The Girl and the Dolphin is the third of a short series of animations by Rozalia Zelma I have been featuring. Benefiting from a modern sounding soundtrack by Eduard Artemyev - the movie was made in 1979 - the friendship between the girl and dolphin of the title is a sentimental tale that will appeal to children and adults of all ages. The young girl is playing with her ball on the beach when a wave knocks her off her feet and she is swept out to sea and would have drowned save for the intervention of the animal. There are some lyrical moments as the two develop their friendship and, in the course of it, the girl's swimming prowess. Cruel fate takes over as the dolphin is captured and hauled off to a circus to perform tricks. The remainder of the movie is taken up by the girl's attempts to return her friend to the wild. This may sound strangely familiar. However Simon Wincer's Free Willy was made in 1993 so I guess Rozalia (and writer L. Los) received generous royalties to ease her retirement in her native Russia. It goes without saying that the animation and the drawing is first class, and there is that trademark cuteness in the child's face. It does however not have quite such a happy ending as might be anticipated in a western piece of the time, or now for that matter. Some of the artwork reminds me of Aleksandr Petrov's The Mermaid. The song at the end by Olya Rozhdestvenskaya is particularly fine.