The Three Bogatyrs: The Horse’s Course (Три богатыря. Ход конём) is a 2014 Russian comedic animated film. It draws on myths about bogatyrs, who were similar to knights and often figure in in Russian and Slavic legends. Most stories about bogatyrs take place in Kyiv, the first early Slavic capital.
The film is actually the sixth in Melnitsa Studios’ Bogatyr series, featuring legendary bogatyrs Il’ya Muromets, Dobrynya Nikitich, and Alyosha Popovich. This film centers on Yuliy, a talking horse who belongs to Alyosha. Yuliy overhears some boyars’ (feudal aristocrats in medieval Slavic societies) conversing about a plot against the prince of Kyiv, and he must take action because the bogatyrs and the army are engaged elsewhere. Along the way, Yuliy and the prince meet talking camels and trees and make no progress, and in fact lose the kingdom to the talking tree, but luckily the bogatyrs return to save the day.
The film got fine reviews overall, and did extremely well at the box office. Film.ru noted that the plot was extremely formulaic, following the standard line of all of Melnitsa’s films. They also found that the characters don’t evolve from film to film and that nothing ever changes in the series. They were further disappointed that the horse got very limited screen time after the bogatyrs returned. Despite all that, though, the film was amusing.
Director: Konstantin Feoktistov
Stars: Sergey Makovetskiy, Dmitriy Vysotskiy, Valeriy Solov’yov, Oleg Kulikovich, Dmitriy Nagiev
Production company: STV, Melnitsa
Box office take: $19.39 million
Watch the full movie, legally, on the official YouTube Channel of The Three Bogatyrs: