Yobi, the Five Tailed Fox

Title:Yobi, the Five Tailed Fox
천년여우 여우비
Keywords: , , , , , ,
One hundred years ago, aliens landed on a mountain near where a small, white five tailed fox lived. After being stranded on Earth for one hundred years, they are ready for a test flight to see if they can return home. The test fails as one of the aliens makes a mistake, and the other aliens tell him to leave.

The runaway alien finds itself taken in by a class of students at the foot of the mountain. There, a teacher named Kang trains students who don't fit in at a regular school. To save the alien, the five tailed fox takes on the form of a human girl, and joins the school under the name of Yobi.

Staying at the school, Yobi becomes friends with one of the students, a boy named Geum-ie. She enjoys her time with the humans, until a fox hunter appears, as well as a shadow who gives Yobi a device which will allow her to become human by taking the soul from a human.

(summary from Wikipedia)

85min Animated Korean Movie.

3:43min Animated Music Trailer - YouTube Vid
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Rent 8 7 7 7 6 Ggultra2764 [series:2171#1552]
(Rent-/ Watch+)

This Korean film focuses on our titular heroine trying to retrieve one of the aliens she came to befriend from a group of humans and she takes on the form of a human child to try tracking down the alien. Through this task, Yobi comes to bond with the humans she encounters at the school she attends, particularly a boy named Hwang Geum-ee, and becomes conflicted over whether or not she should stay with them as the film progresses.

To say that the quality of Yobi, the Five-Tailed Fox is mixed would be a bit of an understatement. On the one hand, Yobi is fleshed out enough as such where she is rather likeable as a character when she comes to learn more of the humans she stays with, understand them and bond with Geum-ee. Her bonding with him and the other humans is genuine and the movie devotes enough focus on this development to make it engaging and relatable to audiences.

On the other hand though, the movie gets into the bad habit of trying to cram in too many plot threads and attempts at symbolism into its 85-minute run. The introductions of the mysterious shadow and the fox hunter created unnecessary attempts at conflict within the movie with villainous characters that could have just as easily not been implemented into the film. Also, the movie's attempts at implanting symbolism involving American Indian and Eastern mythical and religious influences comes across as rather heavy-handed, usually don't lead anywhere and often get lost in the convoluted story developments that take place with Yobi's development and the mentioned villainous conflicts she gets into. Also, I have to feel a bit befuddled over why this movie has aliens in it when a good chunk of its storytelling and symbolism is influenced through Eastern folklore.

Overall, I would say my reception to this is a bit mixed. While I did enjoy the focus on Yobi's bonding with the humans at the school she sneaks into, the movie seemed to lose track of what type of story it wanted to tell with its addition of aliens, villainous characters and folklore symbolism that could have just as easily been left out of this film to focus on Yobi coming to understand humans. It's still worth a look if you want to see more Korean animated films, but it would be hard to get into multiple watches of it.

Last updated Thursday, July 30 2015. Created Thursday, July 30 2015.
Watch Jan-Chan [series:2171#967]
Wow.... What a mess!! This story is an absolute mess!! Imagine if someone took a number of story elements from the most popular Studio Ghibli’s movies and just mashed them together into one 90-minute movie. The results are something that the kids will love, but it somehow just tosses logic and reason aside. I mean that this film has it ALL, even it make absolutely no sense.
  • Magic foxes and ancient Korean mythology.
  • Teddy bear alien creatures with tin-dipers in a crashed space ship.
  • Flying talking wash basins.
  • Friendly forest animals.
  • Flying school buses.
  • Demon hunters with packs of evil dogs.
  • Evil spirits with malicious intentions.
  • Captured souls and the cycle of reincarnation.
  • The magic world of the afterlife.
  • Stone monsters, rabbit soul collectors and ancient gods.
  • Summer romances and first loves.
And on, and on, and on…..

But it’s just too much. The story jumps from high point to high point at the expense of character development and emotional build up. The end result is an animated thrill ride with a very weak plot and a lot of unanswered questions.

And then there is all of the abstract symbolism. Important story elements that are so subtle and intentionally embedded in the story, but get lost in the FLASH-BANG of the visuals that they probably would never be noticed by kids. But then again, the story is so childish that most parents would probably not want to watch this. The end result is a beautifully animated and thrilling story of the coming of age adventures of Yobi, the Five Tailed fox-girl. A tale that is certain to be entertaining for the kiddies, but sorely devoid character development and with a messy plot which leaves 10,000 unanswered questions in its wake.

If they would have taken out the crazy and comical teddy-bear aliens and all of the scifi gibberish, and spent more time on developing the characters, then this might have been a great film. What if.... What if.... What if.....

Last updated Monday, October 19 2009. Created Sunday, October 18 2009.

Other Sites
Wikipedia Entry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yobi,_the_Five_Tailed_Fox

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