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Animation / Armenfilm Animated Shorts

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Armenfilm studio cartoons created by Robert Sahakyants and famous for their unique animation. A few of them are available on Youtube with English subtitles.

Tropes in all Armenfilm shorts:

  • Anachronism Stew: The plot and setting of old Armenian stories are mixed up with numerous references to Soviet life.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: A literal example; expect lots of random scenes showing fishes eating other fishes.
  • Shout-Out: To Russian folk tales (for instance, a squirrel cracking diamonds; a princess frog catching arrows; and a boy sitting on turtle's back with a golden key, which is a reference to Buratino.

Tropes in individual shorts:

Three Blue, Blue Lakes of Crimson Color (1981)

A short parodying the tendency of hunters to exaggerate size of their prey
  • Rule of Three: Three lakes, three villages, three apples.
  • Tempting Apple: The three apples at the end for "those who listened and believed" is an allusion to the typical ending of Armenian folktales.

Who will tell a fable? (1982)

A king announces a contest in which contenders have to tell a tale and if king will not believe it, he gets to take half the kingdom. On the other hand, if the king thinks fit to decide that the tale is plausible enough, he will take all of the contender's belongings. Based on the folktale "The Liar (folktale)".
  • Xanatos Gambit: In the end, if the king said he didn't believe the child's story about owing him money, he'd have to give him have the kingdom. If he did believe it, he'd have to pay up.

Wow, a Talking Fish! (1983)

A poor fisherman is given a magic table by a kindly wizard who happens to have a small condition...
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The released fish destroys the monster, saving the fisherman and his wife
  • Faux Affably Evil: Ekh maintains a pleasant (albeit creepy) facade of kindness when he first meets the fisherman, but after he gives the table to the fisherman, he takes a much more malicious tone.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: At the end of his meeting with the fisherman, Ekh's leg transforms into a naked woman.
  • Logic Bomb: A stranger mindscrews Ekh till he explodes.
  • National Stereotypes: No matter how he shapeshifts, Ekh usually wears a Turkish fez.
  • Perpetually Protean: Ekh shapeshifts on a near-constant basis in a manner as bizarre as the general atmosphere of the movie. At first appearing in the form of a Draconic Humanoid with two mouths, he randomly sprouts the face of Santa Claus and becomes a snowy hillside, then appears as himself again, inverts his body so that his hindquarters become his head, transforms into an ape, then unzips his own skin to reveal himself as a dragon again!
  • Product Placement: To aggravate Anachronism Stew, both Ekh and the stranger are wearing Adidas gear, which was trendy in USSR in the 1980s. Nope, authors gained no money from this joke.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Ekh, while often changing forms, is usually a green-skinned draconian monster most of the time.

Marty Gra (1985)

A corrupt land-owner robs a farmer, and his son decides to take it back.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: The boy dresses up as a snowman... and the landowner asks him for directions.

Deep blue Sea, light white foam (1984)

A fisherman and his grandson find a bottle with an evil sorcerer trapped inside. The sorcerer decided to take the boy who released him as an apprentice. The cartoon's song is probably the best known part of it.
  • Not Quite Back to Normal: Sort of. After the boy turns back from a fish to a man (going through evolutionary stages), he's dressed in his old clothes instead of the clothes the wizard gave him... and holds a stone hammer in his hand.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: princess looks like a 'normal' mermaid except that her head is a fish too
  • Really 700 Years Old: The sorcerer promises the boy will live 2 000 years - and marry his daughter in 300 or so.
  • Shape Shifter Mode Lock: The boy, after learning how to shapeshift, tries to flee, but is informed he didn't learn the counterspell.

An Axe (1994)

Based on a short story Brother Axe by Hovhannes Tumanyan. A village had no woodcutting tools and people were getting firewood in most primitive ways — using their hands and teeth. A passing woodcutter gave them an axe. But the villagers didn't know how to use it, maimed themselves and destroyed their village.
  • Amusing Injuries: Like an axe wedged in a man's skull. The man is still alive and doesn't even feel much pain.
  • And I Must Scream: People frozen inside ice blocks seem to be alive and waiting for spring to thaw them. Well, still better than frozen to death.
  • Dark Humour: People get maimed, probably freeze to death, are left homeless in the middle of the winter... Yet it's so over the top, you will smile if not laugh.
  • No OSHA Compliance: People don't know how to use an axe. Or how to handle hot objects in flammable houses.
  • The Unintelligible: There are no words in the cartoon, just exclamation of joy and pain. Thus no need to translate the dialogs.


Video Example(s):


Ekh's Introduction

The shapeshifting sorcerer Ekh appears before a luckless fisherman, constantly transforming as he does so.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / PerpetuallyProtean

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