Hobgoblin / Baubas

Published: April 30, 2017

Hobgoblin (Baubas) is an animated Lithuanian film from 1987. Created by Ilja Bereznickas, it was followed up by several sequels in the early 2000s. The screenplay was written by Bereznickas together with Pranas Morkus, who has worked on several animated films with Bereznickas and is also known for his live-action film work, including the documentary The Age of Czesław Miłosz (Česlovo Milošo amžius).

The film was made on the basis of a Lithuanian mythological creature, the hobgoblin/baubas, who is usually represented as a demon sent to scare badly behaving children. It tells the story of the friendship between a girl and an imaginary hobgoblin (which her parents have invented). While it’s ostensibly a children’s film, Bereznickas has said that it is actually “adult animation for children” (“mano animaciniai filmai yra suaugusiojo animacija vaikams”), encompassing some themes and jokes that children may not understand. The film won a prestigious award at a film festival in Portugal in 1987.

In 2004, the followup, Hobgoblin Arithmetic (Baubo aritmetika), came out, and shortly afterward, Hobgoblin’s Illness in 2006 (Baubo liga). Those two were both about 10 minutes long.

Bereznickas is a legendary figure in the Lithuanian animation industry. He worked with and studied under beloved Russian animator Yuriy Norshtein (Юрий Норштейн) in his student years, and then worked for many years at the Lithuanian Film Studio. He later founded the animation program at the Vilnius Academy of Art. With a four-decade-long career, he was given a lifetime achievement award in 2015 at the Fredrikstad Animation Festival in Norway. Among Bereznickas’s long filmography, Baubas is the best-known.


Director: Ilja Bereznickas
Voice actors: Laymute Shtrimaytite, Arunas Storpirstis
Production company: Lietuvos kino studija


The full film:

About the author

Julie Hersh

Julie studied Russian as a Second Language in Irkutsk and before that, Bishkek, with SRAS's Home and Abroad Scholarship program, with the goal of someday having some sort of Russia/Eurasia-related career. She recently got her master’s degree from the University of Glasgow and the University of Tartu, where she studied women’s dissent in Soviet Russia. She also has a bachelor’s degree in literature from Yale. Some of her favorite Russian authors are Sorokin, Shishkin, Il’f and Petrov, and Akhmatova. In her spare time Julie cautiously practices martial arts, reads feminist websites, and taste-tests instant coffee for her blog.

Program attended: Home and Abroad Scholar

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