Soon There Will Be Rain (Скоро будет дождь, 1959) by Vladimir Polkovnikov

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Soon There Will Be Rain
Coming Soon Will Be Rain
Скоро будет дождь
Skoro budet dozhd (ru)
Varsti sajab (et)
Logo haverá chuva (pt)
Giời sắp mưa (vi)

Year 1959
Director(s) Polkovnikov Vladimir
Studio(s) Soyuzmultfilm
Language(s) Russian
Genre(s) Comedy
Folklore & myth (non-Rus./USSR)
Literature (non-Rus./USSR)
Animation Type(s)  Drawn (cel)
Length 00:20:00
Wordiness 12.5 profile Ru, En
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Skoro budet
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Skoro budet
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Skoro budet
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Skoro budet
Date: May 26 2013 10:14:52
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Skoro budet
Date: May 06 2023 06:25:18
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The Lord of the Sky loses all the water on Earth in a chess match to Old Lady Drought, condemning all living beings to death. A little toad undertakes a journey to bring back the water. Based on a Vietnamese folk tale.

Immediately after the Autumn-Winter Border Campaign (1950), the Viet-Minh Front (or often calling itself as the Provisional National Government of Vietnam) sent many groups of youths to Moscow to study cinematographic techniques for serving the political propaganda work. "Soon There Will Be Rain" (Giời sắp mưa) was considered as a graduation exercise by a group of artists including Ngô Mạnh Lân, Lê Minh Hiền, Trương Qua. After completing the course, they returned to their country, which at that time was called the Democratic Republic of Vietnam or North Vietnam. Painter Lê Minh Hiền became the director of a newly established agency which was named Hãng phim Hoạt họa Việt Nam (the Vietnam Animation and Doll Studio, precursor of Vietnam Animation Studio JSC). In fact, it was just an old and small suite of one civil servant from the French protectorate period, with about 10 employees.

The main material of this film is the legend of "Toad Sues Heaven" (Cóc kiện trời) with a very famous children's rhyme "Toad is the Uncle of Heaven; Whomever challenges Toad must first challenge Heaven" (Con Cóc là cậu Ông Giời ; Hễ ai đánh nó thì Giời đánh cho). This legend was officially copied and edited by writer Nguyễn Huy Tưởng (1912-1960) right after the Geneva Conference (1954). The folk epic only told a simple story about the climate of Northern Vietnam in June every year, however, Nguyễn Huy Tưởng tried to install some forms of socialist realism to give the story a more "revolutionary" breath, in order to gain the confidence of the authorities at that time, as they were conducting activities to restrict democratic rights in the arts. Therefore, the story in "Soon There Will Be Rain" has a parallel meaning: The battle of the three armies (tác chiến ba thứ quân) - a method of combat that General Võ Nguyên Giáp used in campaigns Việt Bắc (1947) and Điện Biên Phủ (1954); the images of Old Man Heaven (Ông Giời) and Old Woman Drought (Bà Hạn) seemed to be a satire on the effectiveness of the French Union project and the role of State Chief Bảo Đại. Besides, in a's confrontation with the heavenly army it was easy to imagine the immortal saying by Hồ Chí Minh from the article "The Elephant and the Mosquito" (Con voi và con muỗi) in April 01, 1953: "Although today grasshoppers have to fight the elephant; But tomorrow the elephant will definitely be gutted" (Nay tuy châu chấu đá voi, nhưng mai voi sẽ bị lòi ruột ra). Under the coordination of composer Karen Khachaturyan, for the first time Vietnamese classical melodies were featured by a symphony orchestra: The Wind on the Bridge (Qua cầu gió bay), Twisting Thread Passing a Needle (Se chỉ luồn kim), Rice Drum (Trống cơm).

The production method from "Soon There Will Be Rain" continued to be deployed by the group of young Vietnamese artists in the first animated film of the Vietnamese revolutionary cinema: Worthy of the Sly Fox (Đáng đời thằng Cáo), 1960. This film was about two friends including Bear and Chicken. One day, Chicken was tricked and captured by Fox, so Bear asked the Wild Bees to help and beat Fox. In 1962, Vietnamese cinematographers decided to make the second part of "Soon There Will Be Rain": Story of the Jade Hares (Câu chuyện thỏ ngọc). The film told about how hares and animals in the forest defeated the evil snake who wanted to destroy the Mid-Autumn Festival. It was also the last North Vietnamese black-and-white animated film before the outbreak of the Vietnam War.

The first video link above seems to be AI-enhanced image quality, while the second is the original scan it seems to have been sourced from (some of the other copies of this video on Youtube have messy image stabilization, for example during the zoom at 9:32-9:27).




The transformation of Vietnamese language through word "Heaven" : Thiên 天 (classical times) → Blời (XVIII century) → Giời (XIX century) → Trời (XX century).




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