Category: Animation

Soviet Film Wednesday: Samoyed Boy

Made in 1928, Samoyed Boy was one of the first films directed by the Brumberg sisters, along with directors Nikolai Khodataev and Olga Chodatajewa. It is the story of a boy who fights corruption in his village, then goes on to study in Moscow. It may be best known for its innovative animation; the mesmerizing waves are stunning …

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Soviet Film Wednesday: Russian Sugar Ad

Here’s a little treat for Wednesday: a jam ad created for Russian Sugar directed by Yuri Norstein. It was one of a group of Russian Sugar commercials made by Norstein between 1994 and 1995 that used cutouts and drawings for the animations (a bit past the Soviet era but still delightful and created by beloved …

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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.