Animation / The Frog Princess

The Frog Princess (Царевна Лягушка, Tsarevna Iyagushka, in Russian) is a 1954 38 minutes-long Soviet animated film created by Soyuzmultfilm studio, adapted from Russian Fairy Tales.

Young and beautiful princess Vasilisa catches the eye of Evil Sorcerer Koshchei, who wants to marry her. Vasilisa laughs at his proposition, which prompts him to curse her: she is turned into a frog for three years and three days.

Some time later, an old king sets his three sons to marry, and tests their chosen brides. The king tells them to shoot arrows and find their brides where the arrows land, and the youngest prince's arrow is picked up by Vasilisa (in her frog form). The king assigns his three prospective daughters-in-law various tasks, such as spinning cloth and baking bread. In every task the princess-turned-frog far outdoes the lazy brides-to-be of the older brothers, as she can regain her human form during the night and use magic. Still, Ivan, the youngest prince, is ashamed of his froggy bride, until he realizes who she really is.

Not to be confused with The Princess and the Frog.

This short provides examples of:

  • Achilles' Heel: The only way to kill Koshchei is to pierce him with a magical needle.
  • Androcles' Lion: Each one of the animals that was spared or helped by Ivan ends up helping him in his quest and fight against Koschei.
  • Animorphism: Koshchei turns into a giant crow to attack Ivan in the climax.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Koshchei turns Vasilisa into a frog.
  • Evil Laugh: Koshchei, in the climax, as he turns Vasilisa into a golden statue.
  • Evil Old Folks: Koshchei is old, and an Evil Sorcerer.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Koshchei, naturally. His whole kingdom has been petrified into gold by him and he lives by For the Evulz.
  • The Good King: Ivan's father is far from being an evil ruler.
  • Matryoshka Object: The needle that can kill Koshchei is contained in an egg, which was swallowed by a bird, which was swallowed by a rabbit, which is locked in a box.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Koshchei cannot be harmed, except by a magical needle.
  • No-Sell: None of Ivan's weapons works against Koshchei. They break at contact with him.
  • One-Winged Angel: Koshchei turns into a giant crow to battle Ivan.
  • Taken for Granite: Koshchei turns Vasilisa into a golden statue in the climax.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: No one seems at all surprised that animals can talk, or that wizards and witches exist. Justified since the story is set in a fairy tale version of Russia.