I mentioned the Sasha problem briefly in part 3, but I really don't care that much. If we sat down and commented on every questionable thing in this movie, we would be here for years
. And the thing's only thirty minutes long.
But let us not discuss the past! Let us move on to... the Russian
Part 4: A New Character Enters the Ring!
Fade into the next scene. This movie sure loves fading in and out of scenes, doesn’t it? There are other ways of transitioning, but clearly this is the one it likes best. Probably because the fade effect came included on their cheap-ass analog camcorder or something.
Anyway, fade into a crowd scene. A shocked crowd stares at a poster. You can tell they’re shocked because their mouths flap in unison while they make no sound whatsoever. Wait, there’s a kind of hushed whistling noise. It might be a dog whistle. Is that their attempt at Audience Murmurs
? Jeez, they can’t even do walla right? You can download a sound bite off the internet!
Anyway again, the poster they’re all looking at is a Wild West-style wanted poster. “Belohnung” says the poster; it’s German for “reward.” There is no helpful narrator for us this time, so I guess we’re just supposed to deal. Also, I get that they’re a German studio, but why is the poster in German, if this is set in Russia— actually, know what, I don’t want to know, the more questions I ask the more time it takes for me to get this over with. Ugh.
The reward is 10,000 rubles— which is a pretty small reward for finding a lost princess. 10,000 rubles is like less than 400 dollars or something— I’m pretty sure, with inflation in the 1920s, it was worth less in Russia at the time. Stuuuupid. But then I’m no economist; maybe the producers know more about period Russian finances.
The last part of the poster is a picture of Anastasia. In fact, it looks like a screenshot from earlier in the film, but in greyscale.
The hobo from the fire shows up again to spew more exposition. He tells us that the Grand Duchess still believes her granddaughter is alive. “She must be pretty mad,” he says. I don’t know if he means angry-mad or ha-ha-loony-bin-mad, but I like to think it’s the former. She seems like the type of person who would reunite with her grandchild after six years and just be like, “Where the hell have you
been all this time?!” And she’d say it in an annoying voice, too.
The villagers, most of whom were at the fire and don’t seem to have changed clothes in over six years, discuss the reward. They don’t discuss how much the lost princess looks like that girl they rescued from the fire six years ago, because they are dumbasses.
I have to stop and comment on Random Male Extra # 5 at 1:14, and his coat and boots. His coat looks like an open umbrella and his boots have heels so high it looks like he’s got cloven hooves. It wouldn’t surprise me if he actually were Satan, and this is some kind of cruel punishment from an inner circle of hell.
Moving along, we get a strange new character, who looks like he’ll be important because he’s drawn differently than everyone else. He’s wearing a long grey coat and stupid hat and wonders how many false Anastasias “will be pinned on HER (the grandmother)!” He has a voice that is waaaaay to deep for his looks— he looks like woman, or maybe Michael Jackson. He also has emo/hipster hair. And he’s throwing up the horns. Character design fail #87gajillionmillion, guys. But like I said, his design is different from the other villagers: Instead of goofy and cartoonish, his face is weirdly smooth, and kida girly.
Well, there you go. He’s Anastasia’s love interest. I’m calling it now. Everyone else in the movie looks oafish and disfigured and weird, so the two people who don’t are the hero and heroine. They can’t look goofy— Dingo Pictures wants their stars to look classy
He is actually drawn rather similarly to… Anastasia. I mean, Don Bluth’s Anastasia. That’s… weird. Wait, looking back, I think he was also on the cover of this thing. Did they… did Dingo Pictures make Anastasia’s Love Interest
look like Bluth’s Anastasia so they could put him on the cover to confuse potential buyers? They so totally did! They’re trying to trick buyers by making them think the man who is the main character’s male love interest is
the main female character! That’s so fucked up. Dingo Pictures: Dropping Bridgets
on unsuspecting viewers since I don‘t care when.
