104 min.; Russian/no subtitles; dir. Valentas Ashkins
HBO aired “The Animated Odyssey” as a four-part miniseries in the US in 2000. It was originally produced by Vilanima Studios of Lithuania and first aired in Russia as a feature-length film in 1998 under the title The Destruction of Troy and the Adventures of Odysseus (Разрушение Трои и путешествие Одиссея). As a series it was divided into half-hour episodes including “The Trojan Horse,” “The Cyclops,” “Circe, Hades and the Sirens,” and “Odysseus Returns.”
The production, which was supervised by original Star Wars producer Gary Kurtz and took three years to complete, was lavish and ambitious, and was intended to appeal to a wide audience that included school-age children and young adults. The narrative presented was more detailed than other animated treatments of the Odyssey and stayed closer to traditional storyline. It also included a powerful score by the Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra, though some critics thought that the film was lacking in dynamism, due to its stilted and choppy character movement and awkward dialogue (likely due to its translation from Russian and dubbing into English). The English-dubbed version of the film is nowhere to be found online or streaming, only the Russian version and a modern Greek version are available.