Shout! Factory Acquires North American Rights To Ukrainian Animated Film “Mavka. The Forest Song”

Mavka. The Forest Song is finally coming out this year worldwide, including in North America under the distribution of Shout! Factory. Considering what it took to finish this film, first teased in 2017, it is considered a triumph for getting to this point. The story is about a magical spirit who is responsible for protecting the forest from the outside world. Though this is a tremendous responsibility, the greatest challenge she faces comes when she falls in love with a human.

See trailer here:

Originally planned for release at the end of year 2022, after the fighting with Russia broke out, the main production company Film.UA Group, who owns the animation studio Animagrad Studio, put all of their filming projects on hold. The studio house was converted into a shelter for refugees. After awhile, the Mavka team continued to work on the final stages of the production of the movie. People worked on the movie from their homes and bomb shelters in the Ukrainian capital, while others were able to get out of Ukraine to Europe and continue the work remotely.

The initial mission of the project — to promote and export Ukrainian culture, traditions and values — becomes even more significant during these hard times for our country. Our stories are our weapon.  So, we have to be loud. One of the instruments for us to be loud is to make a huge effort now not only to finish the production, but also to distribute the rights to as many countries as possible, so that we are heard all over the globe. Also for that purpose we are trying to involve international star talent — especially those who have publicly declared their support to Ukraine — to be the voice cast of our wonderful characters of the international version of the movie.

Iryna Kostyuk, Producer of “Mavka. The Forest Song”

On May 18, 2022 the animation crew members released a special almost 7 minute compilation video that shows what different members of the teams are doing in what living conditions in order to finish a project they’ve been working on for over 5 years at the timing of this uploaded video. It ends with 25 seconds of how many were displaced, or fighting. or outside of Ukraine. See the video here:

Mavka. The Forest Song is based on Ukrainian folklore and mythology usually portrayed as beautiful young women with a tragic and unnatural sort of death as humans. Because of their beauty, they would entice and lure men into the woods, where they would then tickle them to death.

This animated film is based on a play called The Forest Song, written by a Ukrainian writer named Lesya Ukrainka in 1911, although published in 1912, in the city of Kutaisi, which is in the country Georgia. In a letter to her sister, she explained that it took her 10-12 days to write. And in a letter to her mother, she described what inspired her to write the story:

It seems to me, that I just remembered our forests and longed for them. And then I have always kept that Mavka in my mind, for a long time, ever since you told me something about Mavkas in Zhaborytsia when we were walking through a forest with small but very dense trees. Then in Kolodyazhne, on a moonlit night, I ran into the woods alone (you didn’t know that) and there I waited for Mavka to appear. And over Nechimne, I imagined her, as we spent the night there – you remember – with my uncle Lev Skulinsky. Apparently, I already had to write it once, and now for some reason, the ‘right time’ has come – I myself do not understand why. I am fascinated by this image forever.

Lesya Ukrainka, January 2, 1912

The original teaser released on July 18, 2017:

The animated film will be in theaters in more than 20 countries, beginning with releasing the film theatrically in Ukraine on March 2nd. According to Film.UA Group, Mavka will be released in the US and Canada on August 15th. Whether it will get a theater treatment in Canada and the US remains to be seen. Animagrad’s previous animated works are The Stolen Princess (2018), Eskimo Girl kindergarten tv series, Mom Hurries Home kids series, Tiki kids series, and Whizz Kids kids series.

What do you think about this movie? Would it be something you’d be interested in seeing in theaters? Let us know!

Source: Variety, Film.UA Group strives to be an apolitical, balanced and based pop culture news outlet. However, our contributors are entitled to their individual opinions. Author opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of our video hosts, other site contributors, site editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. This website contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. We disclaim products or services we have received for review purposes, as well as sponsored posts.

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Sarah Leone
Sarah Leone
An independent artist who loves to mix things up between traditional and digital art. She has a love for all things anime, animation, and manga. Oh, and cats. Can't forget the cats.

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