Anyway, I’m instantly proven right about him being a new main character, as out of nowhere, an old man who is not dressed for the Russian winter (isn’t it ever spring here?) shouts that the emo haired guy is a thief. “Therehe is the thief stop him. Stop.” You can really heard the concern in his voice.
“Oh dear,” says emo-haired man-boy. We get a mid-shot, which means detail on his face. The way the shadows fall is kind of… off, and he has thick, full lips, which make him look even more like a lady. “Oh dear that’s all I needed,” says the deep-voiced Dmitri rip-off. He, too, doesn’t sound concerned— concerned words are coming out of his mouth, but you can tell his heart‘s not in it. Maybe he really wants to get arrested. Or maybe his voice actor is just incompetent.
“Eh?” says hobo crutch man, and then we get a chase scene. Or, I think it’s a chase scene— no, no it isn’t. My bad, I thought something interesting was about to happen. It’s just the Dmitri thief-guy running away (in profile!) while everyone else watches.
These are the least helpful villagers in the world. First they hang around while the tsar’s palace burns down and don’t even attempt to put out the fire, then they mistake the princess of the country for a servant, and now they’re just letting this guy run away. They’re not even trying to stop him. These guys are jerks!
To make everything worse (because if there’s one thing Dingo Pictures can do it’s prove things can always get worse), there is no sound while this happens. No chase music, no sounds of shuffling, no cries of anguish— nothing. It’s just quiet. The only sound is the humming of my laptop. It just makes the whole situation even more
awkward and slow-paced.
Next time you see a movie, any movie, take a moment, please, and think about the composers and sound designers. Their job is to take lulls just like this one and transform them into moments of joy, of tension, of horror, of action— take moments of awkward silence and turn them into scenes of beauty and emotion. Remember that without these artists, the movie would be less complete. The movie would be less meaningful. The movie would be… more like Dingo Pictures’ Anastasia
Remember that, and think of them.
Anyway for the fourth time, back to the movie. The emo thief is name dropped so I don’t have to keep making up silly nicknames for him: He is Boris Klavaky, a town swindler. They complain about his various misdeeds: He stole 200 rubbles from the old coatless man, delivered someone water that was supposed to be vodka (the Russian stereotypes just leap off the screen), and sold rotten tomatoes to the hobo’s brother-in-law. I wish I
had some rotten tomatoes, so I could THROW THEM AT MY COMPUTER SCREEN.
“It’s really about time we put a stop to his game,” says the old, coatless man. The villagers agree; they must have downloaded some walla clips like I suggested, because there are actual noises coming out of their mouths now. Except they are all still flapping their mouths in unison. Oh well, one thing at a time, Dingo Pictures. Baby steps.
Dmitri— I mean, Boris is still running (or rather, doing his best impression of a man running; he, too, suffers from Walking Paralyzed Jig Syndrome), but now he’s out of the town and in the wilderness. Your friend and mine, Dramatic Midi Bongos, shows up again; something important must be about to happen!
Oh, no, it just fades away really quickly. Well, that was disappointing.
Oh look, it’s Bambi! Bambi with an enormous head! Another pointless animal shot— thanks, Dingo Pictures! ‘Cause the movie didn’t have enough of those!
“You’re safe,” he says to Bambi. “No one’s close on YOUR heels but I have to disappear from Moscow!” That was Moscow? How is that Moscow? There are like eight people in that place. It’s a village, it’s not the fucking capital city. All these establishing shots, and they couldn’t even establish the city right? GAH.
More pointless animal shots— a headshot of Bambi and a hopping bunny. I guess that’s Thumper. They must be reusing material from Goldie
, Dingo Pictures‘ rip-off of Bambi. Run away, Bambi! Run far, far away! Go toward the hunters— at least they’ll offer you the sweet release of death!
So Boris is off to St. Petersburg apparently. And I guess he’s walking there. It’s… kinda a long way to St. Petersburg from Moscow, but after butchering politics, physics, biology, graphic design, plot, composition, suspense, editing, and animation itself, taking some liberties with geography seems rather mundane.
