«Urfin Djus and his Wooden Soldiers» toon will be released in Russia on April, 20th, 2017 . Konstantin Khabenskiy dubbed the main character — Urfin Djus.
«Urfin Djus and his wooden soldiers» is the first full meter animated movie of the «Melnitsa» production Studio created via 3D animation technology. The fairy tale toon is based upon the story by Alexander Volkov adored by many generations of Russian-speaking children from 1930-s of the Soviet period till nowadays.
The character dubbed by Konstantin Khabenskiy — Urfin Djus is a skilled but sullen and morose carpenter living in a Fairy tale country of the Emerald City. Occasionally he get a magic plant producing a livening powder (Powder of Life). With the Powder of Life Urfin Djus creats and animates an army of vicious wooden soldiers headed by a Wooden head general and two friends — a Bear Brattler and an Angry Clown. With his army Urfin Djus is going to conquer the Emerald City…
The movie is directed by Vladimir Toropchin, Fyodor Dmitriev, Darina Schmidt and produced by Sergey Selyanov, Anton Zlatopolskiy and Alexander Boyarskiy.
The writer and translator Alexander Volkov wrote a book based upon L. Frank Baum’s «The Wonderful Wizard of Oz» (being a loose translation but with changing of some details like characters’ names, etc.) but called it «The Wizard of the Emerald City». It was published in 1939 and was overpopular among children of the Soviet Union so later Alexander Volkov wrote series of sequels with the same main characters — an ordinary girl Ellie and her dog Toto occasionally getting moved to the Emerald City country by a magic Hurricane. The popularity of the series of Volkov’s books among children in the Soviet Union you may compare with Harry Potter series by J.K.Rowling. «Urfin Djus and his Wooden Soldiers» is the second book from the Volkov’s series published in 1963. The story is about a very lonely person Urfin Djus trying to get power over the Emerald City because of his loneliness.
While dubbing the movie Konstantin Khabenskiy went through the idea that Urfin Djus is not the antagonist just a person worth being pitied and loved:
«Urfin Djus is a naive person who wants to seem horrendous to another inhabitants of the Emerald City country. And people who want to seem horrendous always look ridiculous. The story of Urfin Djus is the example of deprivation in psychology and of an unloved child who grown-up into Urfin Djus. Nobody was playing with him in his childhood and he transformed into a monster. Actually he just seeks for attention and love. I had been exploring this character and tryied to animate him. It seems to me that something was happening to my face while I was dubbing the movie… Kind of stretchening out of the nose, shrinking of the ears… From the point of view of the acting — the villain characters’ parts are more interesting for an actor, the wider range of emotions is possible to be created.»
Another Russian stars — Sergey Shnurov (a famous rock-musician, the leader of «Leningrad» rock-band) and Dmitri Dyuzhev (a stage and cinema actor) dubbed the parts of another villain characters — the Wooden Army General and a Bear Brattler.