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Animation / I'll Return as the Rain

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The famous scene of Guda-Guda and the girl on a cloud.

"Look at those rainbows, so many colors, let's have fun together!"
— The girl singing the first verse of Rainbows

I'll Return as the Rain (Georgian: Me Ts'vimad Moval/მე წვიმად მოვალ) is a Soviet Georgian animated musical short directed by Givi Kasradze, with music composed by pop songwriter Aleksandre Basilaia.

The short starts in the beginnings of spring in rural Georgia. Born from a avalanche in the lonely mountains with nothing else but a raven to play with, Guda-Guda the snowman finds himself with nothing but a love for music to keep himself company.

While playing icicles to pass the time, he is accompanied by a distant song from below and notices a singing girl. After accidentally falling down to a messy introduction, Guda-Guda and the girl form a friendship with their love of music, flowers, and bubbles. The two go on many adventures in their environment, with nothing but fun to be had.

First airing in circa spring 1986, the short was distributed by the company Georgian Film Studio, then known as "Kartuli-Pilmi". It was later released in Russia and other USSR states under a different dub. In the coming decades in its home country, the short has since become popular among the Georgian public leading to the creation of a remake under the name Tovlis-Gunda (Georgian for "snowman") with a contemporary setting in 2018.

View the original Georgian version here and the Russian dub here. The 2018 remake can be found here.

I'll Return as the Rain provides examples of:

  • Animation Bump: The short is normally a gentle-paced romp, but during the ''Rainbows'' segment, the animation becomes a lot more lively with Guda-Guda and the girl gaining much more highlights and shading while dancing. Similarly, when Guda-Guda and the girl fly to the clouds, the animation significantly improves. See Depending on the Artist.
  • Balloonacy: Following his introduction to bubble solution by the girl, Guda-Guda blows massive bubbles out of the solution and uses them to fly into the sky.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The girl had fun throughout the day with Guda-Guda even as he comes back to her as a cloud, but it's implied that he will stay that way and there's no telling if he'll ever come back again.
  • Black Bead Eyes: As a snowman, Guda-Guda has black dots for eyes.
  • Counterpoint Duet: High up in the mountains, Guda-Guda accidentally does this with the girl as he plays the icicles, which leads to Guda-Guda looking for the girl.
  • Depending on the Artist: Some of the animators and inkers from another Georgian Film Studio short Sizmara were brought to do animation for the short and it shows; there are entire scenes where the viewer can tell what group animated which (the flat-colored, exaggerated portions are by the Sizmara team, and the shaded gentle portions are by the regular GFS team). Guda-Guda changes shape several times throughout the short and the girl's sclera changes very often to white to tan, depending on what group of animators worked on it.
  • Delayed "Oh, Crap!": After a trip through the skies, Guda-Guda buries himself onto a snowpile. At first, the girl doesn't know why Guda-Guda's suddenly lethargic and moist. Then she looks up. The sun is out. Guda-Guda's a snowman. This is not good.
  • Friendship Song: Rainbows is a song about Guda-Guda and the girl sharing their interests, as well as exploring the grassy hills around them.
  • Flying on a Cloud: Guda-Guda attaches balloons to a cloud and flies on it with the girl.
  • Human Snowball: As Guda-Guda is thrown around by the harsh winds of the mountains, he tries to reach the ground to find the singing girl but not before he's blown into the snow and starts rolling downhill. Now accumulating giant loads of snow during his descent, he lands as a massive snowball nearby the now-startled girl.
  • I'm Melting!: Once the sun is out, Guda-Guda (a snowman) begins silently melting much to the girl's horror. She tries bringing more snow to Guda-Guda to offset the melting, but by the time she returns Guda-Guda has already transformed to runoff, floating away as he makes the journey through the water cycle.
  • Interspecies Friendship: After failing to make friends with a raven, Guda-Guda makes friends with a human girl.
  • Leitmotif: Guda-Guda's soliloquy and the girl's song are these.
  • Minimalist Cast: There are only three characters in the short; Guda-Guda, the raven, and the girl.
  • Mood Whiplash: The short is normally cheery and fantastical until the final act, where it becomes a tragedy.
  • No Name Given: The girl is never given a name in the short itself or in the promotional material. The internet has taken to just calling her "The Girl/Gogona".
  • Same Language Dub: A common practice for shorts during Soviet times, both the original Georgian version of the short and its other USSR releases use the exact same Georgian dialogue. In fact, there are a few parts in the Russian dub where the audio is exactly the same as in the Georgian version!
  • Screen-to-Stage Adaptation: After the Soviet times, I'll Return as the Rain managed to be popular enough to result in a play being produced by the Group Princesses during the 2010s. Based on Guda-Guda's soliloquy, it features the dancers singing alongside Guda-Guda, who is played by a actor in a full-body costume.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: The raven that Guda-Guda approaches glides off to the other hills, where Guda-Guda follows and later plays the nearby icicles, which in turn kickstarts the plot of the short.
  • Solid Clouds: Guda-Guda and the girl land on a cloud and fly on it... but the other clouds are also solid, causing the girl to get knocked off when they pass another cloud. Puzzled before seeing her hanging on for dear life, Guda-Guda quickly pulls her up from falling.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: After many fantastical adventures involving clouds, flowers, balloons, and much more, the day ends with Guda-Guda melting because the sun was out.
  • Snowlems: Guda-Guda is of the "friendly" variety.
  • Spoiler Title: I'll Return as the Rain very aptly describes the last act of the short, bordering on being Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • Thinking Out Loud: Guda-Guda starts off his first few moments performing a soliloquy; observing how there's almost no one and nothing in the mountains to play with.
    Guda-Guda: Oh, Guda-Guda, I am the snowman, is there anyone here who wants to play...?
    Maybe... someone wants to?
    You don't have to!
    Guda-Guda, I am the snowman...
    I wonder if I should play or not?
    ...or not...

The remake, Tovlis-Gunda, provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Mundanity: Tovlis-Gunda removes many of the fantastical, dream-esque elements from the original short in place for much more mundane events like Guda-Guda and the girl sledding down hills.
  • All-CGI Cartoon: This remake is animated entirely in CGI.
  • Compressed Adaptation: Tovlis-Gunda runs over six and a half minutes compared to the original I'll Return as the Rain's 10 minutes, mainly due to many of the scenes either being shortened, changed, or removed entirely. Interestingly, the cloud scene is completely gone.

I am now part of the sky...
It flew me away from you.
Remember me?
Gap, gap, gap, gap
I have now become the rain.

Alternative Title(s): Gogona Da Tovlis Gunda, Me Cvimad Moval