We get a shot of Boris walking in the snow. From a distance, he actually looks a lot
like Anya from Bluth’s Anastasia
. Who’s supposed to be the heroine of this movie, again?
It starts to snow heavily, and Boris starts running. (Need I mention he runs in profile? Lazy, lazy, lazy animators.)
Let me take a moment to talk about snow. I live in Canada. I have seen a lot of snow, I have been caught in many snowstorms. I have driven through whiteouts, I have walked hip-deep through snowdrifts, I have survived raging blizzards. And I have seen flurries. Flurries are really big snowflakes that don’t do much damage; they are light and fluffy and are never scary, ever. The type of snow Boris is walking through is flurries. There is no tension in this scene, because there is no threat. Flurries are not dangerous. Flurries are annoying, but they are not dangerous. Being trapped outside with flurries is no more dangerous than being trapped outside in the cold any time else. If he was going to travel to St. Petersburg, he would have to sleep outside anyway. This is no more dangerous than what he was doing anyway. Ergo, it is not dangerous, ergo, it is not interesting.
Long story short, this snowstorm blows chunks. But anyway, I digress. I seem to do that a lot.
YET ANOTHER establishing shot, this time of a cabin. I have never seen this cabin before, but I assume this is Anatasia/Asha’s house. Wow! How lucky that Boris should happen to run into this particular
house, where this particular
person lives! Astonishing! Extraordinary coincidence! I wish the writers would die!
Boris knocks on the door; Asha’s orange-coated foster father, who also has not changed clothes in six years, says he doesn’t want to buy anything. Ha, ha, get it? He mistook a man freezing to death from flurries for a salesman! Oh ho ho ho ho— too amusing.
Boris appears at the door and says, “I don’t want to sell anything I just want to take shelter here please let me in.” Wow. I think that’s the worst line so far for not taking breaths. I mean, wow. And when did he open the door? Did he just let himself in? How rude! Well, I guess he is a thief, he doesn’t really care about manners, but then again he is
begging for shelter. He could at least manage some courtesy.
Orange coat dude asks Boris his name. This seems really unfair, because orange coat dude never gave Asha HIS name when he invited her to live with him. I still don’t know his name— he’s just “orange coat dude,” or “the man with the womanly voice,” or “she-man of the orange coat.” I’m running out of names.
Boris, of course, gives his full, real name. Because people who live just outside Moscow won’t have any idea who he is; it’s not like people interact with one another and gossip or anything. And it’s not like he’s infamous in the villag— er, city or anything. *
So orange-coat let Boris in because he “CAN’T continue with this horrible weather” of sinister flurries. “Be quiet,” he continues, after just shouting that Boris CAN’T continue with this horrible weather, “my daughter is alrrrready asleep.“ I don’t get this guy’s accent, but that’s the least of my worries. The fact that this movie is only half-way through is the most of them.
And we end on another shot of the dog. I just realized, this dog actually shows up in several Dingo Pictures movies. She/he is one of the main characters in Animal’s Soccer Match
(in that movie, the dog is a boy, but then all the voices are dubbed by two Dutch guys, so everyone sounds like a guy), and he/she/it also appears in Goldie
. Also, apparently Rasputin himself is heavily based off the villain from Dingo’s Aladin
(yes, with one D). So this movie really is just a Frankenstein film composed of the crap parts of other crap movies. Hooray!
And so, the scene over, we get another fade out. But what is the fade out on? The house, to give some sense that the people are sleeping? Asha herself, so we can see her adult self? Something, at least, that isn’t moving? No, the fade out is ON THAT FUCKING DOG BARKING! AT LEAST FADE OUT ON SOMETHING THAT MAKES SENSE! DON’T FADE OUT ON A FUCKING BARKING DOG WHILE IT’S STILL MOVING IT MAKES NO SENSE IT LOOKS TERRIBLE WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT ARGH HATE I HATE THIS MOVIE WHAT IS GOING ON I DON’T EVEN ARRRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHH!
To be continued…
edited 26th Apr '10 4:29:07 PM by Ronka87