Table of contents:

How children's books were filmed in the USSR and in the West
How children's books were filmed in the USSR and in the West
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Lifehacker selected 10 popular publications and their film incarnations in different countries.

How children's books were filmed in the USSR and in the West
How children's books were filmed in the USSR and in the West

1. "Treasure Island" by Robert Louis Stevenson

Notable film adaptations:

Treasure Island

  • USA, 1934.
  • IMDB: 7, 2.

The famous teen adventure novel has been shown dozens of times since 1912. But the first true legend was the American adaptation of 1934. The plot of the film closely retells all the main events of the book, except with some abbreviations, keeping the atmosphere of a classic story about pirates.

Treasure Island

  • USSR, 1988.
  • IMDb: 8, 4.

In the USSR, they also loved to make films based on Treasure Island. There are as many as three adaptations, of which the 1982 three-part version is the most famous.

But the funny cartoon by David Cherkassky deserved universal love. The plot was retold here only in general terms, paying more attention to funny animation, all kinds of gags and musical inserts. But this is what made the children love the cartoon.

By the way, in the early nineties, it was bought for display in the United States. True, they cut out all musical numbers with live actors from the cartoon.

2. "Cinderella", Charles Perrault

Notable film adaptations:

Cinderella

  • USSR, 1947.
  • IMDb: 7, 7.

Playwright Evgeny Schwartz reworked the classic fairy tale into a play, and soon the Lenfilm film studio transferred it to the screens. Probably all the children of the Soviet Union remember the evil stepmother played by Faina Ranevskaya and the funny talking king played by Erast Garin. In general, this is a very kind and pleasant fairy tale with great actors.

The Soviet audience immediately fell in love with Cinderella. According to the results of 1947 alone, it was watched by more than 18 million viewers. Subsequently, the original recording was repeatedly restored for television screening, and in 2009 Channel One showed a color version of the film.

Cinderella

  • USA, 1950.
  • IMDb: 7, 5.

Disney has been working on the cartoon version of Cinderella for 6 years. Considering that after the Second World War, the popularity of cinema has fallen dramatically, Walt Disney tried to smooth the plot as much as possible, removing all the cruelty from it and adding songs and funny animals.

In addition, the approach to animation was unusual. The movement of the drawn characters was copied frame by frame from the filming of real actors. At the same time, the main characters were singled out as brightly as possible against a pale and cold background, so that they seemed more alive.

The approach fully justified itself, all costs quickly paid off, bringing the studio a considerable profit, and soon Cinderella became a classic of world animation.

3. "Alice in Wonderland" by Lewis Carroll

Notable film adaptations:

Alice in Wonderland

  • USA, 1951.
  • IMDb: 7, 4.

The book by Lewis Carroll was first filmed back in 1903. But nowadays very few people remember black and white, and even more so silent films. The first popular version was again created by Disney. Of course, the authors had to greatly simplify the plot and make it more linear. It was simply impossible to convey the complete phantasmagoria of the book. But the general plot and many details still remained the same.

The only problem with the Disney version of Alice is that it took too long, the cartoon was in production in parallel with Cinderella, and the animators were constantly changing. Therefore, as a result, many characters and scenes were too standard and poorly remembered.

Alice in Wonderland

  • USSR, 1981.
  • IMDb: 7, 8.
Alice in Wonderland
Alice in Wonderland

The Soviet version of Alice in Wonderland turned out to be even simpler than Disney's. In the three ten-minute episodes, they placed only the very basis of the book, removing almost all the plot digressions.

All the oddities are concentrated not in the action, but in the unusual animation, which fully corresponds to the original in the atmosphere. And many fell in love with the domestic cartoon for its excellent voice acting: Rostislav Plyatt reads the offscreen text, and Alice speaks in the voice of Marina Neyolova.

4. Peter Pan by James Barry

Notable film adaptations:

Peter Pan

  • USA, 1953.
  • IMDb: 7, 3.

Walt Disney was very fond of the tale of Peter Pan, associating himself with the ageless protagonist. And so he tried to make the cartoon as close to the original as possible.

Although there were some discrepancies. Still, in Disney, violent scenes were usually avoided, and therefore even the evil pirate Hook looks more funny than scary in the film adaptation, and even he is saved in the end.

Interestingly, according to the creators, the biggest problem was to reliably portray the hovering heroes, so that it really seemed like they were flying.

