This is one of my narrative stories for TV series "The World Picture Gallery with Aunt Owl"
(MASKI Production Co.). This educational animated series was represented in Cannes, in TV Market MIPCOM in October, 2007.
by Alexander Kalinkin
SECRET LAND HYPERBOREA
Genre: Educational, Fairy Tales, Art
Run Time: 10 minutes
THE AUNT OWL: Hello, children! In our International Art Gallery
there is a showroom, where we can fly above an
awakening forest, a fog-covered river and a
dewed meadow. Here is very beautiful! This is a
showroom of the talented German artist Caspar
Friedrich. Today we'll make an acquaintance
with his pictures and, of course, with the master
Caspar Friedrich was born in the year of 1774 in a
German town Greyfswalde on the shore of the
The town was a working sea harbor! Majestic
sailing ships stopped by there after their long
voyages. Numerous fishing boats were rocking on
waves. Since his childhood Caspar liked drawing
the sea, ships and wide meadows, which
surrounded his hometown.
It seemed that nature itself spoke to him, and the
artist's paintbrush carefully conveyed its fairy
tales to people… Here is one of them! Listen,
It happened on Sunday. Maybe it was even in
Greyfswalde itself. Two children were playing on
shore – a boy and a girl, Carl and Bertha. Their
dad and mom were resting nearby. Dad presented
a small flag to the children but, alas, there was
only one and the children couldn't decide who
would be the one running with it along the beach.
An old man in a captain uniform came out on
shore. He stared into the sea distance, at leaving
ships and he kept silence for a while. The father
greeted him and soon they were talking. The old
captain told that he had been waiting for a ship
that was unlikely to arrive, but there is always a
hope so he was waiting.
"What ship are you talking about? Tell me!
Maybe I'll see it!" – suddenly asked Carl, who
was attentively listening to the adults' talk. The
captain said that there is a secret land in the
North. People called it Hyperborea. There is the
Light City in that land. Many brave captains had
been looking for it. It is not easy to reach there –
only those, who strongly believe in their dream,
are able to reach Hyperborea.
But it is more difficult to come back because the
land is so very beautiful. The old captain sighed.
"I've been waiting for a ship from there. I had a
good friend – the captain Friedrich. Friedrich
dreamed of seeing the secret land. Three times he
set out to seek it, and he didn't come back from
his last travel.
Children, especially Carl, were very interested in
Some years passed by. Children grew up. Carl
became a captain. He often remembered a story
about the secret land Hyperborea. One day he
himself managed to equip a ship to search for it.
Bertha persuaded her brother to dismiss the
dangerous travel but the dream kept calling the
brave youth. Finally a day came and the Carl's
ship left the home harbor.
The anxious waiting began for Bertha. Her room
windows faced the sea. She looked at incoming
vessels for hours, listened to voices of sailors and
waited… months passed after months but there
was no news from her brother.
Meanwhile Carl's ship navigated far to the North.
Dangerous icebergs, floating ice mountains, were
to be seen in the sea. A cold mist obscured the
Drifting ice floes surrounded the ship. One night
they squeezed its boards so hard that the deck
cracked. The travelers had to leave their vessel
urgently and escaped in lifeboats.
A piercingly cold wind blew. Carl and his
companions struggled forward across ice-blocks
carrying the lifeboats.
However one morning the ice ended and the
travelers could sail again! Soon they saw a long-
They went on shore.
It was pleasant to feel again the firm ground
under foot after sailing for so long! They couldn't
believe their eyes -
- the saving land was vast, it extended to the very
They walked all the day.
Towards evening the sky suddenly illuminated
with a rainbow! It brilliantly shone on the dark
background of the lowering clouds!
In its light, on a mountainside, the travelers
noticed an old man dressed in bright clothes. He
happened to be the captain Friedrich about whom
Carl had heard in his childhood. Friedrich was
happy to see Carl and his companions as if they
were old friends! Carl asked why he stayed there.
Friedrich looked around and said that this is
Hyperborea, that secret land itself about which he
had dreamed so much.
Friedrich invited the valiant sailors to the Light
They walked over the immense land astonished
by its beauty and its tender colors.
On the way the captain Friedrich showed them
different amazing places. Hyperborea was rich in
sights because since ancient time travelers and
dreamers from around the world sought after it.
Many sailors had stayed here forever. Castles and
temples decayed and broke down with time but
those heroes lived and would live on. Maybe the
reason was in the wonderful Hyperborean air;
maybe it was just because they were the special
people who could realize their most secret dream!
Although the hospitable country was good to the
newcomers, Carl missed for his homeland and his
sister. He decided to navigate back. The captain
Friedrich didn't try to dissuade him. He helped
Carl to equip a new ship asking only that he say
hello to his old friend, the captain.
In early misty morning the new ship left the
harbor of the Light City.
You may ask me what about Bertha? Carl had
been traveling for long time, and his sister was
close to despair. Nevertheless, everyday Bertha
went out on the seashore and waited.
But Carl is alive! We, children, know that! I'll try
myself to support the poor girl.
One morning an owl flew to Bertha. The girl was
amazed at seeing such a marvelous bird sitting on
her windowsill in the daylight! A premonition of
something unusual crept into her heart. The owl
unclenched its talons and a small flag rolled down
on the floor. The flag was that same one, which
she hadn't shared with Carl in her childhood!
Bertha raised it and glanced at the window but the
owl was gone. Now she understood everything
and ran to the harbor!
At this very time a stately handsome ship was
approaching the town. On its desk Bertha
recognized her brother!
They met each other! There was so much joy!
Carl invited Bertha to his new ship and then told
her about the travel, about the Light City and
about the captain Friedrich, who didn't want to
leave his dream.
What about you, children? Do you have a dream?
Oh, what am I asking? Indeed, you have, and I
strongly believe that you, like the characters of
our story, will certainly achieve your dreams,
your own Secret Land! The great painter Caspar
Friedrich also achieved it, because his pictures,
his landscapes inspired me to tell this story. Our
travel is over for today. I'm saying good-bye to
you, till the next meeting in the International Art
(C) 2008 Maski Production Company
The script is published here with permission of the copyright owner -
the MASKI Production Co. and the producer Sergey Zarev.
Art for Kids: