07 August 2009

Happily Ever After

And more news involving Disney. Lately the company produced their first Russian movie The Book of Masters, starring all Russian cast. The movie is based on various ancient Slavic folk tales from the polytheistic era before the rise of Christianity, and these tales are rooted deep inside Russian children's literature and Russian culture in general for decades. And what is more suitable for a Disney movie, than to deal with iconic characters that everybody, and I mean absolutely everybody, are familiar with.
These stories were always popular in Russia and countless movies, animated films and also short animations were made over the years, based on the famous characters from these tales.

And now Disney are making their shot at the subject, and in their favor it looks like they gave Russian producers creative freedom and didn't try to interpret the tales from their own angle.
As for the quality of the film, when the teaser was released some time ago, it was far from being impressive. Now the full trailer hit the web, and things are starting to look clearer, but still not above the average.
From what I see in the trailer, I can sense some sort of self awareness and self humor, with attempt to go outside of the traditional fairytale context and present the classical stories with more contemporary and a little bit cynical approach. I think as result, some part of the original naivety and magic will be lost, loosing also part of the appeal that made such folklore tales so popular among the kids.

Some examples of the Slavic folk tales you can check out here.

Update: Suddenly I realized that I didn't even mention what is this movie all about. So here is short translated synopsis:

The world is under a threat. The old prophecy is soon to fulfill itself and secluded in the tower Stone Queen will break free to unleash her evil powers and take over the world.
But by the will of fate the future of people is in the hands of Ivan, that must go through many tests and trials. In his power to give the Stone Queen magical ability so she can become the master of the Earth, or he can defeat her to save his beloved girlfriend Katya. On his way many dangers and adventures awaits him, he will also meet other folklore heroes, like Baba Yaga, Mermaid, Koschei the Deathless and many others.

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