Peter Pan

  • USSR, 1987.
  • IMDb: 7, 9.

In the USSR, they preferred to make a television movie with live actors, taking on the main roles of charming children. True, most of them were later re-voiced with other voices. But the main emphasis was placed not even on the plot, but on the musical part.

For example, many probably remember the song about parenting. But in fact, the Soviet film tells a lot more about the value of family and mutual understanding than a funny Disney cartoon.

5. "Mary Poppins" by Pamela Travers

Notable film adaptations:

Mary Poppins

  • USA, 1964.
  • IMDb: 7, 8.

A film about the adventures of the famous nanny from children's fairy tales Pamela Travers is a real legend in the United States. A bright musical, where the game of live actors and animation are combined, was released in the early sixties and immediately fell in love with children and adults.

Aspiring actress Julie Andrews instantly became a star, earning an Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA for her role as Mary Poppins. And about how Walt Disney tried to get permission for the film adaptation, then they even shot the film "Saving Mr. Banks."

American "Mary Poppins" is cartoon characters, dances, songs, positive and amazing main character with a sly smile. In the new film, Mary Poppins Returns, this role is played by Emily Blunt. But for all her charm and acting talent, she is not at all like the image of Julie Andrews.

Mary Poppins, goodbye

  • USSR, 1983.
  • IMDb: 7, 7.

The Soviet version of Mary Poppins is much older. Of course, there is also a lot of music and dancing in this film, but even the director himself said that he was not planning the film for children. Therefore, he rather turned to his parents and their memories. But the children also fell in love with this picture, because there are wonderful songs and a lot of jokes in it. What is only Oleg Tabakov in the role of Miss Andrews.

6. The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

Notable film adaptations:

Mowgli

  • USSR, 1967-1973.
  • IMDb: 7, 8.

The domestic cartoon "Mowgli" is a fairly accurate adaptation of Kipling's original book. True, with some reductions and a change in Bagheera's sex (but this is rather the fault of the translators).

The closeness to the book, of course, influenced the atmosphere of the cartoon itself. It is difficult to call it completely childish: there are many bloody scenes and deaths in it. But then the audience can really feel the atmosphere of the jungle, where the strongest survive.

The jungle book

  • USA, 1967.
  • IMDb: 7, 6.

The Disney cartoon came out the same year as the first episode of the Soviet Mowgli. And in terms of atmosphere, they are completely opposite. In the United States, all tough topics and serious conflicts were removed from the plot. Python Kaa from a dangerous sage turned into a purely comedic villain, monkeys sing and dance, and there is no real danger for Mowgli.

By the way, in the mid-nineties, a Soviet cartoon was also released on video in the United States. Just for the release, they removed all the violent scenes from it, changed the soundtrack and even added songs.

7. "The Kid and Carlson Who Lives on the Roof," Astrid Lindgren

Notable film adaptations:

Kid and Carlson

  • USSR, 1968.
  • IMDb: 8, 1.

The cartoon based on the classic tale of the Swedish writer Astrid Lindgren was adored by the children of the entire Soviet Union. True, for the film adaptation, many moments typical of Swedish culture had to be changed or simplified.

First of all, the image of the Kid himself changed and even his name disappeared (in the book he was called Svante Svanteson). From a spoiled child, he turned into a lonely boy with no friends. And Carlson's love for meatballs was changed to eating jam and buns.

But most of all, many remembered the voice acting of Carlson by Vasily Livanov. Moreover, according to the authors of the cartoon, he was not initially considered for this role, but when the search reached a dead end, just out of friendship he offered to sign up, parodying the voice of director Grigory Roshal at the auditions.

It is also interesting that in 2002 the animated series was co-produced by Sweden, Norway and Germany. And it is easy to see that the characters are drawn there very similar to the characters of the Soviet cartoon. But although the authors of the domestic version claim that they themselves came up with the images, in fact, they are all partially taken from the original drawings for books.

The best Carlson in the world

  • Sweden, 1974.
  • IMDb: 5, 7.
The best Carlson in the world
The best Carlson in the world

The Swedish mini-series is known mainly in the homeland of the book and in the rest of Europe. In terms of plot, he is much closer to the original: here are a lot of Carlson's tricks, and his house on the roof, and his family, which constantly does not believe that the Kid did not arrange all the outrages himself. In 1980, it was even shown in the USSR, but against the background of the beloved cartoon, it did not make much of an impression.

