Something is lurking in the forest. Can you hear the voices? Is it the roar of a beast, or a soft song? You’ll have to find out until Mavka. The Forest Song releases on December 29, 2022. Until then, Animagrad Studio from Ukraine has released a trailer that you can view below.
Animation Magazine describes the film below.
Mavka serves as the Guardian of the Heart of the magic Forest and its Soul, and her journey begins with falling in love with a gifted musician named Lukas, an ordinary village boy. Her feelings force her to face an impossible choice between love and her duty to protect her world. Mavka is the embodiment of virtues of selfless love, protection of nature, harmony and unity of two universes: the World of the Forest and the World of People.
The filmmakers took inspiration from Slavic myths and legends to weave together their unique story. Ancient rituals, symbols and patterns decorate the costumes of their characters. The film also utilizes traditional folk melodies of the Slavic people. The film especially draws inspiration from the classic poetic play The Forest Song by Lesya Ukrainka. Mavka is clearly a film steeped in love for those traditional stories.
Along with the human characters and fantastic worlds, we also got to see plenty of new critters that are sure to steal our hearts. Filmmakers were in contact with consultants from the WWF-Ukraine to help the designers and artists create unique fantasy locations directly inspired by the landscapes of Ukrainian forests and mountains. The filmmakers hope to draw attention to the rare and endangered species that inhabit those real-life fairy dwelling lands. Mavka. The Forest Song first drew international attention when the first teaser released at the 2017 MIFA content market in Annecy. It became the only Ukrainian project selected for Europe’s forum Cartoon Movie pitches in Bordeaux. You can view the first teaser below.
While the concept of “magic beings protect the forest” isn’t exactly a new one, it is always welcome. The wild parts of the world will always hold a special place in our imaginations, and thus these stories will always have an audience. While there is currently no news for exactly where you can watch Mavka after its release, plans are stirring behind the scenes. Evgeniy Drachov of FILM.UA Distribution has this to say.
“The distribution rights to the film have already been acquired by 10 companies that operate on 20 international territories, including countries in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.”
As the project has grown and developed since 2017, the film is also growing into a cross-media multi-platform IP. There are currently plans for licensing agreements to be released with the film, such as books, apparel, accessories, and more. With plans this big, there will be news in the future about a North American release hopefully. After all, who doesn’t love exploring the woods for fairies and other supernatural creatures? Mavka. The Forest Song will release on December 29, 2022, in its home country of Ukraine.