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Series / Süsü, a sárkány

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Süsü, a sárkány ("Süsü the Dragon") is a Hungarian Hand Puppet television series. Nine episodes were created between 1976 and 1984, the first being an 53-minute pilot, followed by eight 30-minute episodes. It follows the adventures of a young dragon who was exiled from the dragon kingdom for being too gentle, and accepted into the royal family of a nearby human kingdom.

The stories were also released in book format. A sequel series called Süsüke, a sárkánygyerek ("Süsüke the Dragon-child") was created in 2001, but it never became as popular as the original series.

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Compare Dragon and Slipper, a somewhat less child-oriented animated film, also from Hungary, and also featuring kings, knights and a reluctant dragon.


Tropes:

  • Arranged Marriage: Between Süsü and the Girl Dragon in the last episode. Despite Süsü's initial worries, it becomes a Perfectly Arranged Marriage.
  • Beard of Evil: Torzonborz has a bushy black beard.
  • Big Bad: Torzonborz, the ruler of the neighbouring kingdom, who schemes to take over the kingdom Süsü lives in. He only appears in three of the nine episodes, though.
  • Big Brother Bully: Süsü's older siblings mock and bully him for being a one-headed runt.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Süsü basically treats the Young Prince as his younger brother.
  • Breath Weapon: Süsü, being a dragon, has a fire-breathing ability. He only uses it to help people though, such as burning charcoal or lighting the fire in an oven, and never hurts any person with it (not even the villains).
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  • Chasing a Butterfly: Süsü is quite obsessed with butterflies; he loves to run after them, even though he never catches them. This is in line with his gentle, childlike personality.
  • Cowardly Lion: Süsü is really timid for a dragon.
  • Damsel in Distress: The Princess is afraid that she'll become this if Süsü kidnaps her. She even sings about it.
  • Distant Duet: The "I Am" Song the Vagabond Prince and the Princess share is this: the Princess sings about how she's about to get kidnapped, and the Prince sings about how bold and helpful he is.
  • Dumb Is Good: Süsü is a naive simpleton, and the most benevolent dragon you could find. Also see Meaningful Name.
  • Engineered Heroics: The pilot episode provides an inversion. The Prince and Süsü stages a fight that the Prince deliberately loses, so that the lonely dragon can kidnap the Princess not feel alone again.
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  • Everything Is Better With Princesses: The Princess; although she becomes a Queen once the Vagabond Prince is crowned.
  • Gag Nose: The magic flower makes the noses of malevolent people grow long. The Dragonweed Vendor already had a long nose before that.
  • Generation Xerox: The Young Prince looks exactly like a child version of his father.
  • Gentle Giant: Süsü. The reason why he was exiled is that he couldn't bring himself to hurt his father's rival when he found out the rival was sick. He's also ready to put his strenght into use when anyone needs help.
  • The Good Chancellor: Even though he usually has the wrong idea and causes the main conflict of the episode, the Chancellor is still benevolent and loyal to the King.
  • Happily Married: The Vagabond Prince and the Princess.
  • Honest John's Dealership: The Dragonweed Vendor's schtick. He'd try to make a quick buck by doing shady deals, such as selling people "dragonweed" that is supposedly a magical herb that drives away dragons, but is in fact just regular weed.
  • "I Am" Song: Süsü, the Vagabond Prince and the Princess introduce themselves this way.
  • "I Want" Song: The second half of Süsü's "I Am" Song turns into this: he sings about how he wishes he was a rosebud instead of a scary dragon.
  • Large Runt: Süsü is a runt who gets bullied by his larger, three-headed siblings. Compared to the humans, he's gigantic.
  • Mama Bear: The Nanny. When she thinks the Princess is about to be kidnapped by Süsü, she doesn't hesitate to attack the gigantic dragon to defend her.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • "Süsü" means "Silly" or "Dim", and he is, indeed, not too bright. It was given to him as a mocking nickname by his siblings.
    • "Torzonborz" means "shaggy", and appropirately, he has a big bushy Beard of Evil.
  • Monster Façade: Süsü has to put on one several times.
    • In the pilot, Süsü and the Vagabond Prince stage a fight, where Süsü defeats the Prince and kidnaps the Princess. This is all to help Süsü find company so he won't be lonely anymore.
    • To sort out the kingdom's financial troubles, the Chancellor sells tickets for people to see Süsü. Since he believes that people will pay more to see a terrifying monster than a Gentle Giant, he asks Süsü to act scary.
  • Multiple Head Case: Süsü's father and siblings all have three heads.
  • The Napoleon: Torzonborz, the Big Bad in the later episodes, is a short and bad-tempered king.
  • Nice Guy: The Vagabond Prince. He's polite, friendly to everyone, and is the only character who almost immediately realizes that Süsü is harmless and miserable.
  • No Name Given: Most human characters are only referred to by their ranks or jobs, the only exceptions being the rulers of the neighbouring kingdoms, Torzonborz and Petrence. Likewise, Süsü's father is only referred to as the Dragon King, and Süsü's bride as the Girl Dragon.
  • Oddly Small Organization: The entire army of the Kingdom consists of a General and two soldiers.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Most dragons are three-headed and malicious. Süsü is the exception, with only one head and a gentle personality.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The Vagabond Prince, once he's crowned king.
  • Reluctant Monster: Süsü, a gigantic, fire-breathing dragon, who cannot hurt a fly.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: In the first episode, the Vagabond Prince travels around the country to help people (and dragons) in need.
  • The Runt at the End: Süsü is this in the dragon family. While his siblings are all three-headed and malicious, he has only one head and has a gentle personality.
  • Sinister Schnoz: The Dragonweed Vendor, a shady Snake Oil Salesman, has a long nose.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: The Charcoal Burner is non-stop cursing (with Gosh Dang It to Heck!-type words to keep the show child-friendly).
  • Snake Oil Salesman: The Dragonweed Vendor. The weed he's selling is supposed to drive away dragons, but is in fact just regular weed.
  • Those Two Guys: The two soldiers (who also happen to be the entire army of the kingdom).
  • Trademark Favourite Food: Wild pears for Süsü.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Most human characters have unusual hair colours. The Vagabond Prince and the Young Prince both have cherry-red hair, the Princess and the Nanny have blue hair, and the Chancellor has purple hair and beard.

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