This is a beautiful 1968 Soviet adaptation of ‘The Little Mermaid,’ by Hans Christian Andersen. It was produced by the great Soyuzmultfilm studio. There are no subtitles. Just enjoy it as a brilliantly animated musical approach to a great tale.
The film begins with a busload of tourists sightseeing in Copenhagen. Then it moves to sea and our story begins…
Filmed in the Soviet Union just after World War II, this is a rare gem of fairytale movie making. It’s a fantastically colorful telling of the tale that stands as a welcome contrast to the Disney approach. The film features one of Russia’s greatest stage actresses, Faina Ranevskaya, as the stepmother. It was produced by the Soviet LenFilm studio and directed by Mikhail Shapiro and Nadezhda Kosheverova. I think it was originally filmed in black & white but was recently colorized for a DVD release. The colorization works well within the context of a fairytale with grand stage scenery and theatrical costumes.
This is a 1986 adaptation of a Stephen King short story called ‘Battleground.’ It was produced by the Soviet Ukrainian Kievnauchfilm studio, which was primarily a documentary outfit during the Soviet era. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the studio became the National Cinematheque of Ukraine.
The story concerns a seemingly innocuous package that turns out to contain an invading force of toy soldiers. One man wages a battle for survival against what he assumes is an inferior opponent.
Humans have crash-landed on an alien planet. Sixteen years later, they send a small search party consisting of their children – born at the time of the crash – back toward the broken ship. The young members of the party make their way through a hostile and surreal landscape that holds surprises for them. Finding the ship well-preserved gives one of the young people an important connection to his past and to his origin.
This film was directed by Vladimir Tarasov and was adapted from a novel by Kir Bulychev.