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Mavka: A forest song is a beautiful Ukrainian Animation | A Review

Today we will talk about Mavka: The Forest Song. I have been watching the trailer and news of this movie for the past 2 years since it's post-production. This is a beautiful animated movie featuring folklore from Ukrainian legends. So, let's explore this magical storyline.

The plot centers around Mavka, the soul of the forest with beautiful green hair, dazzling huge doe eyes, and magical healing abilities. She helps and tends to all the living creatures residing in the forest. She lives in the forest behind the dark mountains.  People do not venture into the dark mountains and the forest because they are afraid of the wrath of the spirits.

The story starts with the wealthy daughter of the Sawmill owner, Kalina who comes to the village and offers jobs to people. She catches their attention by giving them a large sum of gold coins. However, when she explains to them that they have to get beyond the dark mountains, the villagers dismiss her as insane and return to their regular activities.


Another important character is Lucas, a guileless young musician,  whose uncle is gravely ill and the healer asks him to buy medicine from the city. but the medicine is quite expensive so he went to the mansion of Kalina to ask for the job. Kalina sends his men with him and directs them to the dark mountains to find a tree with a specific leaf. he hesitates at first but he needs the money so just go with the plan. However, fate has a different course in store for Lucas.

As Lucas leads the men to the Forest from passage under the mountains he finds a herd of wild buffaloes. Eric and Derric try to harm the calf but Lucas saves the animal which leads them to abandon him for his quest. Lucas goes alone and starts searching for the leaf but can't find it. Tired he sits on a boulder and starts playing his flute. This scene reminds me of Flute Boy in The Legend of Zelda-A Link to the Past. It was so nostalgic and Zelda kind of vibe. 

Anyway, Mavka hears the music, and the tattoos or symbols on her hands and face start glowing. Her eyes also started glowing, meaning that she was enchanted by the music. So, long story short he encounters Mavka and he tells her he has to find the leaf to cure his uncle. Mavka tells him that she will give him the cure but he needs to leave the forest after the guardian-choosing ceremony, so he agrees. 

The sequence of the tour of the forest was just beautiful. Love and friendship blossom between them. Also, Mavka is chosen as the new guardian which further complicates the story. The film beautifully captures the essence of Rapunzel and Disney's Tangled, infused with the spirit of Ferngully: The Last Rainforest.

No animated adventure is complete without delightful sidekicks. "Mavka: The Forest Song" is also not an exception. It introduces Swampy Frog and the mobile tree spirit/talking log named Frol. These adorable companions add charm and humor to the narrative, reminiscent of the genetically engineered abominations from The Island of Doctor Moreau.

The animation in "Mavka: The Forest Song" is a visual feast, characterized by eye-searingly hypersaturated colors. Although some might find this intense palette mildly overwhelming, the attention to character animation and movement is commendable, capturing the essence of the characters and their emotions with precision. Music and sound effects are also undoubtedly one of the film's standout features.

There are some urban legends in Ukraine on which this story is based which I will be writing about soon. In short, this movie stands as a captivating and unique animated feature, enchanting audiences with its magical world and endearing characters. Through its mesmerizing storyline, beautiful animation, and allegorical themes, the film offers a refreshing and engaging experience for viewers of all ages. I am glad that I have seen the movie because I am always in search of such animated features that give just a beautiful otherworldly vibe.

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