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Oh, not to worry, the water will be along shortly. I'm off to claim my throne!
~ Ludmilla

Ludmilla is the main antagonist in Don Bluth's 1999 animated film, Bartok the Magnificent.

She was voiced by the legendary actress, Catherine O'Hara, who also played Shock in Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Role in the film

From the beginning, Ludmilla seems to be a woman of rights and a little shy, hesitant, and mysterious. She planned the kidnapping of the young Russian monarch named Prince Ivan and seemed to use Bartok's help to dispose of this singular bat, putting the witch "Baba Yaga" as the main enemy, as the kidnapper of Prince Ivan.

Bartok goes to Baba Yaga's house in the Forest of Iron. As he does three tasks for Baba Yaga, the mystical witch makes a potion for Bartok. Once the potion is finished, she shows to Bartok the place where is Prince Ivan and that she didn't kidnap him. The magic potion was made to help out Bartok. Its mystical powers apparently make the drinker be what he is inside on the outside ten times.

Bartok goes to the Castle of Prince Ivan (now Ludmilla's) and claims that Prince Ivan have never been kidnapped, "He is in the TOWER!" he tells her. Ludmilla is surprised and confident, so she goes with Bartok to the tower, where Ivan was being held. Ludmilla shouts to the guard that kidnapped Ivan, putting the Guard, Bartok and Ivan (again) in the prison. Ludmilla takes the potion of Bartok and drinks it.

She believes that (be what she will be on the inside on the outside ten times) she is more than a beautiful woman, thinking that inside she is as "lovely as a flower". But instead, while she sings "The Real Ludmilla", she was gradually becoming a dragon, her inner self. As she tries to attempts to speak to her people, they flee in terror of her dragon form. Ludmilla accidentally breathes fire and she finally sees herself as a dragon from her reflection on the polished floor. At that moment, she completely loses her humanity as she reverts into a violent and treacherous monster, thus completing her dragon transformation. She flies into a rage and breaks out of the palace, intent on destroying the kingdom.

Once Bartok escapes from the tower, he goes against Ludmilla to save the kingdom. She was not happy with that and chased him through town while breathing fire. Her scales made it impossible for Bartok to fight her physically, so he catapulted a large rock into her mouth to stop her flames, dazing her. She was then hypnotized (by watching different sized rocks being juggled) by Bartok, and was led to the tower as part of his plan to use the water within to put out the town's fires. Ludmilla was tricked into breaking the rock loose in the tower and chased Bartok upward onto it in order to kill him, but the tiny bat was able to trick her into shifting her weight from atop the tallest point. Ludmilla soon fell along with the collapsing tower and was crushed under the resulting wave of water, dying from the impact of her fall.

Gallery

Trivia

  • She is very similar to Maleficent from Disney's 16th full-length animated feature film, Sleeping Beauty.
    • Both are sorceresses, both turned into dragons at the end, and both have died of falling.
  • She is the second female main antagonist in a Don Bluth film after Queen Gnorga.
           Don Bluth Villains

Animated Features
NIMH | Jenner | Dragon the Cat | Warren T. Rat | Digit | Mott Street Maulers | Moe | Sharptooth | Carface Carruthers | Killer | Hellhound | Grand Duke of Owls | Hunch | Grundel Toad | Berkeley Beetle | Mr. Mole | Ms. Fieldmouse | Queen Gnorga | King Llort | Drake | Rasputin | Ludmilla | Drej Queen Susquehana | Drej | Preed | Joseph Korso

Sequels
Cat R. Waul | T.R. Chula | One-Eye | Mr. Grasping | Toplofty & O'Bloat | Chief McBrusque | Scuttlebutt | Madame Mousey | Twitch | Slug & Bootlick | Manhattan Monster | Red | Belladonna | Martin Brisby | Dr. Valentine | Muriel & Floyd