Finally, The Stolen Princess has come to theatres! Last week marked the world and national premiere of this highly-anticipated 3D full-length animated feature, produced by Ukrainian studio Animagrad, and the FILM.UA Group. Adapted for a wide international audience, the 85-minute fantasy is loosely based on Ruslan and Lyudmila, Alexander Pushkin’s epic fairytale in verse.
Producer Egor Olesov explains: “The story boasts powerful protagonists woven into a captivating plot with fascinating components – Kyivan Rus, the grand prince, and a romantic affair. However, we shifted away from the book as we introduced new characters and added more humour and more adventures into the script.”
The poem thus gains a modern twist and dynamic rhythm: a strolling player, Ruslan lands up in ancient Kyiv. He dreams about becoming a knight. Instead, he encounters Mila and falls head over heels in love with her. Ruslan does not know she is a princess with royal blood. An independent creature, she refuses to marry this nobleman her father found for her. When we are about to rejoice in the lovers’ happy union, the wicked sorcerer Chоrnomor kidnaps Mila. Without a second’s hesitation, Ruslan embarks on a perilous journey to rescue his sweetheart.
Western partners and experts highly appreciate the feature. “We created a good quality product. I must admit, we chose to adhere to the ‘understandable-to-all’ style that probably echoes Disney’s classical manner. For our future projects, we plan to experiment more with style. Still, by Ukrainian standards, The Stolen Princess is truly innovative,” Olesov says.
The figures speak for themselves – state funding amounts to 20% of the film’s 95 million UAH budget. It has already been released in more than 40 countries, including China, France, Poland, South Korea, Germany, and across Latin America. Some 300 people were involved in the production process, which took several years.
“To make it a success on the global market, we invited Andrew Hilton, a world-class consultant and screenplay mechanic who worked for Madagascar, The Lord of the Rings, The Sixth Sense and many other blockbuster movies,” Olesov says. “Ukraine’s animation industry is now experiencing a Renaissance. Currently, Animagrad is developing more animated features and series. I am sure every new project will outdo the previous one on the level of storytelling and quality.”
The Stolen Princess has been screening since 7 March. Grab a ticket and plunge into the magical world of brave warriors, powerful wizards and beautiful princesses.
Check out the trailer: goo.gl/SpL7Sr