O zlate rybce (1951)
Article 5523 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Jiri Trnka
Featuring the voice of Jan Wenrich
What it is: Fable
A poor fisherman catches a golden fish; the latter grants the former three wishes if he is released. The fisherman does so, but the three wishes unleash a greedy streak in the fisherman’s wife.
Before I started watching this one, I had to double check whether I’d already covered it, as I do recall having seen a puppet-animated version of this story before. It must have been a different version, but I’m glad I was already familiar with the story; unlike some other Trnka shorts, this one is full of narration in Czech without English subtitles. It is also not stop-motion puppet animated (Trnka’s usual approach); in fact, I don’t think it’s animated at all, as it consists of a series of expressive but static drawings. Which is not to say that it isn’t a good retelling of the story; it is, though the ending seems slightly different from the previous version I’d seen. All in all, it’s not bad, but I couldn’t help but be a bit disappointed because I was expecting something a bit more elaborate; as it is, it’s not one of Trnka’s more striking shorts.