About Mavka, The Forest Song and Dancing Your Troubles Away

There’s a lot more going on in Mavka, The Forest Song than just be an adaptation of the poem by Lesya Ukrainka.

Mavka The Forest Song DVD CaseShout! Studios
Release Date: Aug 15, 2023
Available to order on Amazon USA

It seems opinions about the Russian invasion into the Ukraine have filtered into children’s entertainment. When it hits that hard, that’s because one side doesn’t want the fighting, and prefers that all countries get along. When the conflict in Mavka, The Forest Song rears its ugly head, just how this title character can be a protector depends on faith.

Although the commentary was most likely not Lesya Ukrainka’s intent in her original 1911 play The Forest Song, what’s modified for this animated treatment certainly makes callbacks to other similar works, like Fern Gully than anything Disney would produce.

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Gulliver Returns to Lilliput to Save the Day (Again) or Is It for the Ukraine?

As for saying Gulliver Returns is the perfect follow up, it is hard to say…

Gulliver Returns

Just why an animated sequel to Jonathan Swift’s classic work, Gulliver’s Travels, exists really must be questioned. Just because actor turned Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky said, “I have an idea,” doesn’t mean it should be realised.

I recall Ronald Reagan once said, “We have every right to dream heroic dreams.” And while that drives Gulliver Returns, something must have gone wrong during production. It should not only be a story about what Martin Luther King Jr. once said concerning civil rights, but also reflect upon what’s changed since the titanic hero left to become a world adventurer. Continue reading “Gulliver Returns to Lilliput to Save the Day (Again) or Is It for the Ukraine?”

Polina, A Magical Journey in Review

This film is interesting enough to captivate, but to hold it needs more than a few expositions to reveal why this young girl is special

A Magical Journey (2019) - IMDbBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

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Olias Barco’s A Magical Journey (originally titled Polina tayemnyzia kinostudiyi) is a blend of several familiar young adventures. It sometimes borders on Alice in Wonderland territory such that Polina (Polina Pechenenko), an 11-year-old orphan, ventures from one fairy tale world to another. In this story’s case, it’s jumping from one film world to another to avoid being caught by the wicked witch’s minions.

Taking a slight cue from the first Harry Potter movie, she’s holed up in tiny room in her aunt’s home, a wannabe Cruella, and only has her imagination to keep her sane. She plays with little figures and one day finds momentos from her past. All she has is a torn-up photo of her biological family and a pass to the movie studio her parents once owned. This relative hates the idea she’ll take ownership one day and plans to kill her. Fortunately, she escapes and enters the wondrous world of filmmaking. 

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