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The Mystery of the Third Planet

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Director  Roman Kachanov
Country  Soviet Union
8/10 IMDb

Language  Russian
The Mystery of the Third Planet movie poster
Release date  1981 (USSR)

The Mystery of the Third Planet (Russian: Тайна третьей планеты, Tayna tretyey planety), aka The Secret of the Third Planet is a 1981 Soviet traditionally animated feature film directed by Roman Kachanov and produced by the Soyuzmultfilm studio in Moscow. It is based on a children's science fiction novella "Alice's Travel" by Kir Bulychov, from Alisa (Alice) Selezneva book series.


The Mystery of the Third Planet movie scenes

The movie is considered a cult classic in Russia, it was included in various top list of animated films and science fiction films. A shortened novelisation of the film was written by Bulychov himself, a diafilm and a number of video games were based on The Mystery of the Third Planet, and spiritual successor film Alice's Birthday was released in 2009.

The Mystery of the Third Planet movie scenes


The Mystery of the Third Planet A fond look back at the bizarre beauty of The Mystery of the Third

Captain Zelyonyy (Green), Professor Seleznyov and his daughter Alice Selezneva set out from Earth aboard the starship "Pegas" (Pegasus), seeking out new animal species for the Moscow Zoo. On the advice of the archaeologist Gromozeka, they turn to Doctor Verkhovtsev, the director of the Museum of Two Captains, for help. But the doctor behaves suspiciously: he refuses to show them the Captains' diaries and starts spying on the expedition. On the planet Blukthey make some valuable purchases, among them a Chatterer — the bird belonging to the missing captain Kim. A suspicious fat man, Merry Fellow U, tries to steal a bird. Having listened to the speech of the Chatterer, the crew of "Pegas" heads for system of the Jellyfish. On the road heroes rescue robots of the planet of Shelezyak from diamond dust, admixed in greasing.

On the third planet of the Jellyfish system Alice finds "mirrors" — the flowers which are memorable and displaying everything that occurred before them. By means of mirrors heroes find out that on the planet there are Verkhovtsev and the Merry Fellow. In attempt to fly in a safe place of "Pegas" fails in a trap. Seleznyov and Green are taken prisoner by pirates, Alice manages to run away.

On the planet the captain Buran, and with him — the real Verkhovtsev lands. Alice asks them for help. Meanwhile, the Merry Fellow threatening to murder the captives, demands from captain Kim locked in the ship, a formula of absolute fuel. Buran's invasion rescues heroes. The double Verkhovtsev, Glot, is exposed. The Merry Fellow in attempt to flight falls into clutches a bird of prey Krok. Captains and researchers quietly come back on houses.

Home video and English adaptations

The Mystery of the Third Planet THE MYSTERY OF THE THIRD PLANET Watch online by rnjnj on DeviantArt

The film was adapted twice for the US market. It was first brought over as a video release in 1987, with dubbed voices. The second time, it was released in the 1990s as part of Mikhail Baryshnikov's "Stories from My Childhood" series. This series consisted of films that were bought by California-based company Films by Jove from Soyuzmultfilm for the international market. Over $1.5 million was spent by this company restoring the prints, adding new music and redubbing the films with American actors. This version of the film was named Alice and the Mystery of the Third Planet and has been released on VHS as well as on a 1999 DVD collection with several other films [2]. The film has been released on DVD several times (the latest release, which featured rather misleading cover art, was in October 2005 [3]). The original Russian version with English subtitles is here: [4]

The Mystery of the Third Planet The Mystery of the Third Planet 1981 MUBI

The Films by Jove version of the film has been criticized by some of those who saw the original for adding many extra dialogue lines, shortening the film, and replacing the unique synthesizer music by Alexander Zatsepin.

The Mystery of the Third Planet Taina tretei planety The secret of the third planet 16 YouTube

The original film has been released on several DVD editions in Russia, including a newly restored one by Krupnyy Plan.


  • 1982 — the State award USSR
  • Games

  • In 2005 an arcade platform game was made by the company Akella based on the film, called "Alice's Space Adventure".
  • An adventure game was released in the same year called "Alice's Journey", also produced by Akella (but developed by "Step Creative Group").
  • Shootings

    For Roman Kachanov as for the director, "The Mystery of the third planet" became the fourth animated film executed in technology of the traditional drawn animation. As the art director and the animator he worked more than at 30 drawn movies. However the animated films shot in stop motion (volume) animation ("The Mitten", "Gena the Crocodile", "Cheburashka", "Shapoklyak" and others) were the most known director's works of Kachanov before.

    The design of characters was made by Natalya Orlova. Her daughter, the actress Ekaterina Semyonova, told that Alice in the animated film was drawn by her mother from her, and as a prototype the captain Zelyonyy was served by her father, the director Tengiz Semyonov.

    Music for the movie was written by Aleksandr Zatsepin. According to Zatsepin, original records of music in his record library didn't remain.

    Production of a picture proceeded 4 years.

    Hire abroad

    The animated film was twice duplicated in the USA. The first dubbing-in ("Mystery of the Third Planet") was let out on video in 1987. Alice name was changed to Christine and overall translation had little in common with the original. Consequently this legally-sourced version is often mistaken for a bootlegged edition.

    The second dubbing-in ("Alice and the Mystery of the Third Planet") was released in the 1990th years by the Films by Jove company. In this version the translation is much closer to the original though the large number of the remarks which are absent in the original is also added. Besides, in this version the soundtrack and a video series is completely replaced underwent reductions — about 6 minutes are cut out from the animated film in total. Kirsten Dunst was the voice of Alice, and James Belushi — the Chatterer.

    "Alice and the Mystery of the Third Planet" was let out not only in English, but also in other languages, in particular in Spanish and French.


    The Mystery of the Third Planet Wikipedia
    The Mystery of the Third Planet IMDb The Mystery of the Third Planet