spacetime coordinate: 2000’s Czech Republic
imdb: “Language: None”
The Wonderful Adventures of Nils (ニルスのふしぎな旅 Nirusu no Fushigi na Tabi) is an anime adaptation of the novel The Wonderful Adventures of Nils by the Swedish author Selma Lagerlöf ( She devoted three years to Nature study and to familiarizing herself with animal and bird life. She has sought out hitherto unpublished folklore and legends of the different provinces. These she has ingeniously woven into her story.). The 52 episode series was mostly fairly true to the original, apart from the appearance of Nils’ pet hamster, and the greater role allowed to the fox Smirre.
Nils Holgersson is a 14-year-old farm boy, the son of poor farmers. He is lazy and disrespectful to his fellowman. In his spare time he enjoys abusing the animals in his family farm. One day Nils captures a tomte in a net while his family is at church and have left him home to memorize chapters from the Bible. The tomte proposes to Nils that if Nils frees him, the tomte will give him a huge gold coin. Nils rejects the offer and the tomte turns Nils into a tomte, which leaves him shrunken and able to talk with animals, who are thrilled to see the boy reduced to their size and are angry and hungry for revenge. While this is happening, wild geese are flying over the farm on one of their migrations, and a white farm goose called Morten attempts to join the wild ones. Nils manages to flee on Morten’s back together with his new hamster friend Carrot, and they join a flock of wild geese flying towards Lapland for summer.
The music was written by Czech composer Karel Svoboda.
Gilliam has referred to Time Bandits as the first in his “Trilogy of Imagination”, followed by Brazil (1985) and ending with The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988). All are about the “craziness of our awkwardly ordered society and the desire to escape it through whatever means possible.” All three films focus on these struggles and attempts to escape them through imagination: Time Bandits through the eyes of a child, Brazil through the eyes of a man in his thirties, and Munchausen through the eyes of an elderly man.