Monday, September 26, 2022

Adolf Born's groovy title illustrations for "The Girl on a Broomstick"

The Girl on a Broomstick is a delightful 1972 comedy from Czechoslovakia that's still perfect for the Halloween season. It's about an alternate-universe witch-in-training named Saxana who is transported to our modern-day world, where she learns that school is no more fun here than it is in her own universe. There's plenty of hijinx — with jokes that work across all cultures — plus broom-riding and rabbits aplenty.

I don't know of all of the places where you can track down a copy, but it's currently available, in full, on YouTube. I first learned about the movie last year from the podcast The Projection Booth.

The opening credits set the kooky tone for The Girl on a Broomstick (Dívka na koštěti) thanks to the wonderful artwork by Adolf Born (1930-2016). It could be said that he was Czechoslovakia's version of Edward Gorey, though that comparison is a bit too simplistic. 

One of the more interesting footnotes Born may be remembered for is that he provided the artwork for the first movie version of The Hobbit, a 12-minute film that was rushed out in 1967 so that a producer could maintain the movie rights to Tolkien's novel. The film is barely animated, consisting mostly of camera movements and zooms on Born's artwork. While mostly unrelated to anything involving The Hobbit, it does include Bilbo stealing a magic ring from "Goloom."

Getting back to The Girl on a Broomstick, here is some of Born's artwork from the opening credits. Check out the movie itself; I don't think you'll be disappointed!

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