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The Scarlet Flower Movie Review: Why You Should Watch This Soviet Animated Film?

Thursday, December 22, 2016
The Scarlet Flower (Аленький цветочек, Alenkiy Tsvetochek in Russian) is a 1952 Soviet animated film. It is based on a book of the same name by Sergey Aksakov. Said book is an adaptation of the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale.

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The movie itself, while similar to the aforementioned fairytale, does have quite a number of differences.

And that helped to make this film even more enjoyable and interesting because what’s the point of watching something if it will be just a complete rehash of what you already know, unless you really want to anyway, right?

Because of its basis in the Beauty and the Beast story, The Scarlet Flower is rather predictable, but not that much especially when you compare it to the Disney version of the Beauty and the Beast.

Besides, much of the predictability stems from the main plot, which those who know about Beauty and the Beast should already know by heart. The differences come into play with how the main characters are brought together and with how the other characters act.

The art of the film is pretty good. It’s not anime or any of the usual kinds that I’ve seen, but I like the art just fine. I thought the Beast wasn’t all that scary though, certainly not when compared to Disney’s version of the Beast.

In fact, this Beast just looks kind of laughable and quite ugly. But, then again, this is an older movie, so it’s understandable that they still don’t have all the technology and special effects that we expect films of today to have.

I also like how the flower in the film wasn’t specified to be a red rose, as that seemed way too common, and how it was referred to simply as 'the scarlet flower.'

So, technically, it could be any red-colored flower or it could be a magical one that doesn’t exist in the world, which is more fitting since it is a flower with magical properties.

Those who like fairy tales and are especially fond of the Beauty and the Beast story and are interested in seeing different variations of it would surely find this film interesting and even entertaining.

But it’s not without its flaws as it’s certainly not perfect. There are some plot holes and some things that don’t make sense, but a lot of that stems from its basis on the source material.

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For instance, having Nastenka, the 'Beauty,' in this film, overhear her father talking about going to see the Beast was a necessary plot contrivance since, in the fairy tale, Beauty has to end up going to where the Beast was.

The ending of The Scarlet Flower is to be expected, of course, but I like it just fine. I didn’t mind at all that there was no kiss between Nastenka and the Beast when he turned back into a handsome guy again.

It surprised me at first, but, considering the story and what we saw, this seemed much preferable and believable than having them kiss. So, what about you? Have you watched this movie? What do you think about it?

*Notes:
- Image with added text was modified by Freya Yuki (CC:BY-SA) based on the image by hayashinomura (CC:BY-SA) from deviantArt
- Red-colored flower in the image is meant to represent the scarlet flower while the figure is meant to symbolize Nastenka
- YouTube video features a scene from the aforementioned film
- First pic is from Amazon.com; link shown above

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