exquisitely drawn and most of the characterisations are spot-on, although the portrait of Granny's Indian doctor seems a bit condescending. Not a dry eye in the house at the end, though, and that's for sure. Fortunately, lengthy credits give you a chance to put the tissues away. It's a limited release, and death isn't always this beautiful, but catch this little gem if you can.

David Quinlan

Ireland/Italy/UK/Estonia/Latvia/Germany/Luxemburg 2023. UK Distributor: Miracle Communications. Colour (unspecified).
89 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: U.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 26 Jun 2024