Everything real turns into magical in Myshkin town
Animated show Fantasy Patrol was appreciated by audience and as well as by professional jury during one year.
On 1 September 2018, creators of the series accepted Top Heroes prize from children’s hands and had been awarded by the professional jury with Multimir prize this spring — both times for winning in the category Best Russian Animated Series.
Why does everybody love it? Let’s take a closer look at creating of characters and the series itself.
An idea from childhood
When we are kids, and at any other age, we want to believe in our personal oneness and extraordinariness. We quite often fantasise imagining ourselves being someone with magical powers. This is how the idea to create Fantasy Patrol animated series was born. This is a story about girls who, on the one hand, live like typical teenagers dealing with common everyday problems but, on the other hand, their life is full of magical adventures.
The work on project has begun already in 2015. At that time, creative producer Evgeny Golovin remembered cosy atmospheric Myshkin town, he had happened to visit once. He decided to put the characters in this very place to convey cosy and charming atmosphere of fairytale better.
The team of the project had no goal to represent Myshkin in detail in the show, the task was to create a fairytale, to express cordiality and magic of Myshkin. It seems, we have also succeeded thanks to the legend of the town foundation.
Here a legend ends and a true story begins
Once prince Fyodor Mikhailovich Mstislavsky was travelling through his lands and made a stop for rest on a bank of Volga. The prince had fallen asleep but suddenly his sleep was disturbed — a little mouse ran across his face. The prince had got very angry but then he saw a poisonous snake crawling straight toward him. And the prince realised what had saved his life and decreed to bring an icon, establish a town, and name it Myshkin.
One can meet the legend about the brave and wise mouse in Mouseland Kingdom – the Mouse Museum located in the town.
Creating of cartoon’s atmosphere
Myshkin is not shown with topographic precision in the series, however the town’s atmosphere and general peaceful attitude of its citizens are captured.
This environment will surround the characters throughout the show. The visual style of the image is developed by a production designer. After some references are selected (images, photos, paintings that had inspired the team), the director and the art director of the project approve the concept.
The main difficulty in the selection of references is that it could be an endless process thus complicating the whole thing.These are two separate acts — to come up with an idea and to turn it into reality.
Heroines of Fantasy Patrol
We were inspired by famous heroines from fairytales who had become familiar to us in our childhood. Valery is Barbara the Fair with the Silken Hair, Mary is Maria the Weaver, Snowy is The Snow Maiden, Helena is sister Alenushka.
We endowed them with bright individualities taking four major personality types as a basis: Choleric (Helena), Phlegmatic (Mary), Sanguine (Valery), Melancholic (Snowy)
— Maria Parfionova tells.
The sorceress were given magic powers of four elements correspondingly to their tempers:
- Helena has the magic of Fire – she is explosive, hot, and wild like fire.
- Valery possesses the Air magic — she is strong, emotional, resolute, and mobile like air.
- Mary has the Earth magic — she is reasonable, calm, firm, and reliable like earth itself.
- Snowy has the magic of Water – she is the most ambiguous, mysterious, and surprising like water element capable to turn from liquid into solid ice.
The actions of heroines result directly from their tempers. Typically, impetuous Helena tries to resolve all problems as quick as it possible but sometimes radically and boldly. Confident Valery loves to show off and to impress with her strengths. Clever and reasonable Mary doesn’t like to rush, she thinks carefully, evaluates, and plans it out well before making a decision.
Transformation of the heroines
Turning of the real appearance into the fairy one is a kind of symbolic transition from the real world into the world of magic, complete immersion in it. Girls in their ordinary everyday appearance can use magic, but this magic is safe and «household». When heroines are in the fairy appearance their magical power concentrates and manifests itself in full strength.
The age of heroines
The girls are 12 years old by the end of the first season. We do not want to make the characters visually older. More important, that girls are growing up in their minds throughout the season. They have to make well-reasoned decisions, recognise and correct their mistakes, learn to be responsible — all of those things are signs of growing up.
A romantic line in the series will appear very delicately. It is not love yet but more a romantic friendship between the characters.
Sasha and Vasya are regular boys, classmates of the girls, who were fortunate enough to discover the secret of «enchanters among common people» and to participate in the amazing adventures.
Where do the girls come from and who are their parents?
There are some magic worlds in subspaces between reality and fairytale in the human world. Snowy lived with her parents and her grandfather Father Frost in Snow Kingdom in the North. Mary is from magic Forest World, her parents are dryads. Valery comes from Air World, her parents are mighty winds.
About the college
Magical college is a school for children of magicians left in the human world. It is located in magical subspace hidden between the human and the fantasy worlds.
Our girls had graduated college and were sent for practice to town-museum Myshkin – a sort of place of power still inhabited by fairytale characters.
The mission of the heroines
To refine their magical skills and, at the same time, to learn living among ordinary people.