Aeneid / Eneida




Ukrainian SSR, Ukranimafilm


68 min


Volodymyr Dakhno


Yurii Alikov


Anatolii Havrylov

The events unfold in an ancient, fictional place known as Trojan Sich. Valiant Zaporozhian Cossacks defend the city against the Greek army, led by the renowned warrior and Cossack commander, Aeneas.

Simultaneously, atop Mount Olympus, another struggle ensues: divine supporters and detractors of Aeneas continuously scheme and plot. Amidst the celestial beings’ influence, Aeneas embarks on a captivating journey, replete with curious situations, amorous interludes, and fierce skirmishes, ultimately culminating in his arrival at the “Roman Sich”.

The narrative above is not a fanciful creation of a Latin scholar but a succinct retelling of Ivan Kotliarevskyi’s burlesque-travesty poem, Aeneid. This work stands as one of the most significant pieces of Ukrainian literature, often credited with establishing the Ukrainian literary tradition.

Set against the backdrop of nostalgia among the Ukrainian elite for the Cossack statehood, which was dismantled by Russia, the poem also forms the bedrock of the idea of Ukrainian national identity. Ironically, in 1988, a request came from the Moscow Film Studio Soyuztelefilm for a Russian-language animated adaptation.

The adaptation was undertaken by the creative duo of animators from “Kyivnaukfilm,” namely Volodymyr Dakhno and Eduard Кirych, alongside composer Ihor Poklad. This trio, recognized across the Soviet Union for their work on the animated series “When the Cossacks…”, dedicated approximately three years to this project. They meticulously crafted nearly a hundred thousand drawings and, in a clandestine manner, dubbed the cartoon in Ukrainian. Aeneid is hailed as the first full-length cartoon of independent Ukraine – a production that embodies Ukrainian content and form.