Is a 2022 Disney Animated Film based on the true story of Hyeonseo Lee and fragments of stories of other North Korean defectors. Directed by Damien Chazelle. Songs are composed and often sung by multiple korean artists including Vromance and Junsu.
We are first introduced to Hyeonseo Lee a 16 year old proud North Korean.
Song: Nothing to Envy
On her way home at the train station she sees a child staring at his dead mother and sees that everyone else ignores the situation. When she returns home she discovers that her parents are dying through a cryptic message and that her country is in a famine. That night there is a blackout she looks out her house into the river where she sees bright lights coming from China. Curious despite being taught that the outside world was a dangerous place and that going there would be wrong and she could be executed she decides to cross the river convincing herself it will only be for a short while and she would only go there to get provisions for herself because of the famine.
Song: Only for a Short While
she is spotted by a border guard who tries to shoot her but she is able to run away and pass the border thanks to a kind chinese guard.Hyeonseo has grown up and moved to South Korea it is revealed through imagery and dialouge that she was raised by her chinese relatives and that she couldn’t go back now that North Korea has already known she has defected and would certainly execute her if she returned. There she meets Kim Tae Young a optimistic and energetic south korean boy aspiring to become a doctor who helps her adapt to the surrounding and continously pesters her. One morning she discovers that North Korean officials intercepted her connection to her family sending them money and is planning to execute them all as traitors and enemy symphatizers. She decides to smuggle her family out and let them start a new life. She bids Tae Young goodbye Tae Young in response gives her his entire savings since Tae Young is also somewhat a penny pincher. At first she refuses but Tae Young keeps on insisting and assures her it may come in handy one day
Songs Multiple ( One of them will be a Ballroom and the Others K Pop Inspired with Sad soundtracks as well
After smuggling her family out they have a few instances when they are almost discovered. Reaching Laos her family is imprisoned and the cops taking advantage of the situation keep making her pay or otherwise they would turn her family over to the south korean embassy who in turn would send them back to North Korea. Time and Time again until finally they are released until the situation happens again albeit this time there citizenship must be finalized otherwise they would not be welcome into the country or any for that matter and they would have to be sent back. Now having used up all her money she almost loses hope when she remember Tae Young “ It might come in handy some day “ So she goes and accesses the ATM and is able to legalize their citizenship there they begin to start a new life.
10 years later……
Hyeonseo has grown up and is now more independent, strong and brave. She has now revealed herself as a North Korean without shame. At a UN talk forum she is able to meet Tae Young again now a doctor and attended the meeting as a representative of Han Hospital and his fiancee they laugh and tell stories together as the screen panes to black
Many of the background characters are modeled after famous Korean/K Pop actors,singers and idols.
- This is the first time that 2D animation is used since Winnie the Pooh
- The film contains many homages and easter eggs on Disney and from K drama one example being when Hyeonseosa asks Tae if He likes messi