Kruglyachok / Круглячок

Published: April 11, 2017

Kruglyachok (Круглячок; sometimes also spelled Кругляшок in Russian) is a Ukrainian short animated film. Ukrainian and Russian versions were created in 1992 and 2002, respectively. The film is under 10 minutes long and was produced by Ukranimafilm (Укранімафільм), the studio that replaced the Soviet-era Ukrainian animation studio Kyivnaukfilm (Київнаукфільм).

Kruglyachok is based on an old Ukrainian fairy tale. It tells the story of an old witch, named Zmiyivna (Зміївна, “snake”), who kidnaps children so she can eat them. The opening shows her cackling as she looks at the crying children locked in her dungeon. She then enchants some red slippers and leaves them in the forest, as a way of catching more children. It works: Olenka (Оленка) and her brother Yurka (Юрка) are out gathering berries and mushrooms, and Olenka grabs the slippers. But Yurka is able to save her, and the other imprisoned children, with the help of Kruglyachok (Круглячок), a spirit who lives in the forest. Together they break the witch’s hold on the area’s children.

The film was written and directed by Tadeush Pavlenko (Тадеуш Павленко), a Ukrainian filmmaker who died in 2004. Pavlenko has an extensive filmography that includes some episodes of the Ukrainian animated folk series Cossacks (Козаки). Several other members of the production team are also well-known: composer Oleksandr Sparinskiy (Олександр Спаринський) has written the scores for 35 full-length films and more than 50 plays, musicals, and operettas. He also began to direct and produce films within the past few years and is still actively composing.


Director: Tadeush Pavlenko (Тадеуш Павленко)
Production company: Ukranimafilm (Укранімафільм)


The full film, in Ukrainian:


In Russian:

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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