Monday, December 07, 2009

VHS HELL: The Snow Queen

VHS HELL
Snow Queen VHS
Snow Queen VHS back
Edited from the prevue for The Snow Queen:
A Diamond-Studded Rainbow

5 comments:

Chris Sobieniak said...

Appears to be a lot of classics of Russian and Japanese animation (if not storytelling from other parts of the globe)!

I like noticing the line "The quality of this product is comparable to the best available." I sure hope it 'sounds' like it! :-)

Tohoscope said...

It's interesting that more Russian animation didn't get brought over and dubbed. I'm sure part of it was the cold war/politics of the time. But compare it to the amount of Japanese animation that was brought over and dubbed. What happened?

Chris Sobieniak said...

Tohoscope said...
It's interesting that more Russian animation didn't get brought over and dubbed. I'm sure part of it was the cold war/politics of the time. But compare it to the amount of Japanese animation that was brought over and dubbed. What happened?


You sorta wonder. I often say I'm rather fascinated of what came out of Eastern Europe especially during the Cold War era than I am form Japan itself.

In the 50's and 60's, there were ways many of these films found their way to the US. One route was often non-theatrical distributors like Rembrandt Films where films were acquired through state-own distributors like Sovexportfilm in the former USSR or other means. The reasoning for this was due to the economies in the region during that point in time being rather in shambles, and the best way they could make it through much of that era was in the exportation of some of their tangible works (namely film) in exchange for hard currency (US dollars for example). Many of these films may be dubbed or subtitled depending on how they were released. A good example I can think of was a release of Jiri Trnka's "The Emperor's Nightingale" which featured narration by Boris Karloff.

Another venue was television, where many films from the Soviet bloc, including ones from Nazi-occupied territories of the 30's and 40's often graced the screens every afternoon on Bozo the Clown or other similar kid programs across the country. Many Baby Boomers of this era can remember these cartoons vividly, never knowing their country of origins or reasons for their oddness when compared to domestic counterparts. Fred Ladd of course got his start in this field prior to dubbing Japanese classics as Astro Boy and Gigantor.

When all else failed, there was always film festivals catering to an international taste where films such as those of adult nature might have found some form of viewing in that case, but that's all I can think of.

Being reminded of there being two dubs for "Mystery of the Third Planet" itself of some interest to point out here. One from 1987 featuring some typically bad voice-acting and script/name changes, though the original music was kept in thankfully (somehow I love it). This version pretty much shows up on dollar DVD's all the time...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWTPMCD3SeQ

Then there was this from the 90's that remove the original music, cut the movie down even further, and added in celeb voices from James Belushi, Kirsten Dunst, and Harvey Fierstein. Some PBS stations used to show this as well. This is like the FUNimation/Saban of dubbing!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lEoewc7Yns

Nowadays, you really don't see quite that many into this sort of thing than you would for Japanese cartoons, and it's sad I feel so left out because of my tastes.

Tohoscope said...

You brought up a good example. Fred Ladd's Pinocchio In Outer Space was one of those movies I wanted to see more of. And The Emperor's Nightingale is a wonderful movie. The quality of these films is incredible, which is why I can't understand why these films aren't being re-released or archived or something.

All the recent talk about Gene Deitch got me thinking about all those East European shorts that would show up on the local morning kiddie shows back in the early 70s. Loved those weird things. I was happy to find a lot of those show up on the Something Weird Cartoon Rarities compilations. These are too good to be forgotten. They really need to be shown again.

Chris Sobieniak said...

Tohoscope said...
You brought up a good example. Fred Ladd's Pinocchio In Outer Space was one of those movies I wanted to see more of. And The Emperor's Nightingale is a wonderful movie. The quality of these films is incredible, which is why I can't understand why these films aren't being re-released or archived or something.


At least those both films stated above did get decent DVD releases. Many though aren't so lucky.

All the recent talk about Gene Deitch got me thinking about all those East European shorts that would show up on the local morning kiddie shows back in the early 70s.

Woo, best I ever saw was them on cable TV in the early '80s! My genesis came from watching 'em! Still, a shame that era is long gone.

Loved those weird things. I was happy to find a lot of those show up on the Something Weird Cartoon Rarities compilations. These are too good to be forgotten. They really need to be shown again.

Indeed. Here's one I remember seeing as a kid!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQzdOxAUBBI

Another company specializing in some of these foreign goodies (plus a compilation of "The Worst Cartoons Ever!") are these guys...
http://www.rembrandtfilms.com/rembrandtanimation.html

 
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