According to legend, a wealthy sawmill owner searches an enchanted forest for a magical, mysterious tree that has the power to heal and regenerate. He takes a drop of water from a pool by the tree’s base to cure his dying daughter. But desperate for more water, he returns with an army, which attacks the woodland creatures. In a fit of rage, the forest guardian unleashes a raging fire that destroys the army as well as nearby villages. A rift opens between the human world and the mystical forest realm. No human is allowed to set foot past the mountains; if they do, they never return. Neither side trusts the other, and countless years pass while the forest guardian grows older and more feeble.
As the forest creatures wait and wonder who will be chosen as the forest guardian’s successor, Mavka (voice of Laurie Hymes), a kind-hearted forest nymph, continues to do good and help wherever she can. Her goodness extends even to Lucas (voice of Eddy Lee), a musician from a nearby village, who ventures into the forest in search of a cure for his dying uncle. Touched by his story and his hauntingly beautiful music, Mavka helps him find the tree and gives him a leaf to cure his uncle. The evil Kylina (voice of Sarah Natochenny) claims to be the sawmill owner’s daughter. She has other plans and is determined to have the tree and its powers for herself.
Meanwhile, Mavka is named the new forest guardian and must come to terms with her new responsibility to protect the creatures in her care. At the same time, her admiration for Lucas means she wants to mend ties with the humans. When Kylina’s evil plotting takes an even more sinister turn, it looks like neither the human nor the enchanted world will survive.
An unexpected source brings humans and forest creatures together to see where their hatred and mistrust has brought them. They must learn that the only way to save themselves is to unite against the forces that might destroy them all.
War; mistrust; environmental degradation; magic, prejudice against those who are different; rage and its consequences
Mavka: The Forest Song has some violence. For example:
- Kylina describes how the late sawmill owner was burned by forest demons and how she became an orphan.
- The villagers whisper about monsters dwelling behind dark mountains. The monsters can tickle you to death.
- Two soldiers try to kill a baby bison for fun.
- Lucas runs into a tree branch and knocks himself out.
- A forest creature bangs Lucas over the head with a flute.
- A bison slaps Lucas in the face with his tail.
- A creature scratches a bison on the flank. The bison is carrying Lucas, who’s knocked off.
- A squirrel hits a soldier on the head with his nuts.
- A forest creature strangles and repeatedly slaps Lucas. Lucas looks like he’s about to punch the creature but doesn’t.
- Kylina smashes a glass vial into a mirror.
- A character kicks a chicken and is later attacked by a rooster.
- A hammer nearly hits a dog on the head.
- A gunshot destroys a chandelier.
- Lucas smashes a man in the face with a shovel and then punches the same man in the face.
- The townsfolk threaten to burn Mavka alive. She uses her powers to blow out their fires.
- The villagers throw axes and pitchforks at Mavka, and the old forest guardian is stabbed in her place.
- Kylina imprisons Lucas after he’s knocked unconscious. She also tries to drown him.
- The villagers go into the enchanted forest to attack and destroy it. They bring chainsaws, axes and weapons and shout, ‘Death to the demons!’
- Villagers burn the trees with blowtorches.
- A ‘forest killer machine’ rumbles through the undergrowth, destroying everything in its path. It’s about to crush a small puppy trapped under a tree root when something blasts through one of its windows.
- A forest creature is attacked with scissors and told he ‘will be slashed into little ribbons’.
- A forest creature is attacked by a mounted moose head, which then falls apart.
- A chainsaw cuts down trees, creatures burn, and animals are tied up. Mavka decides to sacrifice her life for the spark of rage that’s powerful enough to stop the humans from destroying everything.
- A character is attacked with a chainsaw. Later moths attack his attacker.
- Transformed by rage, Mavka chases the villagers back and burns their houses.
- Mavka falls to the ground and appears to be dead. She is reawakened by the only magic that humans possess – love.
Mavka: The Forest Song are some sexual references. For example, some forest nymphs call to a couple of soldiers in a sexy and seductive way. They flirt and lure the men towards them.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
There’s no use of substances in Mavka: The Forest Song.
Nudity and sexual activity
Mavka: The Forest Song has some nudity and sexual activity. For example:
- Mavka and Lucas kiss.
- A soldier flees from a nymph. He stumbles from a pond in his underwear and later turns up dishevelled, tattered and terrified.
There’s no product placement in Mavka: The Forest Song.
Mavka: The Forest Song has some mild coarse language and insults, including ‘fools’, ‘peasant loser’ and ‘dumb’.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Mavka: The Forest Song is an animated fantasy adventure based on a Ukrainian fairytale. It might seem to be a family movie, but its violence, themes and scary scenes mean it isn’t suitable for younger viewers. It’s better suited to families with older children.
These are the main messages from Mavka: The Forest Song:
- Be true to yourself and your talents.
- Trust what you know to be right.
- Always be willing to work with others towards the greater good.
Values in Mavka: The Forest Song that you could reinforce with your children include kindness, empathy, loyalty, teamwork and trust.
Mavka: The Forest Song could also give you the chance to talk with your children about the real-life consequences of things like:
- putting too much value on physical appearance
- deceiving others for personal gain
- being angry towards other people
- harming the natural environment for temporary gain.