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The Little Mermaid (1968)

Rusalochka (original title)
Rusalochka opens in modern day Copenhagen, Denmark. Several tourists gather around the capital's famous mermaid statue, as a tour guide explains its significance. A fish in the water below ... See full summary »

Director:

Ivan Aksenchuk

Writers:

Hans Christian Andersen (fairy tale), Aleksandr Galich
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Cast

Cast overview:
Nina Gulyaeva Nina Gulyaeva ... The Little Mermaid (voice)
Anatoliy Papanov ... The Guide (voice)
Vladimir Troshin ... (voice)
Viktoriya Ivanova Viktoriya Ivanova ... The Little Mermaid (singing voice)
Yuliya Yulskaya Yuliya Yulskaya ... The Sea Witch (voice)
Lidiya Korolyova ... The Fish Guide (voice)
Roza Makagonova ... (voice)
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Storyline

Rusalochka opens in modern day Copenhagen, Denmark. Several tourists gather around the capital's famous mermaid statue, as a tour guide explains its significance. A fish in the water below the tourists scoffs at their foolishness, and then, proceeds to tell about the doomed love of the mermaid. Upon reaching her 15th birthday, the Little Mermaid is allowed to swim up to the surface above. As soon as she does, however, the Mermaid spots a young prince caught up in a dreadful storm. She admires the man's bravery and decides to save him, declaring that, "The beautiful and the brave should not perish." After the mermaid returns to the ocean, she decides that she wants to become human. Unfortunately for her, the Prince is found on shore by another women, whom he mistakes as his rescuer. The mermaid runs away from home to meet the sea witch. The witch warns that if the prince does not wed the mermaid, she will turn into sea-foam. However, the mermaid has her mind set on love, and exchanges ... Written by Rise Hickey

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Details

Country:

Soviet Union

Language:

Russian

Release Date:

1968 (Soviet Union) See more »

Also Known As:

The Little Mermaid See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Soyuzmultfilm See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The animated film was released on MPEG-4 discs. See more »

Connections

Version of The Little Mermaid (1975) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Little Mermaid
26 September 2019 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Hans Christian Andersen's story 'The Little Mermaid' is one of my favourites, it's one of his most iconic stories more than justifiably, it is full of charm and magic and the ending touches me without fail every time. Also have immense love for Soyuzmultfilm, responsible for some of the best Soviet animations ever made, one of the very rare studios to be of a consistently high standard and not have a stinker in it.

Their 1968 version of 'The Little Mermaid' 'Rusalochka' is utterly enchanting and beautifully done in every way. The Disney version will always be very close to my heart, it is superbly animated with some of the best songs and music for any Disney film (or animated films in general for that matter) and great characters. It is though something that ought to be judged as a standalone film, it is quite far removed from the original story as an adaptation. As an adaptation, 'Rusalochka' is far superior and is faithful in detail and spirit to Andersen's story including having its ending. On its own terms, it is also my personal favourite. It is an absolute marvel and one of Soyuzmultfilm better mid-late animations and one of my favourites from them overall as well.

'Rusalochka' looks beautiful in its animation, with a poignant and mysterious melancholy atmosphere created in especially the backgrounds. It is not the rotoscope-heavy look of their 50s animations (which still looked fabulous) and closer to the cut-out animation style, if not as much, seen in the likes of 1964's 'Lefty'. Meaning traditional character designs against, and expertly (nothing jarring) tapestry-like backgrounds with some interesting shapes and decorations, looking like they were made from practical materials.

Furthermore, the music, treated too like a character of its own, is used subtly and never resorts to bombast or being over-bearing, the same melancholic atmosphere seen in the animation matched in the music here to haunting and moving effect. Also really loved the mermaid's song, not easy to forget in the long run, hauntingly beautiful and very powerful.

It is sensitively written too and while the story is deliberate it never feels dull or padded. It perfectly captures the spirit of the original story and what Andersen was trying to say, the messaging is relevant and serious without being too downbeat or being ham-handed. The ending really got to me emotionally and the protagonist is one worth rooting for. There are no annoying or superfluous characters and there is a genuine creepiness to the sea witch. Oh and the prologue and epilogue fit very well and don't go on for too long.

Altogether, prepare to be enchanted. 10/10


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