Fairy Tales And Children’s Films as Eternal Blockbusters: Die Geschichte Vom Kleinen Muck (The Story of Little Mook, Wolfgang Staudte, 1953)

  • Sebastian Heiduschke


The story of the production of DEFA’s fairy tale Die Geschichte vom Kleinen Muck (The Story of Little Mook, Wolfgang Staudte, 1953) sounds like a fairy tale in itself. What began as a production to occupy the director and to fill the studio space due to the cancellation of the film Mutter Courage became East Germany’s most successful production ever. It sold almost 13 million tickets in East Germany alone, was exported to more than 60 countries, and turned out to be so popular that West German television stations circumvented the ban of DEFA productions to show this film year after year.1 Muck set the standards at DEFA in set design and overall commitment to produce high-quality films for children. Few (if any) other East German genres ever reached the consistent level of quality and excellence that DEFA committed to its fairy tales and children’s films; to this day, these films guarantee high audience ratings on television and good sales figures. Muck is the epitome of East German cinema, to be read beyond the constraints ofpolitical filmmaking due to its production by renowned director Wolfgang Staudte, a budget comparable to a film geared toward an adult audience, and being only the second fairy tale produced at DEFA.2


Fairy Tale Film Production Movie Theater Happy Ending Adult Audience 
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© Sebastian Heiduschke 2013

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  • Sebastian Heiduschke

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