maika

Spadla z oblakov

The best children movie I’ve seen was from the former Czechoslovakia, “Maika – Cô bé từ trên trời rơi xuống“, which was based on a 1967 Czech children book. Here are the titles in various languages, mostly from countries under communism during the cold war:

  • Slovak: Spadla z oblakov (original language)
  • Russian: Приключения в каникулы
  • German: Sie kam aus dem All
  • English: She Came Out of the Blue Sky
  • Polish: Majka z Kosmosu/Spadła z obłoków
  • Norwegian (Nynorsk): Majka – jenta frå verdsrommet
  • Vietnamese: Maika – Cô Bé Từ Trên Trời Rơi Xuống
  • Hungarian: Csillagok küldötte
  • Bulgarian: Паднала от облаците
  • Spanish: Mayka, La Niña del Espacio

It’s about a little girl from outer space who visited a fictional town in Slovakia and befriended with a group of children in the city, and their relationships were beneficial for both sides.  Here’s Maika’s arrival and first human encouter, in Slovak:

Maika can fly,

maika flying

walk on walls,

maika walks on ceiling

see through things,

duplicate things:

maika duplicates rope

She has a belt that contains her energy and knowledge of the universe including astrophysics and mathematics:

maika's belt

It was definitely my dream belt growing up :-).  One of the coolest adventures they had was a ride in a rocket through the city,

Children can only dream of having such incredible friends and adventures.  For children growing up in Vietnam during the 80’s, maika was a fixture on black and white TV.  The series has 13 parts, each about 1/2 hour long.  That’s 13 nights for us.  Back then, movies were only shown Mon-Wed nights each week, so it took more than 1 month to finish.  Or may be not, because half of the time or more, we would miss episodes due to electricity cuts.  Of my years growing up, I must have seen the various stages of the series at least 10 times.

Here’s a clip of part 3, dubbed in German and Vietnamese. In this clip, the children decided to steal Karol (the tall boy)’s aunt’s clothes to dress Maika properly:

As in life, all good things come to an end at some point… Here’s Maika’s departure, dubbed in Russian:

Maika had mastered human emotion by this point and cried just before her departure.  I shed quite a few tears as well each time she departed.

Here’s a playlist of the entire series in Slovak.  (If you want the series dubbed in Vietnamese, they’re selling them in Little Saigon in Santa Ana, California, USA.)

Wonderful series, wonderful memories.

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About thả diều
writing-challenged opera-addict

3 Responses to maika

  1. What a find! I grew up in Communist Yugoslavia, and we never had Majka for some reason. We did have the Czech cartoon Lolek & Bolek, which was wildly popular, and I do remember a tv drama about a middle-age woman working in a grocery store which we also loved to pieces. But Majka missed us somehow! I must look it up and see if I can rent it somewhere.

    The serious side of the story is that oh yes, in Communist societies women still did all of the childrearing and eldercare and housework, in addition to working full time outside the home. The well-known ‘double-shift’. And Majka fits into this expectation perfectly. I don’t remember ever seeing images of fathers doing much childcare in tv shows and films while growing up, yet we were a ‘society where equality reigns supreme’.

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    • thả diều says:

      oh? i’m surprised Maika didn’t make it to your old country! it really is a great movie, focusing mainly on conversations and outdoor games children play, and discussions from the children point of view. It depends on whether you understand Slovak or Russian (or Vietnamese :-D), I can help you get a copy. I’m a bit sad my young nephews and nieces probably won’t understand the vietnamese version though, because only 1 woman dubbed ALL voices. She speaks so fast, even I almost have to be on edge to catch everything.

      Lolek and Bolek never made it to Vietnam, but we had the cartoon from the former Soviet Union with the rabbit and the wolf, this one: http://sallneed.wordpress.com/2009/12/22/nu-pogodi-th%E1%BB%8F-hay-d%E1%BB%A3i-d%E1%BA%A5y/ . Have you ever seen?

      I didn’t know about the “double shift” standard in eastern european countries… the asian version we have is mainly the women doing all the work at home + childcare, but no outside work. In fact it’s still true in some parts of Asia that the higher education you have (as a woman), the less likely you can find a husband. So parents are discouraging daughters from getting advanced degrees or any degree at all (sick!).

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  2. Ну, погоди! actually looks well designed, for a Soviet toon. Interesting… No, we never had that one, but my favourite Communist area cartoon was the Hungarian ‘Gustav’. I don’t suppose it made it to Vietnam? Here’s a taste: Gustav and the Alienation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qj5_5SZcYOU

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