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The Scarlet Flower 1952 Soviet Animated Movie: How Much Should You Sacrifice For The 1 You Love?

Wednesday, November 16, 2016
(Warning: possible spoilers for the 1952 Soviet animated film The Scarlet Flower (Аленький цветочек, Alenkiy Tsvetochek in Russian))

The Scarlet Flower is based on a story with the same name, however, both film and story are actually a variation or retelling of the fairytale of the Beauty and the Beast with some differences.

In this particular article, I’d like to focus on one of the characters in this movie that I found very likable and admirable. This is Stefan, a merchant with three daughters. Before leaving on a trip, he asked his children what gifts they wanted him to bring back for them when he returned.

the scarlet flower, 1952 soviet animated movie, film

A father willingly searches for practically impossible things as gifts for his 3 daughters

Even though they didn’t exactly ask him for things that could easily be obtained (yes, even the youngest daughter’s request for the scarlet flower wasn’t exactly easy to find), he didn’t complain or tell them that he can’t get them those things.

He left on his trip, and, alongside doing his business, he also took the time to find the gifts that his daughters wanted. When he finished with his job and when he’d found the gifts his two older daughters had asked for, he refused to go back home because he still hadn’t found the scarlet flower that Nastenka, his youngest daughter, wanted.

How Stefan shows that he really loves and cares about his daughters?

All this really shows that he loves his daughters very much. But if that’s not enough proof for you, well, that’s all right because Stefan does so much more that can easily prove just how much a father can love his children.

the scarlet flower, 1952 soviet animated movie, fairytale, fairy tale, beauty and the beast, film
Stefan soon gets stranded on a strange and mysterious island where he eventually finds The Scarlet Flower that his youngest wants. It was a mistake to take this flower though, as he soon found out, because the one who inhabited this island was a scary and horrible-looking Beast.

A father willing to die for his daughters

The Beast gave Stefan a choice: either he stayed on the island and be killed or he send one of his daughters in his place. When this choice was given to him, Stefan didn’t even need to think twice about it. He immediately gave a resounding 'no.'

This act was even more admirable because his refusal to let one of his daughters stay with the Beast would mean his death. He didn’t care about dying as long as his daughters were unharmed.

The Beast eventually gave him a magical ring that would allow whoever was wearing it to return to the island. He let Stefan leave with the promise that either he or one of his daughters would return. Stefan willingly bears the burden that should have been imposed on his daughters.

Once back in his house and with his daughters, Stefan gave them their gifts, but he didn’t tell them about his encounter with the Beast. He could have told them and he could have asked one of them to take his place. In fact, he could have made Nastenka go, since, if you really look at it, it was her fault that her father got into this mess in the first place (Stefan obviously wouldn’t be going around picking random flowers if his daughter hadn’t wanted one).

However, Stefan loved his children too much to do any of that, so he told them nothing and kept his troubles to himself. He was heading to his death and yet the only thing he could think about were his daughters and their welfare.

He entrusted them to his friend, so that there would be someone who would look after them even with him gone. Stefan is really one likable and admirable father who genuinely and sincerely loves his children very much and is ready to sacrifice himself and do all that he can for their sake.

And I find it wonderful how a pretty short film was able to develop Stefan’s character and personality enough for viewers to like him and feel for him even though he’s not really the main focus of The Scarlet Flower movie.

If there’s one flaw that can be said about Stefan, it might be how Nastenka is so obviously his favorite daughter and that he clearly loves her more than her two older sisters. But, then again, considering how greedy, selfish and materialistic those two were as well as the things that they did, it’s a wonder why anyone would care about them.

*Notes:
- Image with added text was modified by Freya Yuki (CC:BY-SA) based on the image by mikanxsakura (CC:BY-SA) from deviantArt
- Image is meant to symbolize Stefan and Nastenka

- Second pic is from Amazon.com; link shown above
- YouTube video features a scene from The Scarlet Flower

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