Follow TV Tropes


Film / Rolli – Amazing Tales

Go To

Rolli – Amazing Tales (Finnish: Rölli – hirmuisia kertomuksia) is a 1991 Finnish children's fantasy-comedy film directed by Olli Soinio. It is the first feature-length film based on the children's television character Rφlli. Allu Tuppurainen, the musician and actor who created and portrayed Rölli in the television series, not only portrayed Rölli in the film, but also composed the movie's songs as he did in the television series. However, the film doesn't have much similarities with the television series, other than the characters of Rölli and the Big Rölli, as well as Rölli's attire, and the setting place being the Rölli Forest.

The film begins with Rölli meeting and befriending the Forest Fairy (Maahiskeiju) after they escape from the clutches of the Big Rölli (Suuri/Iso Rölli). Toy industrialists Seesteinen and Lerkkanen arrive in the Rölli Forest with the intention to establish there an amusement center. However, they're soon forcefully recruited as two of the evil Trashers (Roskanheittäjät), a cult of black-clad litterbugs who're led by the High Priest of the Kingdom of Evil. The Trashers worship the Great Trash (Suuri Roska), a destructive deity that appears as a large disgusting head. Intending to destroy the Rölli Forest, the Trashers spread everywhere junk and trash for the forest residents to marvel and fight over. Only the Forest Fairy understands how the strange and numerous human goods are destroying the forest and tries to convince Rölli to see that. It takes relentlessness and reconciliation before the Trashers can be stopped and the Rölli Forest saved.

The film won three Jussi Awards in 1992. Two of the Awards were Best Costume Design and Best Make-Up. The third Award, Best Supporting Actress, was won by Sari Mällinen for her portrayal of the Forest Fairy.

