The Little Ship (Кораблик, 1956) by Leonid Amalrik

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The Little Ship
Korablik (ru)
Laevuke (et)
Chiếc bè (vi)

Year 1956
Director(s) Amalrik Leonid
Studio(s) Soyuzmultfilm
Language(s) Russian
Genre(s) Literature (Rus./East Slavic)
Animation Type(s)  Drawn (cel)
Length 00:10:33
Wordiness 9.26 profile Ru, En
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A chick, mouse, ant and caterpillar build a little ship when a frog teases them for not being able to swim. Based on the children's story by Vladimir Suteyev.

Suteyev's original story published in 1953 (read it here, along with his illustrations) was much shorter and ended at about 3:50 in the cartoon (just before the thunderstorm); as screenwriter, he expanded it to fill the required 10-minute running time.

There are a few details in the film that may seem odd for English-speakers. Please note that in the Russian language:
1) "swim" and "sail" are the same word
2) "caterpillar" is male and "butterfly" is female

1957 - UK (London) - BFI London Film Festival - Diploma




As I understand it, caterpillars are usually ugly, while butterflies always have beautiful wings, so caterpillars must be male and butterflies female. At the same time, Vietnamese also has the same problem: "Swimming" and "sailing" are the same thing. There is a song like this : I go to swim/play the boat (Em đi bơi/chơi thuyền).

Replies: >>2


To be even more precise, the usual Russian word for caterpillar is the female гусеница (gusenitsa). But the word used in this film is the male червячок (chervyachok), which means "worm" - usually "earthworm", but potentially a caterpillar too (I have the impression that in the past it was used like that more often than now - another example is Tsehanovskiy's 1929 cartoon "Post").

Seems like maybe Suteyev specifically chose the word that would cause the more transformational character change.

As for the original story, it had a beetle instead of a caterpillar.


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