8. Winnie the Pooh, Alan Alexander Milne

Notable film adaptations:

Winnie the Pooh

  • USSR, 1969-1972.
  • IMDb: 8, 4.

Creating a cartoon based on the works of Milne, director Fyodor Khitruk did a rather unusual thing: the background was simplified as much as possible in order to create the feeling of a revived child's drawing. And even the main characters themselves are drawn as simply as possible. But the offscreen text literally quotes the translation of the book from Boris Zakhoder.

Although a lot has been removed from the original story. First of all, Christopher Robin, the author's son, in whose imagination all the heroes came to life, did not get into the cartoon.

And one more curious fact: many people love the Soviet cartoon because of the voice acting of Yevgeny Leonov. But in fact, his voice was much lower and not very suitable for a cartoon bear. Then the authors came up with the idea that you can record it on tape and then speed it up. Exactly the same thing was done with the voice acting of Piglet.

The many adventures of Winnie the Pooh

  • USA, 1977.
  • IMDb: 7, 6.

The first Winnie the Pooh cartoon from Disney Studios looks more like books. First of all, this concerns the visual representation of the characters - they are similar to the original drawings. Christopher Robin is also directly involved in the plot, and the transition from one scene to another is shown as turning the pages of a book.

Unfortunately, Russian viewers are better acquainted with the series, which they began to release later. But there was no longer any connection with the books, except for the heroes themselves. But the first cartoon tells exactly the same stories that the Soviet public could have seen: an attempt to steal honey from bees, a visit to a rabbit and others.

It's funny that in "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh" appears a gopher, which was not in the book. And he immediately says the phrase: "I am not in the book, but I am always happy to help."

9. "Pippi Longstocking" by Astrid Lindgren

Notable film adaptations:

Peppy Longstocking

  • Sweden, 1969.
  • IMDb: 7, 4.

This series was created with the direct participation of Astrid Lindgren, because she did not like the first film adaptation of the book. The writer herself worked on the script, but production was delayed for years due to insufficient funding.

The missing money was invested by German investors. Because of this, by the way, several new characters had to be added to the plot, played by the Germans. But this made it possible to rent an entire island to work on the series.

But the main advantage of this film adaptation is the performer of the main role. According to Lindgren, when Inger Nilsson first came to audition, everyone immediately realized that the girl was perfect for the role, since even in ordinary life she is very similar to Pippi.

Peppy Longstocking

  • USSR, 1984.
  • IMDb: 6, 2.
Image
Image

Soviet Peppy bears little resemblance to the original. Here a lot has changed in the plot, and even the appearance of the main character is different: she is not red. According to rumors, at first they did not want to take on the role of Svetlana Stupak. She looked older and did not look like a prototype.

But when the actress showed almost stunt stunts on auditions and got used to the role perfectly, she was approved. True, the hooligan character of the actress (very similar to the character of the heroine) several times almost led to the disruption of filming.

As for the film itself, many fans of the book do not like it very much. But the Swedish version reached our country only in the nineties, and therefore it had no competitors. At the same time, even those who are not enthusiastic about the film adaptation love the wonderful children's songs from the film.

10. "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer", Mark Twain

Notable film adaptations:

Tom Sawyer

  • USA, 1973.
  • IMDb: 6, 5.

Tom Sawyer could also be seen on screens almost from the very beginning of the 20th century. Films based on the novels of Mark Twain were filmed back in the days of silent cinema. And in the early seventies, the most famous version in the United States came out.

It has a lot of music and sweet Johnny Whitaker in the title role. True, he then did not manage to build an acting career. The same cannot be said about Johnny's on-screen partner. The role of Becky Thatcher in this film was played by a very young Jodie Foster.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn

  • USSR, 1981.
  • IMDb: 7, 6.

In the USSR, his Tom Sawyer appeared in the thirties, but this picture did not have much success. But the version of Stanislav Govorukhin of the early eighties fell in love with the audience. In many ways, the film was a success thanks to the actors: Rolan Bykov, Ekaterina Vasilyeva and Talgat Nigmatulin (speaking in Karachentsev's voice) played the adult part perfectly.

The children did not fail either. It was in this film that the screen debut of Vladislav Galkin and Maria Mironova took place. And Fyodor Stukov, who played the main role, later played Jim Hawkins in the 1982 film adaptation of Treasure Island.

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