Coming to DVD and Digital from directors Oleg Malamuzh, Sasha Ruban and Shout Factory Kids is a story of friendship, loyalty, and hope with MAVKA: The Forest Song.
The story begins explaining of the enchanted forest that holds such characters as the guardian of the forest Lesh (Marc Thompson), who oversees the creatures and, most importantly, the Tree of Life. When a human comes asking for a drop from the Tree of Life to save his ill daughter, Lesh agrees. That one decision leads to a power struggle and destruction leaving Lesh no choice but to seal themselves away from the human world.
Years later, young Mavka (Laurie Hymes) is a nymph who has a wonderful heart. She loves being around all living things and has a connection to their home. Lukas (Eddy Lee) is a young man in dire need of help. His uncle Leo is seriously ill and he needs money for medicine. That’s when he makes a deal with new town arrival Kylina (Sarah Natochenny) to go back into the enchanted forest for more Tree of Life.
Lesh gathers everyone together to tell them it is time to find a new guardian and the choice will be made at midnight. Meanwhile, Mavka discovers Lukas in the forest and plans to prove she can be a guardian but after hearing the story of his uncle, she is moved. They spend time together as Mavka loves to hear Lukas play his music. But when the time comes to gather, water nymph Ondina (Nikki Thomas) discovers Lukas and Mavka manages to help him escape with what he needs.
Kylina is not happy when Lukas returns and has nothing for her. Not trusting her ‘employee’, she tells Frol (Tom Wayland) to watch Lukas closely. The next morning Mavka finds Lukas’ flute and wants to return it to him. Making her own disguise, she goes into town and Lukas invites her to a spring festival but things to horribly wrong.
Lesh explains to Mavka that humans and the forest do not mesh together. But it is Kylina who is turning both worlds upside down with lies and treachery. The connection between Mavka and Lukas is the only thing that can stop the firestorm that is building inside the young girl.
Hymes lends her vocals to Mavka and gives us a young, strong, loving and caring girl who can not help but have a soft heart. Being teased by the other forest creatures for being that way is only a minor irritation to Mavka. Meeting Lukas, her world becomes a larger place and she wants to experience it all but can certainly do without Kylina bringing danger to everything she holds dear.
Lee as Lukas is a young man very similar to Mavka, especially when it comes to wanting to end the suffering of loved ones. When the two meet, Mavka may have tries to be aggressive but it just isn’t in her nature in that way. Lukas entertains her with music and enjoys her company, all the while in danger by Kylina as well.
Natochenny as Kylina is a piece of work! She is a walking, talking, lying, manipulating human being who doesn’t think twice about the wrong she is doing. She uses Lukas to get what she wants and when the truth is discovered, well, nasty people can get nastier!
Thompson as Lesh has a history with human so it is no surprise that having them around the enchanted forest wouldn’t be something he is interested in. His last encounter was almost deadly and now his time to choose a new guardian is something he takes very seriously (as all good guardians should). Shout out to Wayland as Frol because putting up with Kylina, he should ask for a raise!
Other cast include Scottie Ray as Lukas’s uncle Leo, Marc Thompson as Hush, Marca Leight as the narrator and Mike Pollock as the One Who Sits in the Rock.
SHOUT! Factory has grown into a tremendous multi-platform media company. Releasing new animated features such as the exquisite Long Way North, and the epic fantasy Beauty and The Beast. Also, their own original horror film, Fender Bender gives fans a good scare. For more of what SHOUT Factor has to offer please visit www.shoutfactory.com.
Produced by Ukraine-based Animagrad Animation Studios and based on the Ukrainian drama “The Forest Song” by celebrated poet and author Lesya Ukrainka, MAVKA: The Forest Song unfolds in a universe that blends ancient Slavic traditions and folklore with a modern narrative that showcases Ukrainian culture, values, designs, and music. The movies has a soundtrack written by well-known Ukrainian musicians and compositions created especially for this animated adventure.
In addition to having an engaging storyline and memorable characters, this uplifting and colorful animated fairytale is bolstered by a strong young female lead character, fascinating folklores, and the relevant theme of environmental conservation.
You can pre-order MAVKA: The Forest Song now at www.ShoutFactory.com and will be available in store, other fine retailers and digital entertainment platforms. The DVD Bonus Features includes a Featurette, Music Video, and Trailers.
MAVKA: The Forest Song is such a lovely film from beginning to end. Hearing the folklore and legends of this particular enchanted forest is brilliantly done. The values of friendship, loyalty, kindness, and understanding are what make Mavka and Lukas the heroes of this story. They may be from different worlds but their beliefs are not so dissimilar.
The color of the film is absolutely stunning, vibrant and a feast for the eyes. Doing an animated film, to my way of thinking, can be difficult if not done with deep feeling and it is clear that MAVKA was done with a great deal of deep feeling. The creatures are so detailed and everything about the animations captures the imagination of any viewer from start to finish.
In the end – one heart, two worlds!