Animation and USSR

Πέντε εκπληκτικά και βραβευμένα animation από την ΕΣΣΔ που άφησαν ιστορία στο παγκόσμιο animation:

1. Mest kinematograficheskogo operatora (1912) aka The Cameraman’s Revenge

Vladislav Starevich (August 8, 1882 – February 26, 1965)

Description: Mr. Grasshopper, a jilted cameraman, takes his revenge by filming Mr. Beetle and his mistress Ms. Dragonfly and then shows the results at a local cinema where Mrs. Beetle is in the audience. This was one of Starewicz’s first animated films, and stars very realistic animated beetles.


2. Skazka Skazok (1979) aka Tale of Tales

Yuri Borisovich Norshteyn or Yuriy Norshtein (born September 15, 1941)

Description: Animated film directed by Yuriy Norshteyn and produced by the Soyuzmultfilm studio in Moscow. It has won numerous awards, and has been acclaimed by critics and other animators as the greatest animated film of all time. It has been the subject of a 2005 book by Clare Kitson titled Yuri Norstein and Tale of Tales: An Animator’s Journey.


3. Seryy Volk end Krasnaya Shapochka (1990)

Garri Bardin (born September 11, 1941, Chkalov, Soviet Union)

Description: While Little Riding Hood and mother are making goodies, Grey Wolf has escaped from prison and is on his way to get new teeth. To the tune of “Mack the Knife”, he sings of how hungry he is. He goes to the doctor’s door where he finds a rabbit waiting outside. Grey Wolf knocks the door with rabbit’s head! Doctor lets him in. Wolf then sings to the tune of “Tea for Two”, about what a great man the doctor is while doctor sings in same tune how he doesn’t want to but reluctantly has to treat wolf. After doctor gives wolf new steel teeth, Wolf puts doctor through stomach. He later does same to rabbit. Little Riding Hood is on her way to Paris to visit grandmother. She meets wolf who is stopped from eating her, by three hunters passing by. Wolf then goes through gate where there is a metal detector. Metal detector is activated when wolf tries to pass through. Wolf pays toll. Little Riding Hood and Hunters (after paying their toll) also pass through. We see the Three Little Pigs to the instrumental theme of “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf” before the wolf gobbles them up. Then we see the 7 Dwarfs and hear “Heigh Ho” as wolf gets them too. With all these people in wolf’s stomach, doctor decides to do a Russian dance to enjoy life causing body of wolf to bounce a bit. Wolf goes to Grandma’s house in Paris and puts her in stomach as Riding Hood comes in. Grandma Wolf grabs girl’s pie but his steel teeth gets ripped from mouth as he grabs pie causing everyone to escape from Wolf’s stomach and march and sing for peace. Wolf gets arrested with peace sign attached to him as Riding Hood’s mother is watching on TV and sings what she had just heard to herself. This is an amusingly entertaining musical Russian short that is a great tribute to modern American pop culture. Very worthy entry in Volume 5 of The International Tournee of Animation videocassette. By all means, seek this one out!


4. Yozhik v tumane (1975) aka Hedgehog in the Fog

Yuri Borisovich Norshteyn or Yuriy Norshtein (born September 15, 1941)

Description: This is a story about a little hedgehog (voiced by Mariya Vinogradova) and his friend bear cub (voiced by Vyacheslav Nevinnyy). They would meet every evening to drink tea, converse, and count the stars. One day, the hedgehog decided to bring raspberry marmalade. As he went to the bear to count the stars, he passed through the woods and found a horse standing in a fog. He is curious as to whether the horse would suffocate if it lay down in the fog. Being an explorer, the hedgehog decides to explore the fog.

He finds himself in a strange world inhabited by many frightening creatures (eagle-owl and the bat) but also helpful and kind ones (the dog and the fish); that world of silence and rustles, of darkness, high grass and enchanting stars. He hears the sound of the owl. He is so frightened that it seems to him that the owl is very close. He is frightened, but his curiosity keeps him exploring the unknown. The characters Hedgehog and Bear Cub are very kind and friendly. In contrast, the eagle-owl is very hostile, being on the hunt and not taking care of the beauty of the surrounding world.


5. Film, film, film (1968)

Fyodor Savelyevich Khitruk (Russian: Фёдор Саве́льевич Хитру́к; 1 May 1917 – 3 December 2012)

Description: This animated short is a parody of the process of film-making. Brilliantly imaginative and very funny.


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