428. Junior and Karlson – Boris Stepantsev

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SUMMARY: A lonely young boy befriends Karlson, a strange flying man who lives on his roof.

WHY IT’S HERE: Based on the children’s books by Pippi Longstocking creator Astrid Lindgren, ‘Junior and Karlson’ is a celebrated Russian cartoon short which is legendary in its own country. Brilliantly directed by Boris Stepantsev, ‘Junior and Karlson’ tells the story of a young boy who befriends a strange little man who lives on the roof and flies around using a motorised propeller on his back. Karlson is a wonderful creation, filling Junior’s drab life with excitement even though he is not always a good influence. Their adventures together are sweet and funny and Stepantsev contrasts the vibrant antics of Karlson with the grey, everyday world that surrounds Junior when he is not around, through an obvious but effective use of colour. This brilliant cartoon would surely be as well loved internationally as it is in Russia if only it were more widely distributed. An animated sequel, ‘Karlson Returns’, followed in 1970.

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