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Similarities between The Scarlet Flower 1952 Soviet animated movie and the Cupid and Psyche myth

Saturday, December 10, 2016
(Warning: possible spoilers for the 1952 Soviet animated film The Scarlet Flower (Аленький цветочек, Alenkiy Tsvetochek in Russian) and the Greek or Roman myth about Cupid and Psyche)

It’s not really that the two stories in question are very similar to each other because they’re not. In fact, The Scarlet Flower is actually based on a book with the same name and that book is based on the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale. But, when I was watching this film, there were some parts that just made me think of or reminded me of the story of Cupid (Eros in Greek Mythology) and Psyche because it seemed similar somehow.


How Nastenka (Beauty) and Psyche are similar to each other?

the scarlet flower, 1952 soviet animated movie, film, cupid, eros, psyche, greek mythology, roman mythology, myths, stories, film
For instance, when Nastenka, the female main character and the 'Beauty' in The Scarlet Flower movie, returned home to her family after having to stay with the Beast on his island for a quite a while, her 2 older sisters tried to persuade her not to go back to the Beast.

They told her to just stay with them and that there was no need for her to go back there.

That part reminded me of how Psyche was persuaded by her 2 older sisters (look, both even have the same number of sisters and they’re both the youngest) to try and find out Cupid’s identity and how he really looked like.

The 2 women also have their differences

The difference was that Nastenka didn’t let herself be persuaded by her sisters. She still had every intention of returning to the island where the Beast was (of course, that didn’t mean her sisters wouldn’t try and stop her somehow, but that’s not a part of this post). But Psyche was eventually convinced by her sisters to do as they wanted and that caused much trouble for her.


Cupid and the Beast are also similar to each other

Another similarity between the two stories was how Cupid refused to show himself to Psyche. He would talk to her, but she couldn’t see him.

In the same way, the Beast also refused to show himself to Nastenka on account of how hideous he looked, but he still spoke to her.


Both the heroines of The Scarlet Flower and Cupid and Psyche search for the one they love

Another thing that made me to think of the Cupid and Psyche story was when Nastenka was finally able to return to the island where the Beast was after her sisters attempted to stop her.

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It seemed like she was too late in getting back because the beautiful and bright island was now shrouded in darkness and everything just looked gloomy and sad.

I thought that she would have a hard time looking for the Beast similar to how Pscyhe had to face several difficult trials before finally being reunited with Cupid.

That was what it seemed like, but I knew that couldn’t happen since The Scarlet Flower wasn’t that long a movie and we were already near the ending so, naturally, Nastenka soon found the Beast.

Of course, just like how Cupid and Psyche eventually got their happy ending, Nastenka and the Beast also got theirs. What do you think about these 2 stories?

*Notes:
- Image with added text was modified by Freya Yuki (CC:BY-SA) based on the image by hayashinomura (CC:BY-SA) from deviantArt
- Couple in the image is meant to represent Cupid and Psyche and Nastenka or Beauty and the Beast while the red flower in said image is meant to symbolize the scarlet flower
- YouTube video features a scene from the aforementioned film
- Second pic is from Amazon.com; link shown above

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