This film is currently unavailable

Old Czech Legends

The world of Czech myths and legends inhabited by puppets is magically brought to life by master animator, Jiří Trnka, in this stunning stop-motion spectacle of folklore.

Animation & Artists Moving Image 1952 81 mins Not rated

Director: Jirí Trnka



Based on Alois Jirásek’s collection of legends this stop-motion feature powered by Trnka’s poetic imagination tells the story of the mythological foundation of the Czech nation. From the stories of Forefather Czech, Princess Libuše and Přemysl The Ploughman, the founders of the Premyslid dynasty, and a womens’ revolt, to a king obsessed with gold and a fierce battle between neighbouring clans, it portrays early Bohemia as the promised land for the Czech people full of magical creatures and ferocious beasts.

Using a cast of ‘thousands’, all hand-carved wooden puppets, and transforming the heroes of national myth and legend into live characters, Trnka conveys the drama and emotions through his figures’ body language, camera angles and evocative lighting, which take on epic proportions when accompanied by Václav Trojan’s orchestral score. A stunning stop-motion spectacle of folklore culminating in a climactic battle against attacking wolves and birds worthy of Kurosawa. Part of the 27th Made in Prague Festival, 3 November – 10 December 2023, organised by the Czech Centre London.