The Magic Lake (Волшебное озеро, 1979) by Iosif Boyarskiy and Ivan Ivanov-Vano

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The Magic Lake
The Enchanted Lake
Волшебное озеро
Volshebnoye ozero (ru)
Чароўнае возера (be)
Hồ ma thuật (vi)

Year 1979
Director(s) Boyarskiy Iosif
Ivanov-Vano Ivan
Studio(s) Soyuzmultfilm
Language(s) Russian
Genre(s) Folklore & myth (Rus./East Slavic)
Animation Type(s)  Puppet
Length 00:16:34
Wordiness 4.33 profile Ru, En
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Date: December 28 2023 19:01:00
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Date: May 06 2021 04:44:38
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Date: April 01 2023 06:53:23
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Baba Yaga steals a young maiden, and her groom-to-be goes off to rescue her.

This was the first Soviet animated film that was filmed on 70mm film in stereoscopic 3D. The original technique needed a special projector. 70 mm were actually 2 x 35mm: 2 parallel shots of the same scene from 2 slightly different angles presented on the same reel. Digitally restored from the negative at Gosfilmofond in 2012 into a more common 16:9 format.

Gosfilmofond lists the original film as being 20 or 21 minutes, but this restored version is 16.5 minutes. It's not clear why, as nothing seems to obviously be missing. Perhaps it was originally simply recorded as being "two reels long", with nobody bothering to note the exact length.




Puppet is a difficult technique, so I don't like watching most of these films. HOWEVER, The Magic Lake surprised me with its excellent aesthetic. Even the music part, I see similarities with the music in Chinese cinema at that time. This : Laoshan Daoshi



As for films or stories about Baba-Yaga, I've almost tried not to miss them since I was a kid. I even learned that the acting prowess of male star Georgiy Millyar became the model for any Baba-Yaga character appearing on the screen after the 1960s.

In this film, Mariya represents spring, while Baba-Yaga and sometimes Kikimora represents autumn or winter. Danila must go into the magic lake to develop intellectually, personally and strengthen his faith. Life has many pitfalls, but in the end, faith, energy and love will overcome them all.



The Powder General

Tò-he (面塑, "toy figures") is a long-standing folk toy of Northern Vietnamese people. These are simply animals or sometimes characters created with rice flour mixed with water paint. Usually, the artist will attach a very small bamboo whistle to this toy so that kids can blow it for fun. However, in this story, because of a little mistake by the artist, the children almost lost a precious game.


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