Beloved Czech holiday fairy tale reimagined in animated adaptation

The Proud Princess will return to screens in an animated 3D version; the original 1950s fairy tale is a classic of Czech Christmas cinema.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 28.11.2023 15:54:00 (updated on 28.11.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

In the Czech Republic, the holiday film-viewing tradition leans toward feel-good fairy tales (pohádky). Without fail, you’ll find a new one of these produced each year, too, usually by Česká televize, though a number of classics from the ’50s through the ’80s remain quintessential holiday viewing.

Among the lineup of the best fairy tales of all time is Pyšná Princezna, or The Proud Princess. Now, over 70 years after it first charmed audiences, the beloved Czech fairy tale based on a story by late writer Božena Němcová will be reimagined for a new generation in a groundbreaking 3D animated remake.

Filmmakers are hoping to capture the nostalgia of the iconic 1952 live-action film directed by Bořivoj Zeman while utilizing cutting-edge animation technology.

The Czech-Polish co-production gets its 3D animated effects from Luminar Film and PFX studio. It is directed by David Lisý and Radek Beran. The creators incorporated elements of the original text but also iconic moments from the original film version which stars Alena Vránová as the title character, who rebuffs a young prince (Vladimír Ráz), only to have him work harder at gaining her affection, in secret.

"We were drawn to returning to Němcová's original text and highlighting the eternal message of inner transformation through love," Beran said. Scenes paying homage to memorable moments from the black-and-white film, like the fencing dance or the singing cobbler, will be incorporated.

Led by chief designer Jan Koníček, the Prague-based PFX studio has spent over a year developing the animated characters.

"3D technology allowed for unlimited stylization as we brought the famed story and its unforgettable characters to life," Koníček said. Animals play a larger role than in past versions, actively aiding the human protagonists.

Renowned composers Ondřej Brzobohatý and Ondřej Brousek created the musical score. Produced with support from the State Cinematography Fund, filmmakers believe the timeless story of pride, love, and redemption will find a new global audience. The film will enter Czech cinemas on Nov. 7, 2024.

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With the reincarnation of The Proud Princess, the legacy of Czech animation and, the fairy-tale tradition, lives on.

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