My all time favorite animation from my childhood
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am 41 years old and remember snow days and weekends at home waiting to see this animated tale. It was introduced with a narration by Art Linkletter talking to a child or children about the tale of the Snow Queen. As the story unfolds you are drawn to the colors and voices of this story as well as the characters. The journey that these children endure never seemed dull to me and I am looking forward to sharing this classic with my children. I can see it is the same animated version I knew as a child,only difference being the addition ofnew voices for the characters. It will be a surprise until opened at Christmas."
Lacking the entire vocal world
KF | Finland, Espoo | 02/13/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I also was disappointed, that the original russian language soundtrack was completely missing from this collection, though that could be made known before purchasing this item so it was not a surprise.
But the thing they *DIDN'T* mention and which was the worst major disappointment, was that they have changed the music and songs of this animation ENTIRELY!! There was nothing left from the beauty of the original melodies of the songs. I was a child when I last saw this (now 26), but I noticed immediately that they had changed the entire soundworld of the animation. The only good thing in this was the animation itself.
I really wonder why they did have to change the entire vocal world of this animation. Should it been at least the original music and song melodies...but there is pretty much nothing left of the memory I carry in my heart of this animation.
"Lost in Translation"
Katya Sylvester | Alexandria, VA United States | 09/15/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
""Alice and the Mystery of the Third Planet" was my favorite cartoon growing up. I've seen it so many times - I had it memorized down to minute details of character intonations. While the story itself if fairly basic, the wonderfully crafted dialog, sharpness of each line, as well as the outstanding voice acting, made "Mystery of the Third Planet" a true pop-culture icon of my generation.
Unfortunately, all the acting talent involved in creating the English version of the sound-track wasn't enough to compensate for the quite sub par quality of the translated dialog. Not only did it fail to convey the beauty of the original, it made even the basic plot-line difficult to follow. And what's even more frustrating, the original Russian sound track is NOT EVEN INCLUDED on the DVD.
I for one would not call this "Stories From MY Childhood"."
Three Plucky Girls: a Brief History of Soyuzmultfilm
Kelly L. Norman | Plymouth, MI United States | 12/16/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is exemplary animation, and some pretty good acting. It contains English, French and Spanish redubbing of films, at least two of which have been released previously (one,in 1957, simultaneously with the Soviet release). But even if you are familiar with the old "Snow Queen", with Art Linkletter's introduction, never fear. Kathleen Turner, Kirsten Dunst, Cathy Moriarty et al turn this into a treat, and the stunning animation and haunting English script we know are still here.
To get one possible disappointment out of the way: Mikhail Baryshnkov's name shows up on the cover of this DVD, and on the title scene of each cartoon within, and that's that. He turns out to be a rather hands-off executive producer. So don't purchase this DVD if you're planning to see Mikhail Nikolaevitch sitting back in an armchair discussing his own fond memories of the films.
That aside, I would like to focus on the animation of these wonderful stories, and judge their success at communicating their intended message. As a whole, the package succeeds nicely, and it does so through the work of its animators, who may just have been allowed to express themselves a bit more freely as the first was in production (1957).
"The Snow Queen", originally "Snezhnaya Korolyeva", is a full-screen worthy Disneyesque cornucopia of cobblestone Copenhagen streets. It is full of friendly neighbors, mysterious tree-canopied rivers, beautiful gardens and palaces, all flowing in Technicolor (or whatever the Soviet equivalent for Technicolor was...it worked.
Colors are lush. People move leisurely and chubby heads, arms and legs tumble into their appropriate places as children sled or enter a boat. Homes are red, warm, and cozy looking... until the Snow Queen steps into the picture. Immediately upon her entrance, frost, angles, stillness, blue, black and cold seeks to stop everything in its path. Of course this one of the tales of the Christian storyteller Hans Christian Anderson, who has written of a friend sacrificing to save another, and fighting with love, not a sword. The fact that that friend eschews riches to make sure her friend is brought back into the fold would also satisfy the Marxist dialectic--which would be necessary at that time to get the film released. (By the way, all three movies feature strong girls who are not afraid to risk to take care of the people they love).
The second film is called "The Wild Swans". The animation here is fine; a bit less flowing and brilliant than "Snow Queen"; it reminded me of the quality of good Saturday morning cartoons in the states in the sixties, or seventies. "The Archies" comes to mind. The human and animal characters are realistically drawn and flowing, but the backboard is rough. Waves of the sea are even one line each curling across the screen, black and white while the rest of the set is color.
Did I say all the characters are well-drawn? Oops! As `a l'ame'rique, you can tell the bad guys here by their bad "hair days." The requisite evil stepmother and her minions all look grotesque and unreal.
As for the message, it is one of loyalty, and once again of sacrifice. And of teamwork against the evil tyrant--a Marxist message, yes, but one he shares with a lot of smart people. Here, unlike with the other films, the message relies mainly on dialogue (some of which is very clever) instead of animation.
And now we come to a veritable treat from 1981, "Tayna Trety Planeti", "Alice and the Mystery of the Third Planet." Here the humanoid characters (and even some animal ones) are animated here to show emotion and flowing movement. The background looks kindergartenish for Soviet cartoonists drawing intergalactic spacecraft in the days of Mir; transportation devices evoke "The Day the Earth Stood Still." But the real treat are the animals. A flying cow, a bird that never lies, a box that moves on legs and does tricks....more than one reference to "Yellow Submarine." In these characters, which interact fully with their humanoid counterparts (which, by the way, are more fluid and realistic than Dunning's Beatles)the animators really get to show their stuff...as well as move the plot along.
Oh. And message? I think perestroika was well in the wind and nobody was worried about the addage, "Add Marx and stir." This is a children's show, plain and simple. It's a good story and kids will enjoy the science fiction theme and the mystery within.
If I could change one thing about this DVD, I would like to have a Russian language version, even with English subtitles. Otherwise, it's a winner."