“Junior and Karlson” is a Soviet animated film based on the trilogy of Swedish writer of fiction and screenplays Astrid Lindgren (the same one who wrote “Pippi Longstocking”). The Soviet adaptation of this story for children seems to be the only screen version of it. It has never been put of the screen in other countries.
The first part of the cartoon was released in 1968, and the second one in 1970.
If you are not familiar with this book, here is the plot…
Karlson-who-lives-on-the-Roof is a very short, plump and overconfident man who lives in a small house hidden behind a chimney on one of the roofs of Stockholm. The main feature of Karlson is that he can fly thanks to a small propeller on his back which is activated by a button on the stomach.
Karlson becomes the best and only friend of a little boy who is usually referred to as Junior and lives in an apartment of the same building with mom and dad. Being quite mischievous, Karlson often gets Junior into trouble, for example, leaving a mess and disappearing when Junior’s parents come back home.
When Junior’s parents have to leave, they hire a babysitter, quite an unpleasant lady Freken Bock, to take care of Junior.
Differences of the Soviet version from the original
In the trilogy of Lindgren, Junior is a rather spoiled child loved by both parents and friends. However, in the Soviet cartoon, he appears as a lonely boy with no friends at all and deprived of parental attention. In the book, his mom is a housewife, but in the Soviet cartoon she goes to work as most Soviet women.
The image of Karlson in the cartoon is significantly softened: he looks more like a funny prankster who does not want to part with his childhood.
In the cartoon, the favorite food of Karlson is jam, and in the book, he loves meatballs and whipped cream cake, as well as other cakes and pastries. This change was probably dictated by Soviet reality there the jam was more common than meatballs and even more so than whipped cream cake and pastries.
Also in the book, Freken Bock has no pets and never gets along with Karlson, and in the cartoon she has a cat called Matilda and at some moment joyfully dances with Karlson.
In the cartoon, Karlson becomes jealous of Junior dog, and in the book his jealousy manifests itself to his friends – Christer and Gunilla.
Watch the cartoon
We have found two version of the cartoon available for free: