Beautiful adaptation of an equally beautiful story
The Wild Swans always has struck me as one of Hans Christian Andersen's most loveliest stories, it has a charm to it and is very touching too. This 1962 adaptation of The Wild Swan is just beautiful, then again you'd expect that in some way from possibly Russia's greatest animation studio Soyuzmultfilm. The animation is very similar in style to that of The Scarlet Flower(1952), it is beautifully crafted and lushly coloured. Not as magical in look as The Scarlet Flower, but it is more melancholic, seeing as the story of The Wild Swans has that quality sometimes that was appropriate. The music is distinctively Russian while giving off that fairy-tale/emotionally charged fantasy vibe. It is well-placed too, not used too sparingly or too much, when a scene needs intimacy it gives leeway for that to come out. The story is poignant and charming and told with respect to the source material and capturing the spirit of the atmosphere Andersen's story has. It takes its time to develop without feeling dull, allowing the drama to breathe and resonate and being effective in its simplicity. The writing flows well and doesn't do anything unnecessary to jar with the storytelling, its ability to be true to the story and putting its own Soviet flavour into it is also remarkable. The characters convince, the protagonist is engaging and affecting, you genuinely care for her and the quest that she embarks on. The voice acting restrains the theatricality that you can find with some Russian animation and with Russian films in general and show a quieter and more noble quality that fits with the tone of the story. In conclusion, beautifully done on all counts. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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