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Leo Da Vinci: Mission Mona Lisa

Italy 2018
produced by
Fracesco Manfio (executive), Piotr Dziubak (executive) for Gruppo Alcuni
directed by Sergio Manfio
written by Sergio Manfio, Francesco Manfio, with the collaboration of Davide Stefanato, Anna Manfio, character design and animation supervision by Anna Stinfale, music by Marco Fedalto


review by
Mike Haberfelner

Young Leonardo Da Vinci is a gifted inventor with ambitions to become a painter as well - but all he really worries about is how to confess his undying love to neighbour girl Lisa (who unsurprisingly is also the model for his Mona Lisa). And then her father's mill burns to the ground, and the landlord demands Lisa's hand in marriage for his son as settlement should her dad be unable to pay his debt. Fortunately, Leo has just learned about a pirate treasure not far off the coast that had so far been deemed unretrievable, but fortunately Leonardo has just developed a diving suit that could make recovery a distinct possibility. So he, Lisa, and two street urchins go to the island nearest where the treasure's supposed to be ... and find a sunken pirate ship but no treasure. But for Lisa's sake, Leonardo won't give up the search and soon finds clues to where the treasure actually is located. There's just one problem: Just around the corner and out of our heroes' sight, a pirate ship is anchored, and the pirate watch Leonardo's every step, being very well aware what he's up to and convinced he will succeed - to then relieve him of the treasure ...


Now a few things up front, basically Leo Da Vinci: Mission Mona Lisa is a computer animated kiddie feature, and on a technical level, it's not on par with the exploits of Pixar, nor is it as spirited narratively as the best films of that studio - and that said, this film on hand has plenty to go for it: Its designs are simply beautiful, both of its rather authentic looking locations and of Leonardo's steampunky inventions. And while the story might not be super-original its told in a light-footed and fast paced way so to keep the audience entertained throughout. And sure, this film takes many a liberty with the life of one of the greatest inventors of his time, probably all times - but then again this is an animated family feature and not a documentary, made chiefly for entertainment purposes, and in that it succeeds.


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review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD