Rübezahl is a likable, red-bearded giant who wanders in the region of the Sudeten Mountains and, using his magical powers, rewards people he meets who are honest and hard-working, and punishes those who mistreat animals, are greedy or gluttonous, or are bad in any other way. The film is a series of such encounters, and has appropriately a number of simple story-lines. The stories are interlaced with beautiful panoramas of the mountainous area, and equally captivating sequences of the local fauna.
The slow pace of the film fits well with the stories of the various encounters and with the rural setting. Indeed, I think it could possibly have been made even slower without becoming boring, particularly since the mood-setting sequences were so well done.
There is no great characterisation. This would hardly be possible within the framework chosen. Indeed, apart from the glass-maker Steffen, each person that Rübezahl met demonstrates one particular facet of his character, and is either rewarded or punished, and always in a surprising and entertaining manner. It is particularly satisfying that the method chosen is always just.
In addition to the stories themselves, and the landscapes and wildlife, the dance sequences are also well worth watching.
Because of the age of the film, many of the special effects seem rather clumsy, but one has to make such allowances when watching films of this era.
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