Animation / The Mystery of the Third Planet

A 1981 film (Тайна третьей планеты in Russian), produced by the famous Soyuzmultfilm studio in Moscow and based on the Alice, Girl from the Future books by Kir Bulychev. Stars the voice of Olga Gromova, the first person ever to play Alisa.

In it, Alisa and her father Professor Selesnyov and his friend the Captain travel all over space in the 22nd century, searching for rare animals to bring back to the Moscow zoo. Through their intergalactic travels they pick up increasingly bizarre creatures and eventually become tangled into a criminal conspiracy involving a talking bird. That's about all there is to get plotwise— most of the time's focused on the surreal, psychedelic Peter Max-inspired world.

Two English versions were released; one oddly enough with Kirsten Dunst as the voice of Alisa, and the other released as Baryshnikov's collection of "favorite stories". Also there is an English fansub on YouTube. Two NES games were released.

Tropes related to the film:

  • Allusion: Elements from the Garden of Earthly Delights can be seen in the scenery of the third planet.
  • Big Eater: Gromozeka devours an entire roast chicken in one bite.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: An LSD box on spider legs, a balloon man, birds that can fly in space and multiarmed Gromozeka
    • Gromozeka drinks valerian extract in large quantities (possibly justified by his size)
  • "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word: Jolly U gets downright offended when Kim refers to him as a bandit
    • "We're not bandits! We're noble pirates."
  • Convection Shmonvection: When Jolly U's blaster melts in his hand do to a well aimed shot from Kim he merely shakes the molten metal off his hand like its a minor nuisance.
  • Carrying a Cake: Kolya's grandmother wants the crew to deliver a "little" cake to Aldebaran. The cake is about the size of an arm chair.
    • Zelyony: "And that's called a little cake?!"
  • Criminal Doppelgänger: Glot poses as Doctor Verkhovtsev and is pursued by the Ushans for destroying the govorun birds
  • Cyanide Pill: Subverted Glot chomps down on one when his cover is blown. However Jolly U informs the crew that he's faking.
  • The Captain: Captains Kim and Buran. Zelyony would be as well, hadn't he been such an Eeyore.
    • Poloskov in the original (Zelyony was an engineer), who is also a significant character in a larger Bulychev milieu.
  • Casual Interstellar Travel: Characters effortlessly hop between star systems, the Govorun birds and Gromozeka don't even need ships.
  • The Cavalry Arrives Late: Gromozeka flies in brandishing a weapon in each of his six arms, including a sword and a laser submachinegun. Its a shame he's too late.
  • Con Man: Played With. In the rare animal market there is an Ushan selling invisible fish. Prof. Seleznyov thinks its a scam, but Alisa believes him and he gives her an invisibility hat. It works.
  • Don't Call Me "Sir": Selesnyov much prefers to be called "Professor" rather than "Captain", because he isn't. He's the head of the expedition and calls the shots, but he doesn't command their ship.
  • Dramatic Unmask: "Come on imposter, show us your true face!"
  • The Eeyore: Captain Zelyony, who has since became a quintessential pessimist in Russian SF.
  • Emotional Bruiser: Gromozeka gets offended easily, and is quite disappointed when his rescue comes too late.
  • Everything's Better with Cows: Skleess is a normal cow... with wings!
  • Hat of Power: Alisa gets an invisibility hat from an Ushan selling invisible fish
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: When two robots intercept Seleznyov and Alisa on their way from the ship Basov walks around the corner and surprises the assailants from behind. The robots turn around and fire their blasters, missing at point blank range. Justified since the robots were remote controlled and the operator may have been legitimately surprised by Basov.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Captain Kim is able to melt the bad guys' blasters out of their hands with well aimed shots
  • Latex Perfection: How Glot impersonates doctor Verkhovtsev throughout the film
  • Mecha-Mooks: Remote controlled robots toting blasters dressed in black Space Clothes
  • Mistook the Dominant Lifeform: Happens to Professor Selesnyov on an interstellar market. He approaches a humanoid shape made of floating orbs to ask him how much the bird he is asking costs... only for the bird to state that she is the one selling him.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Gromozeka weilds a weapon in each arm when he quite literally swoops in in to rescue the crew at the end.
  • Mythology Gag: In the books it is stated that "the govorun bird is not known for its mind and intelligence", in the movie the bird states "the govorun bird is known for its mind and intelligence"
  • No Kill Like Overkill: Gromozeka flyes in at the end wielding a sabre, an axe, a mauser, and a laser submachinegun.
  • Pint-Sized Kid: Alisa. Either she's too short for her 8, or both Zelyony and Professor are as tall as NBA players.
    • Most likely Selesnyov is unusually tall since he bumps his head on a doorframe through which Zelyony walks through normally.
  • Plucky Girl: Alisa, certainly.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: The cartoon takes a great liberty with the original novel, but that's to be expected — Soviet animation was never intended to make feature films and even miniseries were a rarity, so they had to heavily compress the original material.
  • Seadog Beard: Captain Zelyony sports a great one.
  • Scenery Porn: The third planet is beautiful with lush greenery, alien plants, alien formations, and purple mountain ranges.
  • Space Pirates: The stock villains of any Kir Bulychev story.