Handmade Puppet Dreams - The Legend of Rasputin
Sam Koji Hale, Jamie Shannon, Heather Henson (executive) for Ibex Puppetry
directed by Jamie Shannon
starring the voices of Jamie Shannon, Marty Stelnick, Anand Rajram, Matthew Krist, Amy Bowles, Finch Bowles
written by Jamie Shannon, music by Bob Wiseman
Handmade Puppet Dreams, Rasputin
Available on DVD !
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Russia, the early 20th century: Tsarina Alexandra (voiced by Amy
Bowles) sends for mystic and healer Rasputin (Jamie Shannon) as her
youngest son and heir to the throne Alexei has fallen sick from
haemophilia, and all traditional medicine (basically leeches) has amounted
to naught. Somehow Rasputin manages to heal the little man, and as a thank
you is given free reign of the castle by the Tsarina, who also becomes his
mistress. And Rasputin, a party animal when he's not healing people, makes
good use of it, indulging in all sorts of vices without reservation.
Eventually, it's prophecied that the House of Romanov will rule Russia as
long as Rasputin dies a natural death. But who of course would want to
kill the harmless Rasputin? Prince Felix (Marty Stelnick), that's who, who
despises Rasputin's ever growing influence on the Tsarina, and who
apparently would rather see Rasputin dead than for his family to rule
forever. But Rasputin isn't easy to kill ...
Now if you're
looking for a historical accurate retelling of the legend of Rasputin,
then you're wrong here, as this puppet short is a broad comedy that only
fleetingly touches upon the facts and is really more interested in satire
and farce - and it does a magnificent job at it, as the script's just
really funny and finds the right balance between sight gagsand oneliners,
and driving a story, the puppets are really fitting their characters,
going for gross stylization when needed but never coming across as just
blunt, and the attention to detail shows the heart that has gone into this
Totally worth a look for sure!
By the way, you can check out the whole Handmade Puppet Dreams-series
- and for the UK it's https://www.amazon.co.uk/v/handmadepuppetdreams