This film provides example of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Big Rölli is implied to be one for the Forest Fairy. After she hits his head with a broomstick, he keeps the handless broom. He's later happy to spot her in the Trashers' cave and starts brushing his hair with her broom.
  • Accidental Hero: Big Rölli in the climax. He enters the Trashers' lair when Rölli and the Forest Fairy are bound and all the other forest inhabitants are converted into Trashers. He doesn't much understand what's going on, yet semi-accidentally he ends up causing the destruction of the Great Trash and the lair when the broom he has ends up down the throat of the Great Trash.
  • Androcles' Lion: Invoked right in the beginning and later double subverted. When Rölli wants to fell the giant old tree, it pleads for him to spare it, promising to repay the debt if it can. When Rölli is trying to evade the Trashers near the ending, he hides behind the tree and asks for its help, but the Trashers capture him and take him away as the tree pities Rölli. Later the tree finally repays its debt by letting itself fall all over the High Priest before the villain can kill Rölli and the Forest Fairy.
  • Agony of the Feet: The Forest Fairy frees Rölli from the Big Rölli's grasp by hitting on his foot with a log.
  • Back Blocking: After the car of Seesteinen and Lerkkanen has been veered off the road, the Trashers come to take them. The screen's filled by one Trasher's back, and the scene cuts to the captives being brought before the Great Trash.
  • Bald of Evil: The Corrupt Corporate Executive Seesteinen is bald.
  • Big Bad: The High Priest of the Kingdom of Evil. Though he's technically The Dragon to the Great Trash, he has a lot more screen-time and takes forward the Evil Plan by giving orders to the other Trashers and making their plans. After the Great Trash has died, the High Priest threatens to rekindle the Trashers and his plans to destroy the Rölli Forest. His death puts a stop to this threat.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": When Rölli's listing products he wants from Seesteinen who's pretending to be a wish-granting elf, Seesteinen can hardly write them all down in his laptop. Finally losing his patience, Seesteinen roars Rölli to shut up before he quickly covers that slip.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: The High Priest and his Trashers are fully open about the fact that they advocate evil through pollution.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Forest Fairy has an hairbrush, and when she hits the Big Rölli in the head with a broomstick, he ends up keeping the loosened broom. Both items prove to be essential in the climax when it's revealed that the Trashers fear brushes.
  • The Chessmaster: The High Priest works phase by phase to destroy the Rölli Forest. This includes getting Seesteinen and Lerkkanen abducted and forcefully recruited, and getting rid of the Forest Fairy by destroying her friendship with Rölli.
  • Collapsing Lair: The Trashers' underground lair begins crumbling and rocks start falling when the Great Trash gets a broom down his throat.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Seesteinen runs a company that owns most of the country's toy and entertainment industry. Believing that the more goods there are, the happier people are, he plans to buy the Rölli Forest, hack it down and build in its place the largest amusement center in the country.
  • Death Song: "Suuren Roskan tuho" ("Destruction of the Great Trash") is sung by the Great Trash as the Trashers' lair crumbles and he's crushed under the falling rocks.
  • Devious Daggers: The High Priest holds a large ritual dagger, and he eventually tries to kill with it Rölli and the Forest Fairy.
  • Dub Name Change: Though the movie's not dubbed from Finnish, the subtitles give some characters differencing names.
    • The film's original title "Hirmuisia kertomuksia" translates as "terrible/terrifying stories".
    • While the name of Maahiskeiju (the Forest Fairy) contains the word fairy (keiju), the word Maahis comes from the word maahinen (gnome or brownie).
    • The subtitles change the name of Reino Seesteinen into Raymond Serene, while Yrjö Lerkkanen becomes George Larky.
  • Dumb Muscle: Big Rölli.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: The Great Trash asks in his personal Villain Song why anyone would care about forests and the future in the face of common greed.
  • Evil Duo: The ambitious toy industrialist Seesteinen and his inept butler Lerkkanen.
  • Eviler than Thou: The High Priest takes this stance when he observes Seesteinen and Lerkkanen. He soon has them effortlessly abducted and forcibly recruited as henchmen.
  • Evil Plan: The Trashers intend to destroy the Rölli Forest through pollution and increase their numbers.
  • Evil Wears Black: All the Trashers wear black cloaks and black helmets/hats.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Big Rölli chews and swallows a soda can.
  • Faceless Goons: With the exception of the High Priest, all the Trashers — Seesteinen and Lerkkanen included — cover their faces with black masks.
  • Facial Horror: When the High Priest escapes into the Rölli Forest, his face starts deteriorating because of the light and purity of the forest.
  • Fancy Camping: When they go to explore the Rölli Forest, Seesteinen and Lerkkanen bring a lot of junk with them.
  • Fat Bastard: Though the Great Trash is only a giant head, its face is rather plump.
  • Friendly Address Privileges: Played for Laughs when Seesteinen and Lerkkanen think they're done for as the High Priest approaches them with his knife. They give each other their first names before the High Priest cuts their bindings. After they've been converted into Trashers, Seesteinen returns them to Last-Name Basis. However, as they flee in the ending, Seesteinen starts using Lerkkanen's first name again.
    Lerkkanen: Goodbye, Mr. Seesteinen.
    Seesteinen: Just Reino.
    Lerkkanen: Yrjö. Difficult to shake hands.
    Seesteinen: A bit. Goodbye, Yrjö.
    [they're released from their bindings, converted into Trashers, and ordered to go to the Rölli Forest]
    Lerkkanen: What do we do now, Reino?
    Seesteinen: Lerkkanen, don't you ask, do as you're told.
  • Good Counterpart: The talking old tree is this to the Great Trash who's a talking giant head. While the Great Trash represents pollution and is worshiped by the evil Trashers, the old tree represents the purity of nature, and after it has finished off the High Priest by falling all over him, he's treated like a deity in the song "Me ollaan hänen lapsiaan".
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Evil: The protagonists Rölli and the Forest Fairy come into conflict with the Big Rölli, Seesteinen, Lerkkanen and the Trashers. However, only the Trashers (or more specifically, the High Priest and the Great Trash who brainswashes the other Trashers into his servitude) are unambiguously evil. Seesteinen and his butler Lerkkanen do litter unthinkingly before they're forcibly recruited as the Trashers, and Seesteinen wants to hack the Rölli Forest down and build in its place an amusement center. However, Seesteinen genuinely believes that higher consumption will increase happiness, while Lerkkanen comes off as a credulous servant. The Big Rölli in turn doesn't really do much harm even though the protagonists fear him, and he ends up being essential in bringing the Trashers down.
