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Animation / Town Musicians of Bremen

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A Soviet-animated musical made in 1969, loosely based on the story of The Bremen Town Musicians.

It had one direct sequel, On the Trail of the Bremen Town Musicians, made by the same creative group in 1973. Another sequel was released in 2000, called The New Bremen Musicians.

The original short and its sequel are available on YouTube with (rhyming) English subtitles:

Not to be confused with the German adaptation of the same fairy tale The Fearless Four and/or the Spanish adaptation Los Trotamúsicos.


This short provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Expansion: The entire main plot with the Troubadour, the Princess and the King doesn't exist in the original.
  • Anachronism Stew: The architecture is medieval, the royal court looks like something from The Three Musketeers, and the heroes' fashions are straight from The '60s!
  • Badass Baritone: The Donkey. It even almost sounds like a Basso Profundo.
  • Bound and Gagged: The King (by the musicians when they pretend to be robbers).
  • Clark Kenting: The instant the musicians alter their appearance even slightly, they become unrecognizable to other characters. It can be somewhat justified in the first cartoon when they are disguised as robbers (since the King and his guards might be too scared to pay attention), but in the second cartoon, they (except for the Troubadour) are in a Paper-Thin Disguise of a foreign rock band, and neither the King, the Princess, the genius detective, nor the crowds who have attended their previous performances see through it.
  • Advertisement:
  • Demoted to Extra: The outlaws in the sequel have even less screen time than in the first cartoon and don't have any bearing on the plot.
  • Dirty Coward:
    • The King's guards don't even try to fight for the King.
    • The outlaws aren't much better. The Troubadour's stage costume and the rest of the musicians' Silly Animal Sounds are enough to send them running for their lives.
  • Engineered Heroics: Downplayed. The heroes engage in this, posing as robbers to capture the King and then as themselves to free him. Since their goal was to overcome a Parental Marriage Veto, it is seen as a good thing. However, before that, they do scare off actual outlaws who had an actual plan to rob the King.
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal / Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: Depending on the scene and the animal. For example, the Rooster only wears sunglasses and the Cat sports naught but a bow tie, while the Donkey is wearing jeans and a hat.
  • Hot Gypsy Woman: The leader of the outlaws.
  • Lookalike Lovers: The Princess and the Troubador are both slender, golden-haired, and dressed in red.
  • Love at First Sight: The Princess and the Troubadour.
  • Match Cut: The moon turns into the outlaws' sigil.
  • Miles Gloriosus: The King's guards. They boast of how they are always alert and ready and then curl in fright at the first sign of danger.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed:
    • The outlaw trio are designed after the Comic Trio of Nikulin, Vitsin and Morgunov who had series of popular slapstick comedies.
    • The king is modeled after Erast Garin's performance as the king in Cinderella (1947).
  • Rebellious Princess: She runs away from the palace to travel the world with her beloved and their friends.
  • Shave And A Haircut: In the first cartoon, at around 4:30.
  • She's Got Legs: The Princess, especially in the sequel.
  • The '60s: Thigh-high miniskirt, square goggles and rock'n'roll! And yes, it is a Soviet cartoon.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: The chicken sometimes disappears off-screen midway through musical numbers, without explanation or this being noticed by the other characters.
  • Sung-Through Musical: All three films have no spoken dialogue, with all events conveyed via music and song.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: The King's guards boast about loading cannons whenever they see a sparrow. Guess they've never read Confucius. Probably, though, they are just such cowards that they see said sparrow as a legitimate threat.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Boiled eggs, for the King.
  • Villain Song: Two villain songs in the first movie – one real and one faked by the Troubadour and the musicians.
  • Walking the Earth: The musicians' lifestyle, which the Princess happily embraces from the end of the first movie onwards.