King Midas [Krol Midas] (1963)

10 min.; no dialogue; Poland; dir. Lucjan Dembiński

An animated retelling of the classic tale of King Midas in puppet form. The film features no dialogue, only musical accompaniment (by Krzysztof Penderecki) and employs many ancient Greek and Minoan artistic motifs (especially the Snake Goddess figurine), though stylized to suit a 1960s aesthetic. In this regard, it is quite similar to Polish director Edward Sturlis’ “Orpheus and Eurydice [Orfeusz i Eurydyka]” from 1961. It also features the storyline originated by Nathaniel Hawthorne and represented in Ray Harryhausen’s 1953 animated version of the story, in which Midas has a daughter whom he turns to gold, but who then turns back to flesh and blood after the god Dionysus intervenes.

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