Mala iz ribarnice / Malá z rybárny / Little from the Fish Shop

Mala iz ribarnice / Malá z rybárny / Little from the Fish Shop

Jan Balej

Češka, 2015, dcp, 72:00

In Czech with Slovenian and English subtitles

Directed by: Jan Balej

Script: Jan Balej, Ivan Arsenjev (based on H. C. Andersen’s The Little Mermaid)

Cinematography: Martin Procházka, Alan Soural

Art Director: Jan Balej

Lead Animatior: Michael Carrington

Costume design: Radka Balejová

Music: Chapelier Fou / Louis Warynski

Editing: Alena Spustová, Viliam Vala

Sound: Marek Poledna, Michal Holubec, Ivo Špalj

Voices: Anežka Kubátová, Petr Forman, Ivana
Chýlková, Bára Hrzánová, Jan Novotný, Nina Divíšková

Producers: Nelly D. Jenčíková, Vivian Al-Samarraie, Marcela Ferková, Marián Ferko, Michael Geidel, Thierry Baujard, Vincent Favrat

Co-production: MARLEN Media Group, MiriquidiFilm, Česká televize, Hafan Film, EMITA INVESTMENTS, Filmpark production, Bystrouška, VFX box


This modern stop-motion adaptation of Andersen’s original tale The Little Mermaid is a powerful story of unrequited love and moral values of today. The plot has been moved from the deep, dark waters of the sea to a bustling city harbour. Instead of a “prince charming”, the modern mermaid by the name of Little falls for a street smart night-club owner, whose club entrance is adorned by blinking heart-shaped neon signs and where love can be bought.

What would happen if the little mermaid found herself in today’s world?

And if her father, the Sea King, left the plundered waters of their home and became a harbour fish shop owner? And if instead of a handsome prince, the mermaid had a crush on a local dandy who owns a night club? That’s exactly what the director and art designer Jan Balej thought to himself. He found the idea in the classic tale by Hans Christian Andersen.

“I’ve always wanted to try to tell the story of the Little Mermaid from a slightly different perspective, not downright fairy tale-like. This will be rougher, set in the present time, yet we’re still trying to maintain the fantasy element in the story. It’s two worlds combined. The calm world of the sea Little hails from and the real world of everyday life where the mermaid falls in love with a human and longs to become human too. We simply tell a love story.” – Jan Balej

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