A Necessary Look Back through Restored Animated Films

Remembering is living it again. Voltus V remastered. Remembering your childhood

By Abel Molina Macias*

HAVANA TIMES – As part of the Summer 2022 program in Havana, the Exhibition Project Childhood Present! and the Havana Provincial Film Center present the series of animated films restored by Miguel Coyula, who synchronized the soundtracks made by the Cuban Film Institute (ICAIC) on high-resolution copies.

Officially started on Sunday, July 15, 2018 with the projection of the iconic Voltus V, within the audiovisual cycle “Remembering is Returning…” held on this same location, the Exhibition Project Childhood Present! Seeks to recover and socialize through activities and various information products – documents and materials of all kinds, related to Cuban childhood in the years 1970-1990.

After this first activity, and after learning from Mario Naito (Cinemateca de Cuba) that there were many soundtracks of foreign cartoons seen in those years at ICAIC, several were obtained, kindly provided by Francisco Cordero, head of the Technical Development and Patrimony in that institution, and digitized by Jose Galiño, from its Postproduction Department.

I wish to pay a heartfelt Tribute to Jose Galiño Martínez (Las Tunas, February 24, 1939-Havana, June 11, 2022), without whom the recovery of the animated foreign films seen in Cuba would not be possible.

Pleased after the screening of the first restored film: Yaltus (Cine La Rampa, Sunday, September 8, 2019), Galiño (l) with Lynn Cruz, Miguel Coyula and Abel

From 2018 to this date, the following screenings were held: Yaltus (September 8, 2019, Cine La Rampa); Voltus V (November 8, 2019, Infanta Multicine); Technopolice in action December 22, 2019, Cine Acapulco.

A special moment was the cycle of all the restored animated films at the 23rd and 12 St. Cinema, headquarters of the Cuban Cinematheque, during February 2020: Voltus V, Yaltus, Cyborg and Technopolice were all shown that month. Also, the Strawberry and Chocolate Film Cultural Center hosted a discussion on the dubbing process in Cuba, with the participation of Manuel Herrera (Dubbing Director for Voltus V and Yaltus, Dialogue Adjustments for Yaltus and Cyborg 009), Eslinda Núñez (Actress who provided her voice for Voltus V and Yaltus) and Elena Rosales (ICAIC Artistic Department).

The patient and admirable work of Miguel Coyula was not limited to the simple synchronization of the sound with the image, because in the films Yaltus, Cyborg 009 and The Firebird, he managed to rescue scenes that were not seen during their premiere in Cuba.

With the restoration of the films The Firebird and The Last Unicorn, the last titles processed in 2022, the work of the Project that I carry out with the soundtracks of the foreign animated films at ICAIC concludes. I feel satisfied to have achieved a dream considered by some impossible and without meaning or value, but grateful for many, who returned for a brief time to their childhood, noble and beautiful.

I also take this opportunity to invite you to participate in the event that, for the 40th anniversary of the premiere of Voltus V in Cuba (August 26, 1982) will be held on Friday, August 26 and Saturday, August 27, 2022 at the Valonia Showcase, Old Havana.

*Abel Molina Macias, creator and coordinator of the Exhibition Project Childhood Present!

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