Category: Animation

Soviet Film Wednesday: Little Red Riding Hood

Let me introduce you to The Brumberg Sisters, Valentina and Zinaida Brumberg, who worked together as animators, screenwriters, and directors, creating around 50 films in total. This is their spooky animation of Charles Perrault’s Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale, made in 1937. Perrault’s version was a cautionary message to children about stranger danger.

Soviet Film Wednesday: Seasons

Seasons, made in 1969, is one of the most beloved Russian animations, directed by Yuri Norstein and Ivan Ivanov-Vano, with the music of Tchaikovsky. You can find this and four other animations by Norstein: The Battle of Kerzhenets, Fox and Rabbit, The Heron and the Crane, and Hedgehog in the Fog, all on DVD in Masters of …

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Soviet Film Wednesday: Birthnight

In Birthnight, Night visits young Tima, a boy who sleeps with the light on because he is afraid of the dark, and she invites him to her nighttime birthday party in the woods. If the story doesn’t sound intriguing enough, the eccentric synth music of Eduard Artemyev is sure to transport you to another world, …

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Soviet Film Wednesday: Butterfly

Andrei Khrzhanovsky directs this mystical Russian animation from 1972, Butterfly, about a boy and the butterflies he catches.  One day, the tables turn, and the boy finds himself caught by a giant butterfly. Music by Matthias Müller.

Soviet Film Wednesday: The Cow

I recently posted an introduction to the beautiful work of Aleksandr Petrov, who creates animations using pastel oil paintings on glass to create wonderful, unique frames of soft, muted colors. Here is one of his early works, The Cow (Корова, Korova), made in 1989. In the story, a boy remembers how his family lost their …

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Aleksandr Petrov, Master of Painted Glass Animation

Today is the birthday of Aleksandr Petrov, the Russian animator born July 17, 1957, in the village of Prechistoye. He is known for his unique technique of creating animations from pastel oil paintings on glass, using his fingertips to paint for added texture. Petrov’s first animation was made in 1988, Marathon, and was a tribute …

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Soviet Film Wednesday: A Rainy Story

Inspired after seeing this at Soviet Visuals and Folklore Film Fest‘s #SovietFilmWednesday, this was the first Soviet film I shared a little over two years ago, and it is still one of my favorites. What can I say, I love rain and cats, and the illustrations are beautiful. A Rainy Story is about a cat who wanders …

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Soviet Film Wednesday: The Scarlet Flower

The Scarlet Flower (Аленький цветочек, Alenkiy tsvetochek) is a popular Russian folktale based on Sergey Aksakov’s rendition of the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast. Similar to the traditional tale, it begins when a merchant father, Stepan Yemelyanovich, asks his three daughters what gifts they would like from his travels. The oldest daughter, Gordeya, wishes for …

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Soviet Film Wednesday: The Little Mermaid

This wonderfully illustrated 1968 Russian animation is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid. It begins with a Copenhagen tour guide’s introduction to Andersen’s story, which is not quite the same as the Disney version. As is usually the case, the older tale is much darker. Much of the imagery in this animation is also dark, yet …

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Soviet Film Wednesday: Children and Matches

Yuri Norstein gives us a clever, stylized public service message in this 1969 short cutout animation, Children and Matches.