World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

The Fabulous Baron Munchausen

The Fabulous Baron Munchausen
Japanese DVD cover
Directed by Karel Zeman
Written by Karel Zeman
Josef Kainar
Jiří Brdečka
Music by Zdeněk Liška
Cinematography Jiří Tarantík
Release dates
  • September 21, 1962 (1962-09-21)
Running time 85 min (original)
83 min (Japanese release)
80 min (other releases)[1]
Country Czechoslovakia
Language Czech

The Fabulous Baron Munchausen (Czech: Baron Prášil) is a 1961 Czechoslovak romantic adventure film directed by Karel Zeman, based on the tales about Baron Münchhausen. The film combines live-action with various forms of animation and is highly stylized, often evoking the engravings of Gustave Doré.[2]


  • Plot 1
  • Cast 2
  • Reception 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


The film begins with footsteps leading to a pond. The camera continually moves upwards to show the flight of butterflies, birds, and a progression of historical aircraft ending with a rocketship travelling through space and landing on the moon.

The astronaut/cosmonaut leaves his spacecraft and sights other footsteps on the moon leading him to an old phonograph, then a crashed rocket with a plaque reading Jules Verne's From the Earth to the Moon. Taken to a dinner table, the surprised space traveller meets the characters from Verne's book and Baron Münchhausen. Inviting him to their table, the characters believe that the cosmonaut is a man actually from the moon, and kindly treat him as a small child.

The Baron decides to take him to Earth in a fanciful airship held up by a herd of winged horses. The Baron dresses the spaceman, called "Joey" in the English dubbed version and "Tonik" in the original Czech, in 18th Century costume where they land in 18th Century Turkey. Speaking in an unintelligible voice that he calls the "language of diplomacy" the Baron presents Joey to the Sultan. However Joey's lack of knowledge of diplomatic protocol and his falling in love with Princess Bianca, a damsel in distress held prisoner by the Sultan, leads to a series of romantic and fanciful adventures that transform the modern scientific space traveller into a hero rivalling the Baron.

Among the exciting and satiric adventures are sword and sea battles with the Turks, being swallowed by a giant fish, and ending the conflict between two warring kingdoms.



The film was released internationally during the 1960s, including a 1964 American dub under the title "The Fabulous Baron Munchausen."[3] Méliès influence is present throughout the film, which reaches the same level of poetry as the works of that old master."[2]

When the film was screened at the British Film Institute in the 1980s, it served as an influence for Terry Gilliam, who was then making his own version of the Munchausen stories, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.[5] According to Gilliam:

I remember when I was doing Baron Munchausen seeing a picture in a [British Film Institute] catalogue from Karel Zeman's Baron Munchausen and saying, "Wow, what is this?" and eventually seeing the film, and saying, "Wow, that's great," because he did what I'm still trying to do, which is to try and combine live action with animation. His Doré-esque backgrounds were wonderful. The film captured the real spirit of the character.[6]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b Santos Fontenla, César. "De Cyrano a Gagarin". Triunfo. Europeana. Retrieved 2012-05-27. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Thompson, Howard (23 December 1984). "Critics' Choice: Cable TV". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  5. ^ Zipes, Jack (2011). The Enchanted Screen: The Unknown History of Fairy-Tale Films. New York: Routledge. p. 43. 
  6. ^ Gilliam, Terry (2004). Terry Gilliam: Interviews. Mississippi: Jackson University Press. pp. 132–133. 

External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from School eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.