The Stylish Majesty of ‘Son of the White Mare’

An essential pillar of animation horse-tory.
Son Of The White Mare

Welcome to The Queue — your daily distraction of curated video content sourced from across the web. Today, we’re watching a video essay that explores what makes 1981’s “Son of the White Mare” so great.

Son of the White Mare came galloping out of the gate in 1981, and to this day, its reputation as one of animation’s most poetic and dream-like visions remains uncontested.

While the tech-head in me gets a kick out of every time a studio like Pixar makes a big leap in CGI fidelity. But, I can’t help but feel a sting of cynicism that using animation to approximate reality is counter to one of the medium’s strongest assets: namely, telling the rules of the real world to get bent.

Son of the White Mare is doused in the aura of myth; its origins are grounded in a Hungarian folk tale of the same name that tells the story of a lost princess, her demonic captors, and the three sons born with the express purpose of setting her free.

To call Marcell Jankovics‘ film, “creative” feels insulting. Son of the White Mare is a limitless artistic experience; a visually inventive tapestry of color, shape, and texture that feels cohesive rather than chaotic. Then again, I feel like seeing is believing when it comes to Jankovics’ film. So without further ado, here’s a quick, convincing video essay on why the film deserves more eyes on it.

If you live in America and have Kanopy, you can find the film on the streaming service as of this article’s publishing.

Watch “Son of the White Mare (Feherlofia) (1981) – 20th Century Gems”

Who made this?

This video essay on why Son of the White Mare rules is by APLattanzi, a freelance filmmaker and illustrator who hails from the Philadelphia area. You can subscribe to them on YouTube here. Their essays cover a large swath of topics, from film scores to short films. You can also find them on Letterboxd here.

More videos like this

  • For another sample of APLattanzi‘s work, here’s their essay on the source material behind one of cinema’s most incomprehensible films: Last Year at Marienbad.
  • And another: how The Day the Earth Stood Still (and other early sci-fi films) provide exquisite examples of evil.
  • You Have Been Watching Films — who we often feature here — has their own video essay on the ancient-modern push-pull of Son of the White Mare.
  • And here’s APLattanzi with a video essay that unpacks the question of why we’re so obsessed with special effects that look like the real world.
Meg Shields: Based in the Pacific North West, Meg enjoys long scrambles on cliff faces and cozying up with a good piece of 1960s eurotrash. As a senior contributor at FSR, Meg's objective is to spread the good word about the best of sleaze, genre, and practical effects.