Short Movie: The Legend of Mor’du

The Legend of Mor’du Trailer

The Legend of Mor’du Summary

The story begins with the witch inviting a guest into her cottage. Her crow assumes the guest wants the bear spell, so she tells the story of a man who became the demon bear Mor’du. The man had been the eldest of four sons of the wise and much-beloved king of an ancient kingdom, each of whom had his own gift. Of the younger three, the youngest was wise, the third was compassionate, and the second was just. The king’s eldest was strong, but he mistook strength for character. When the king died one autumn, rather than giving the eldest all the inheritance, he divided the kingdom among all of his sons equally, believing their gifts combined would form the pillars on which the peace of an even greater kingdom rested. However, feeling disgraced and filled with greed and selfishness, the eldest son refused to accept this, proving his claim as the sole heir in front of his brothers by using one of his axes to break his image away from their family stone. His words turned to war, forever changing the kingdom’s fate.

Even though the prince had a powerful army under his command, he and his brothers constantly fought to a stalemate. In looking for a way to change his fate, the prince came across a menhir ring within the woods. From there, the will-o’-the-wisps guided him to the edge of a dark loch, the witch’s cottage standing far from the shore. Hoping to turn the tide of the war to his favor, the prince persuaded the witch to make a spell that would give him the strength of ten men by offering her his signet ring, and she gave him the spell in a drinking horn but, having seen darkness in his heart, warns him of making a choice: either to fulfill his dark wish or heal the family bonds he had broken. When the prince brought his brothers before him by staging up a false truce, he again claimed his kingdom. When his brothers protested, the prince in response drank the spell, which gave him the strength he desired but, to his surprise, turned him into a great black bear. While he would have broken the spell if he chose to “mend the bond torn by pride”, the prince accepted his new form instead and killed his brothers. He then tried to get his army to rule the kingdom, but they saw him as a wild beast and turned against him. Enraged, he attacked his former men, slaying a great many. The few survivors of the fractured armies of the brothers fled the kingdom in terror, leading to its collapse. Doomed to his bestial form by his desire for power over the bonds of family, the prince – now known as the “Great Black”, “Mor’du” – wandered the land endlessly, killing and instilling terror wherever he roamed, his once human consciousness and intelligence now overwritten by animalistic bloodlust.

The witch ends the story here, and she offers the spell in the form of a cake to the guest, who turns out to be Wee Dingwall. He panics, says he only stopped by for water, and runs out of the cottage.

The Legend of Mor’du Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This Pixar short goes more into the story behind the Prince who became a bear. I loved that Pixar took the time to explain in more detail. It can be seen as scary for young children but if they can handle Brave, this will be okay.

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