Animation - Development 2012

A house gets struck by lightning and a girl with golden hair gets lost. She travels around searching for a family; finding friends and enemies and finally a mother.

    • Year of production
    • 2012
    • Genres
    • Animation
    • Countries
    • Languages
    • Budget
    • 3 - 5 M$
    • Duration
    • 75 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Kari JUUSONEN
    • Writer(s)
    • Producer(s)
    • Kai NORDBERG (Making Movies), Kaarle AHO (Making Movies)
    • Synopsis
    • Loved in Finland, it is a magical animation based on a novel about an orphan girl, who is searching for her home, marvels at the world's wonders and eventually finds her missing family.
      A film about searching. A child, who can ask better questions than adults and talk to God.
      A girl, who is so wise that perhaps she isn’t so wise. Gulliver’s travels meets Myazaki.
      Tirlittan, a golden-haired, little girl becomes an orphan. A thunderbolt strikes her family’s home.
      Her father flies to the south, mother to the north, and her sisters and brothers - who knows where. Tirlittan flies into the canal. She finds herself on the beach of the canal wearing pyjamas and carrying her father's old ocarina pipe. She begins to look for her home, since all little girls need a home.
      Tirlittan walks through the woods. She comes across a town. She is hungry. She steals a whole tomato from a female market seller. The town residents start chasing her and she gets apprehended by the police and taken to jail. Tirlittan sits in the jail. She has discussions with the police about the death penalty, as she has heard that thieves are to be hanged. A priest is asked to come, but the priest is busy. The policeman opens the cell window. Outside a thunderstorm is rumbling. Tirlittan escapes out of the window.
      Tirlittan falls asleep in a field. A foal wakes her up. The farmer is astonished to see the little girl who is sleeping in her pyjamas in the field. He takes the girl to his home and gives her food.
      The farmer’s wife is a godly woman, who sits at home and plays the organ. Tirlittan is thrilled by the music and begins to tootle her ocarina, so that the woman’s organ playing is overshadowed by the pipe. The woman becomes angry with the ungodly playing and throws the girl out of the house.
      Whilst trekking through the woods, Tirlittan comes across a house, in which lives a woman who is suffering from gout. The woman's house is full of insects. The woman stays all day immobile in her bed. Her body is covered with thousands of mosquitoes, ants, flies, bedbugs, wasps and other bugs. The woman wipes the insects from her face, revealing a smile. She cannot move because of the gout, and the nibbling insects are the only thing that eases the pain. They become friends, and the recumbent woman, underneath the insects, begins to remind Tirlittan of her mother. The woman is sick and lonely, but as rich as Croesus.
      One night, Tirlittan recklessly sets the woman's house on fire. She wakes the woman up and the old woman has to get out of bed for the first time in many years. The woman is furious, until she notices that she has forgotten about her illness. She is walking! Gratefully, the woman takes Tirlittan into the town. To a hotel, which is a home for vagabonds. They go shopping for clothes.
      She wants to take Tirlittan to her other home, but Tirlittan leaves her. She must find her own home.
      Tirlittan finds yet a larger town and there, the Circus Europa. She first becomes a champion marksman, then a juggler and, eventually, "The Golden Bird", a great trapeze artist.
      One evening, during the Golden Bird’s great show, the crowd is once again in raptures as Tirlittan flies near the circus roof from one rung and rope to another. Men are not able to watch her daring tricks. Women are fainting. Suddenly, Tirlittan sees down below, at the edge of the grandstand, a man with a familiar face: it is her father.
      Tirlittan falls from the trapeze and is taken to hospital by ambulance.
      She is at death's door. She becomes friendly with the nursing staff. They explain that it was really her father, who was at the circus, and he brought her to the hospital by ambulance.
      One day, a beautiful and gentle woman leans towards her and gives her a kiss. It is her real mother. The gout lady soon arrives, she is so happy with her recovery that she promises to build Tirlittan and her mother - and siblings - a new house.
      But where is the Tirlittan’s father?
      Throughout the film, the small girl has conversations with two quarters: adults and god. The adults are not evil. They all have some sympathetic characteristics. But their world is something strange. They are not able to answer even simple questions. Tirlittan feels that they have all had a wonderful little daughter - or some other loved person - whom they no longer meet. But the cause of them not meeting is never something irreversible – such as a thunderstorm or death - but some unknown thing that adults do not know how to talk about. Tirlittan provokes the adults. In front of them, she constructs the most incredible lies, but for some reason, most of them do not show any reaction. It is as if they do not live at the same intensity as the little girl.
      Even god does not respond. Tirlittan asks him questions and statements. Despite the silence, Tirlittan does not lose her child’s faith, because even orphans need a friend. Tirlittan wonders to god about how the world goes by and her own feelings, but her relationship with god is different from that of adults. She does not blame god for anything. She wonders more about people than god. Why do adults believe in god, even though they seem to be so angry with him?
    • Partners & financing
    • Finnish Film Foundation 60 000 euro (development)
    • Production schedule
    • 2010 Co-producers in place. In production 2012.
    • Beginning of shooting
    • May 01, 2011