Another Soviet cartoon awaits below! A favorite in my childhood household, Very Blue Beard was released in 1979 and tells an alternate tale of the famed wife-killer and three of his objets d’amour. This particular version places all the blame directly on the wives and identifies the beard as symbol of male essence, constantly oppressed by scissor-happy women. Nonetheless, the Modigliani-meets-Peter Chung look of the figures and the background treatment are worth a peek. No subtitles, so I’ll summarize below each of the two parts.
A modern day detective sets out to learn the truth about Blue Beard upon finding a piece of blue hair. He calls his wife to tell her of this discovery, only to be nagged half to death about the possibility of coming home late. The investigation must continue! Soon Bluebeard is found alive and well, just beyond the borders of alternate reality. [In Soviet Russia, alternate reality can be entered through the subway, by the way.] He admits his guilt but requests the detective’s ear for a chance to explain his reasons.
Blue Beard’s first wife is Marianna, an ultra-modern English fashionista who isn’t interested in Blue’s old-fashioned ways. She redecorates his palace to her own liking, then drives him mad with her weaves and pet dragon. As the rage wells up inside Blue Beard, his beard grows back, signaling that he’s had enough of this free-willed lady!
Part two below the jump.
Wife two is vestal, health-conscious Lilianna who refuses Blue meat, wine, and cake, claiming he’s on death’s doorstep. Love is rationed out in small doses, as well – phlegmatic Lilliana suggests cold showers as a remedy for excessive lust. Blue Beard is prescribed yoga and a daily regimen that eventually drives him to murder.
The third wife is amorous and voluptuous Didianna. The opposite of Marianna, she sings about love without borders and the glories of hedonism. Blue Beard is finally happy until he comes home to find Didianna in his friend’s embrace.
Satisfied with his investigation, our detective heads home. He calls his wife on the way and is accused of cheating because he stayed out too late. The finale reveals his true nature. Moral: wives of the world, take heed! Nag too much and he’ll kill you, for Blue Beard lives within all men.
Thanks for the reminder, Christopher!