Wednesday, April 13, 2016

K is for the Kobolds and the Princess

In a setting much like Dungeons & Dragons, a daydreaming princess and a clever miner's boy go dungeoneering to save the World of Light from a Kobold invasion. With singing.
A hercegnő és a kobold (The Princess and the Goblin) is a 1991 feature length animated movie based on a children's book by George MacDonald. While it was an international European collaboration, it was directed by a Hungarian director, and premiered in Hungary first. We claim it as our own.

The upside? This one totally exists with English dubs!!

Evil kobolds, who have been banished underground for not being able to coexist with humanity, want to invade the World of Light. Between them and victory stands the kingdom's princess, Angelica (Irene in English) who has a habit of sneaking out, and Kófic (Curdie in English), a miner's son. The two children together figure out the kobolds' two weaknesses: Singing, and their one-toed feet.
Ending up in the deep caverns under the palace, they realize that the kobolds are planning an invasion, and rush to warn the King. They are helped by Angelica's mystical great-grandmother, who is not quite mortal, but also not a ghost, and wields some powerful magic. The best magic, however, ultimately comes from bravery, as the kingdom unites in a song against evil...

(... and also the glorious moment when Kófic drop-kicks the kobold Prince into a waterfall.)

I have a lot of nostalgia for this movie. I think a lot of other '90s kids share it, especially when it comes to the main song that gets repeated multiple times. While in English it goes "All that's strong inside us / That tells us wrong from right / Becomes a song inside us / To chase away the night" in Hungarian the main chorus tells you "You don't have to be a hero / As long as you keep the light / So that it can turn to song inside you / And chase away the night." Either way, it is a very memorable song, and I am pretty sure it adds some serious bonuses to any kid's stats.

You can hear the song (in English) here:


  1. Animated fairy tales inevitably remind me of Disney flicks, especially the ones with singing goblins or heroes. George MacDonald sounds vaguely familiar, did he write "East of the Sun and West of the Moon" or something like that? Maui Jungalow

    1. He was a rather influential Victorian children's author and I believe something of a mentor to Lewis Carroll. He wrote The Princess and the Goblin (mentioned above) and The Golden Key.

  2. Omg! My sister had this one on vhs! She wore the tape out. Now that I have the author, I can see if I can find the book.

    I remember this one. I didn't like the song because they did repeat it so much. I bet it would be better in sub.

  3. I think I may actually have heard of this film - I have no idea why :) Sounds most entertaining.
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