  • Implied Love Interest: Rölli's friendship with the Forest Fairy is implied to be deeper than that, but it's never brought to that territory.
  • Intoxication Ensues: Seesteinen gives Rölli a bottle of Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey, lying that it's a magic potion that'll give him courage and happiness. Rölli ends up breaking his window, falling through the roof of his house and driving the Forest Fairy away.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The High Priest is the one antagonist who's never played for laughs and who means business in every scene he appears in. Even after the Great Trash is killed, the other Trashers are freed from his influence, their headquarters are destroyed, and the High Priest suffers facial disfigurement, he remains a menacing figure who brandishes his knife to kill Rölli and the Forest Fairy before he's gruesomely crushed by a falling tree. No other Rölli villain before or after has been as terrifying as the High Priest.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: When the Great Trash swallows a broom and starts convulsing, the Trashers' lair crumbles.
  • Low Clearance: Big Rölli is knocked out of Seesteinen and Lerkkanen's speeding jeep by a branch.
  • Manipulative Bastard: By pretending to be an invisible, wish-granting elf, Seesteinen convinces Rölli that filling the Rölli Forest with human goods will bring everyone happiness.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Rölli when he wakes up and remembers how mean he was to the Forest Fairy while intoxicated. It's intensified when he realizes she has left from the Rölli Forest.
  • No Body Left Behind: When the old tree falls on the High Priest, only his clothes remain. Rölli lampshades this.
    Rölli: His coat became quite empty!
  • One-Man Army: When Big Rölli stumbles upon the Trashers' lair, they try to capture him before they realize he has a broom, but they're unable to subdue the big and strong creature.
  • Only Sane Man: The Forest Fairy is the only resident of the Rölli Forest who thinks about what damage the large amounts of junk will cause if allowed to spread. The High Priest recognizes her as a threat because of this.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: The Great Trash spends the majority of the movie being disgusting and taciturn, letting the High Priest to do all the order-giving. However, when he's about to be crushed under boulders, he steals the scene with his hammy Villain Song "Suuren Roskan tuho" ("Destruction of the Great Trash").
  • Oracular Head: The Great Trash is a big hideous head whose vomit turns people into Trashers.
  • The Quiet One: The Great Trash has very little to say during the entire movie, with his own hammy Villain Song being the major exception.
  • Religion of Evil: The sinister Trashers spread pollution in the name of their hideous deity, the Great Trash who brainwashes and baptizes the victims by vomiting on them.
    The High Priest: We believe in the Great Trash, the Almighty Destroyer of the world, begotten by carelessness, born of greed. Oh, Great Trash! Wilt thou take these two as thy servants and baptize them as Trashers and Spreaders of Filth?
    The Great Trash: I will.
  • Say My Name: After finding out that the Forest Fairy has moved away, Rölli searches for her futilely, finally going to a cliff to shout her name.
  • Scarecrow Solution: When Rölli and the Forest Fairy find Seesteinen and Lerkkanen littering and making noise, they disguise themselves as a giant to scare them. It fails miserably.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: As the Great Trash dies and the Trashers' base crumbles, all the Trashers flee while discarding their uniforms. Seesteinen and Lerkkanen agree to start a new life as they flee from the forest.
  • Shout-Out: Near the end of "Röllin tavaralaulu" ("Rölli's ware song"), Rölli's hairstyle changes to that of Leningrad Cowboys.
  • Signature Headgear: Seesteinen wears a hunt cap while Lerkkanen wears a bowler hat. When they're converted into Trashers, they retain their (already black) headgear instead of having to wear the helmets worn by the Faceless Goons. The High Priest in turn wears a black skullcap.
  • Sinister Minister: The High Priest of the Kingdom of Evil leads the evil Trashers as the spokesman of their deity.
  • Sinister Surveillance: The Trashers have a large surveillance room from where the High Priest monitors what happens in the Rölli Forest.
  • Slasher Smile: The High Priest is a frequent user of this expression.
  • Solemn Ending Theme: The film ends with Rölli and the Forest Fairy singing the rather melancholy "Me ollaan hänen lapsiaan" ("We are his/her children") song that resembles at the same time an eulogy for the old tree that let itself fall to rescue them from the High Priest and a praise for the purity of the forest surviving. The song plays over the credits.
  • Stab the Salad: When the High Priest brandishes his knife and approaches the captured Seesteinen and Lerkkanen menacingly, they assume they're done for and exchange their first names with each other... only for the High Priest to cut their ropes and force them to be baptized by the Great Trash.
  • Super Spit: The Great Trash turns people into Trashers by barfing on them.
  • Totem Pole Trench: In order to scare Seesteinen and Lerkkanen for their littering and noisemaking, Rölli and the Forest Fairy pretend to be a giant, with the Forest Fairy sitting on Rölli's shoulders while she wears Lerkkanen's hat, uses her long hair as a makeshift beard, and covers them with a quilt. This disguise, combined with Rölli's clumsy threats, only makes the men confused rather than scared, and the quilt soon falls off.
  • Villain in a White Suit: The Corrupt Corporate Executive Seesteinen wears a white suit, though he has to don the Trashers' black uniform.
  • Villain Song: Two of them; "Roskanheittäjien messu" ("The Trashers' mass") and "Suuren Roskan tuho" ("Destruction of the Great Trash"). The latter's an interesting example because it's sung while said villain is dying.
  • Weakened by the Light: As soon as he enters the Rölli Forest, the face of the High Priest turns ashen because of the forest light.
    The High Priest: The light and purity of your accursed forest, they disfigure the face of Evil. My face, mine!
  • When Trees Attack: Just as the High Priest is about to kill Rölli and the Forest Fairy, the old tree kills him instead by falling right over him.
  • Wise Tree: Rölli finds in the beginning a large old tree and intends to make firewood out of it before it starts talking. Advising Rölli to use dead branches as firewood, the tree says that trees are worth protection and can protect others as well.