New Flåklypa film draws record crowds

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Norway’s favourite animated folk are winning over a new generation of fans, almost 40 years after Solan, Ludvig and Reodor Felgen first captured the hearts of Norwegian filmgoers.

The Flåklypa crew have returned in a new stop-motion adventure, 38 years after Norway's most-watched film. PHOTO: solanogludvig.no

The Flåklypa crew have returned in a new stop-motion adventure, 38 years after Norway’s most-watched film. PHOTO: solanogludvig.no

Solan and Ludvig – Christmas in Flåklypa (Solan og Ludvig – jul i Flåklypa) picks up the action 38 years after the most-seen Norwegian film ever, Flåklypa Grand Prix. The new movie was painstakingly created using stop-motion animation, faithful to the 1975 version.

This year’s NOK 25 million (USD 4.1 million), 72-minute feature is made up of more than 124,000 still images. It took two years to film at a rate of 20 seconds of footage per day, reported newspaper Aftenposten.

Christmas in Flåklypa premiered in the late creator Kjell Aukrust’s hometown of Alvdal at the start of November, before opening nationwide the following weekend. Newspaper Dagsavisen has reported the film broke box office records for Norway’s best opening weekend this year, with almost 138,000 tickets sold.

By the end of November, more than 500,000 Norwegians had seen the film and it’s tipped to outsell one of Norway’s most popular films ever, Max Manus, which sold 1.2 million seats. Aftenposten reported the new Flåklypa film already ranks as the fourth most-seen Norwegian film in the past 10 years.

“We are first and foremost very happy, because it means that people like the film,” says producer Cornelia Boysen of Maipo Film. “It means the movie will get a good life at the cinema from now until Christmas, and hopefully thereafter.”

The action returns to the little town of Flåklypa in the new film, where happy-go-lucky bird Solan, gloomy hedgehog Ludvig and a human character, inventor Reodor Felgen, are readying their home for Christmas. Ludvig bemoans the lack of snow, so Felgen creates a machine to make some.

Chaos ensues when the snow canon ends up in the hands of the Flåklypa Times editor, who must win back the confidence of his disgruntled readership after days of front pages announcing snow.

The story is adapted from Harald Sommerin Simonnæs’ 2008 book, Solan and Ludvig celebrate Christmas (Solan og Ludvig feirer jul), but the setting, characters and their well-loved quips are true to Aukrust’s universe. While the production team has paid homage to the original, Boysen says the new film stands on its own.

Flåklypa Grand Prix has a unique position with the Norwegian people and in Norwegian film history, and it will always have that,” Boysen told Dagsavisen. “We are a separate and new interpretation for a new generation.”

newsinenglish.no/Emily Woodgate