Canadian International Pictures

The Great Land of Small

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This Partner Label release is distributed through Vinegar Syndrome's sister company OCN Distribution. Vinegar Syndrome had no part in, nor are responsible for, the restoration, extras, quality control or any content(s) of this release. We hope you enjoy our growing roster of Partner Labels and the expertise and curation brought to each release by their dedicated staff!

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This special limited edition spot gloss and embossed slipcover is limited to 2,000 units and is only available on our website and at select indie retailers. Absolutely no major retailers will be stocking them.

From arthouse to Canuxploitation, Canadian International Pictures (CIP) is devoted to resurrecting vital, distinctive, and overlooked triumphs of Canadian cinema. This label is focused on the country’s original cinematic boom years – spanning the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s – occasionally venturing past that period (and the country’s borders) to highlight the films of Canada’s most inspired actors and filmmakers. Vinegar Syndrome’s sister company, OCN Distribution, is thrilled to be representing CIP's brand new line of home video releases! 

Where it doesn’t matter how big you are.
Just how big you dream.

Armed with a sack of gold dust and five magic spells, kind-hearted dwarf Fritz (Twin Peaks’ Michael J. Anderson) leaves his fantastical home to test the intentions of humans. Soon after his arrival, he crosses paths with Flannigan (The Vindicator’s Ken Roberts), a shady hunter who makes off with the magical gold and starts plotting evil deeds. After forging a friendship with siblings Jenny (Karen Elkin) and David (Michael Blouin), Fritz takes them to the alternate dimension he calls home: The Great Land of Small. As the authorities search for the missing children, Jenny and David are wowed by a fantastical world of acrobats and a gold-spitting creature known as Slimo. But when the King and Queen plot to make these kids their own, Fritz must risk his own well-being to get them home – and stop Flannigan from wreaking magic havoc.

Described by Miloš Forman as “the spiritual father of the Czech New Wave,” director Vojtěch Jasný (The Cassandra Cat) somehow found his way to Quebec in the mid-’80s to direct this fifth instalment in producer Rock Demers’ Tales for All series. A low budget riff on The Wizard of Oz and The NeverEnding Story – with a strong resemblance to Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre – The Great Land of Small is a surreal, logic-bending family phantasmagoria that proves to be an ideal showcase for the talents of Michael J. Anderson (who appears in a dual role), Cirque du Soleil, and the animation of Pascal Blais Productions. Distributed by New World Pictures in the United States, this oddball gem has remained largely unavailable for decades, but it is finally back to cast its spell on anyone with an appetite for the unusual.

directed by: Vojtěch Jasný
starring: Karen Elkin, Michael Blouin, Michael J. Anderson, Ken Roberts, Rodrigue Tremblay (Chocolat), Lorraine Desmarais, Gilles Pelletier, André Melançon
1987 / 91 min / 1.85:1 / English DTS-HD MA 2.0

Additional info:

  • Region A Blu-ray
  • Scanned and restored in 2K from the 35mm original camera negative by Éléphant - mémoire du cinéma québécois
  • New audio commentary featuring film historians Nathaniel Thompson and Troy Howarth
  • The New World Pictures Podcast episode on The Great Land of Small
  • Small Actors, Big Roles (2023, 17 min.) - New interviews with stars Karen Elkin and Michael Blouin
  • The Great Land of Effects (2023, 10 min.) - New interview with visual effects producer Pascal Blais
  • Animating in the ’80s (2023, 9 min.) - Blais discusses the animation techniques used in the film
  • Beyond Vaudeville (1991, 27 min.) – Episode of the classic public-access TV show featuring actor Michael J. Anderson
  • Archival interview with Jasný from The Other Europe series (1988, 26 min.)
  • Bohemian Rhapsody (1969, 16 min.) – Jasný’s celebrated short about his home country
  • It’s Not Always Cloudy (1949, 68 min.) – Jasný’s feature-length student film co-directed by Karel Kachyňa
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Booklet featuring an essay by film programmer Marc Lamothe
  • Reversible cover artwork
  • Alternate French language audio track
  • English SDH subtitles