Animation: Magyar Népmesék

A Hungarian animation series, Magyar népmesék was a collection of animated shorts, each telling a traditional folktale, many being variants of more well-known stories. Many of the shorts can be found on Youtube, where they are getting a somewhat cult following.

The series started in 1977 with a season consisting of 13 episodes, created at Pannonia Film Studio. Further seasons were added in 1979, 1984, 1989, 1995, 2002, 2007, and 2009. A total of 89 regular episodes have been released.

This series provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Distillation: Some of the shorts.
  • Animation Bump: Possibly, due to the series being Un-Cancelled, shorts tend to have different animation styles, mediums, and qualities.
  • Back from the Dead: If the hero or heroine dies, they will get better.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: The shorts have a rather stylized visual stile, thus naked people are often drawn like this. However, sometimes this gets averted; see Getting Crap Past the Radar below.
  • Cool Horse: In "Az égigérő fa" the hero meets an apparently skinny and weak horse that turns into a five-legged steed with Super Speed when it eats ember.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In A csillagszemű juhász, the evil king executes everyone who doesn't say "Bless you!" when he sneezes.
  • Distressed Damsel: Princesses held captive by a dragon or an evil king in various stories.
  • The Devil Is a Loser: The devil appears as an antagonist in some stories (such as Koplaló Mátyás), but is always outsmarted by the protagonist.
  • Dragons Prefer Princesses: The very anthropomorphic dragons in these stories usually marry the princesses they kidnap.
  • Fantastic Foxes: In one short, A rókaszemű menyecske (The fox-eyed damsel), the protagonist is helped by a shapeshifting fox.
  • Full Boar Action: In the tale "A csillagszemű juhász", a brave shepherd gets tossed into a pit full of boars. He survives it by playing his flute, making the boars dance to the tune.
  • Gag Dub: Three episodes got hilarious and memetic Hungarian parody dubs by Youtube user Dandozolika.
  • Gender Flip:
    • One fairy tale, "Hamupipőke királyfi", is the Gender Flipped version of Cinderella.
    • Another tale, "A banya" ("The hag"), is a Gender Flipped variant on the Beauty and the Beast tale, with a princess turned into an old hag, and a young boy with two jealous older brothers.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: A few episodes feature quite explicit nudity, even for European standards. For example, in one story, a king gives a girl several, seemingly impossible tasks, and one of them is that she should appear "neither dressed nor naked". She resolves this by wearing a top but nothing below the waist, resulting in several explicit shots of her naked buttocks and tulip-shaped pubes.
  • Go Seduce My Archnemesis: In one story, the protagonist asks the princess to find out the weakness of the dragon by seducing him.
  • Mickey Mousing: There is music used instead of sound effects in all shorts.
  • Morphic Resonance: In one tale, a shapeshifting Fantastic Fox disguises itself as a princess, but her true identity is revealed because she has fox-eyes. The fox's other morphs also have some vulpine features, but this is the only one that is relevant to the plot.
  • Music Soothes the Savage Beast: In "A csillagszemű juhász", the protagonist survives both a boar pit and a flock of Ominous Owls by playing his flute, which makes the beasts dance.
  • Narrator: All shorts are narrated by a single storyteller, who also voices every character in the short.
  • Not Quite Dead: In "Cerceruska," the heroine's stepmother tries to drown her. Fortuantely, a fish swallows her whole, and her husband rescues her.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Dragons in these tales are more or less humanoid, clothed, ride horses and fight with swords. They'll almost always have multiple heads. They often want to marry the princess they keep captive.
  • Pals with Jesus:
    • Hamupipőke (the Hungarian version of Cinderella) is helped by God himself (rather than a fairy godmother) to attend Mass (instead of a royal ball) where she was forbidden to go by her Wicked Stepmother. We all know how it ends.
    • In the short "A pulikutya", Jesus blesses a child with the powers to perform miracles. The villain of the story kidnaps the child to exploit his powers.
  • Rags to Royalty: The protagonist of the stories is often a young peasant who in the end becomes a king as part of his Standard Hero Reward.
  • Rule of Three: A recurring theme in the tales. Often the story is about three sibling (from which the Youngest Child Wins), or the protagonist has three helpers, or there are three villains (each more powerful than the previous one).
  • Savage Wolves: Wolves often appear in antagonistic role in the tales that star animals.
  • Shout-Out: One of the animated shorts, "Hamupipőke," is a variant of the Cinderella story, that traditionally ends with the prince smply recognizing the heroine without any help. The animated short borrows the Disney/Perrault ending with the prince using a glass slipper.
  • Soul Jar: In one tale the dragon can be defeated only by destroying a box of bugs that is inside the head of a hare, which is in change inside the head of a bear.
  • Standard Hero Reward: Half the kingdom and the princess's hand is more often than not the reward of the hero of these stories.
  • Un-Cancelled: The first batch of shorts were made in the late 70's. More and more were produced in the 80's and 90's. Finally, even more shorts have been independently produced in the 2000's, after the original production company, Pannonia Film Studio went bankrupt.
  • Wicked Witch: The antagonist of several shorts.
  • Youngest Child Wins: A very common trope in the stories.

Alternative Title(s):

Magyar Nepmesek