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The Man Who Planted Trees (L'homme qui plantait des arbres) is a 1987 Canadian 30 minute short film directed by Frédéric Back, and based on the short story by Jean Giono. It tells the story of Elzeard Bouffier, a humble shepherd who single-handedly revitalizes a desolate Alpine valley by planting trees. The film was dubbed in both French and English, respectively narrated by Philippe Noiret and Christopher Plummer.

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The film won the 1988 Academy Award for best animated short film.

See it here.

Tropes:

  • Animated Adaptation
  • Badass Grandpa: Elzeard is of the pacifist variety.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Two world wars pass by, and Elzeard barely notices them.
  • Camera Abuse: Animated example. Occurs when an Axe-Crazy guy mows down another person, splattering the whole screen with blood.
  • Crapsack World: The alpine area of southern France the first time the Narrator set foot there. The villagers (who had cut down most of the previous forest because of charcoal burning) were at eachother´s throats, hating eachother.
    Even the most solid people crack under such conditions.
  • Determinator: Elzeard has a will to carry on in spite over every obstacle coming in his way.
  • Fill It with Flowers: Or in this case, fill it with trees.
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  • Hope Sprouts Eternal: The valley was desolate and barren before Elzeard began planting.
  • In Harmony with Nature: Elzeard lives this way.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Elzeard had lost his wife and son before he retired to the mountains.
  • Nature Lover: Elzeard Bouffier, the title character.
  • The Quiet One: Elzeard speaks very seldom, inspiring others to contemplate nature in silence. It is stated that he became so silent that he "lost the habit of speech".
  • Sanity Slippage: A vivid description is presented on how the people in the area pre-forestation went mad because of the constant wind, resulting in murder.

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