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Jul 11, 2013 9:56 AM
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 886
I'm suddenly very interested in Russia's animation history.

I watched Aleksandr Petrov's "My Love" and was very impressed. A moving oil painting? It was fantastic.

Another name I'm aware of is Yuri Norstein (Hedgehog in the Fog, though I haven't seen it)

Are there any Russians on here or Russian animation folks that could clue me in to some other good stuff?
Jul 11, 2013 10:00 AM

Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 1791
Recently there was a joint production between Russia and Japan for a movie called First Squad: Moment of Truth. I believe Manga Entertainment put in out on Home Media a few years ago.
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Jul 11, 2013 1:13 PM

Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 556
Yes it really was horribly "cool" and all.

OP, you should really check Yuriy Norshteyn. Aside from Hedgehog in the Fog, The Battle of Kerzhenets is another personal favorite of mine. You can find most if not all of his stuff on Youtube.

I also liked Aleksandr Petrov's "Mermaid"

Here is The Making of My Love in case you haven't seen it.

Are you looking just for experimental animation? Soviet animation most time experimented on stuff, not just with stop animation but there is large amount of style and techniques there, not much of it translated though.

Big Secret for a small company

The Little Match Girl

Girl and the Bear


The Giant's Daughter

There are many many more.
Modified by figuette, Jul 11, 2013 3:30 PM
Jul 11, 2013 2:31 PM

Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 8692
You watched Petrov's best (imo) but his five shorts are all worthy. Ranked: My love > The dream of a ridiculous man > The old man and the sea (this one is a visual feast) > Mermaid > The cow.

On Yuriy Norshteyn, I'd put Tale of tales together with Hedgehog in the fog. It took me three viewings to appreciate the quality of Hedgehog, but Tale of tales was an instant success.

Ivan Maximov is also worth exploring. He tends to make very similarly themed shorts that are more focused on building a slice of their characters' lives than on a linear storyline. The guy is very creative with his designs. My favorite of his is probably Tides to and fro:

I'd also recommend to check Garri Bardin. I don't have him as explored as the previous ones, I've only watched three, but they are all great. Specially recommended, Adagio:

Another author that is really worth is Wladislaw Starewicz. He did his most well-known works in France but the guy started making animated shorts in Russia. And it's very amazing when you realize that something like this:

was made in 1912.

Other recommendations: Forest tales by Elena Petkevich, the Vinni Pukh (Soviet Winnie the Pooh) short trilogy by Fyodor Khitruk, Tree of childhood by Natalya Mirzoyan, There lived Kozyavin by Andrei Khrzanovsky...
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Jul 11, 2013 3:45 PM

Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 556
There is also Tatyana Mittielo

Rainy story(The Cat's dream) :

"Cats under the rain" by Alexsey/Alex(?) Demin
Modified by figuette, Jul 11, 2013 4:02 PM
Jul 12, 2013 6:29 PM
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 886
Thanks for the recommendations so far. I'm not really sure what I'm looking for in Russian animation I'm mostly just trying to get a sense of it.

I'm something of an amateur animation historian and I'm trying to gauge the medium's progressiveness around the world. Japan and America obviously produce the most content, I'm just trying to see what else I can find, and trying to confirm my understanding of Japan as the medium's vanguard.

Are there any big budget animation studios in Russia or at least prolific ones? Or are small time artistic shorts all there is to be had?
Jul 12, 2013 7:09 PM

Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 4008
The only Russian animation I've seen is Vinni Pukh, if that helps...
Jul 13, 2013 3:26 AM

Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 556
Spirit_of_Fire said:
Are there any big budget animation studios in Russia or at least prolific ones? Or are small time artistic shorts all there is to be had?

You mean budget like Hollywood production? Well there are couple modern ones... which I think don't hold a candle to the old ones, not only in terms of animation but also in terms of storytelling and cleverness. There are the Stalin era ones, where Stalin wanted to compete with Disney and some pretty bland rotoscoped stuff were done back then.

In terms of money poured into however...... in Soviet Union days huge amount of money was poured exactly to support "artistic" animation and exploration, pretty much all animation of that era is about pushing the limits of creativeness and anyone who complain about how animation doesn't meet its potential as medium need to check these. You say America produced the most content.... I don't know if it's true, I know however that Soviet animation amounts to about 3500 titles if not more.The point of these production was never to be "shiny" but to be educational and intelligent, to promote ideals such as friendship and kindness for the little ones. However that said one shouldn't assume that because the said animation was "education" it was dumb it always had a general appeal, they were all made in a way that they could be watched by the whole family. There is also a small but quality amount that were specifically made to go outside Soviet Union, they were specifically tailored to appeal to western tastes and were considered to be best of the best because they were "representing a country", sadly I can't find any of those, I once stumbled on the Shakespeare adaption but couldn't get a hold of it at that time.

There are some mainstream that were very popular like Nu Pogodi, but I don't know how much of appeal aside from a superficial one (oh it's silly/funny! sort) it would have to a non-Russian as most of actual charm of it lies in social commentary and Soviet pop culture, even if there is no dialogue aside from the titular catchphrase. Vinni Pukh's charm heavily relies on the dialogues, one interesting thing about it is that the Russian adaption is global while the original English material is UK oriented. Most Russian cartoons are very intelligent dialogue wise, the closest American equivalent that I can think of is Shrek and Monster Co. Things like Cheburashka and The Red Glove were met with big enthusiasm in Japan, Cheburashka even has its place in Ghibli museum.

I'm going to post Mowgli from the old era, since most people are familiar with the story and it's one of the longest one:

And here is Little Longnose, which is of the newer kind (one of the better ones)
Modified by figuette, Jul 13, 2013 3:34 PM
Jul 26, 2013 7:47 PM
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 63
Was watching some of those above but I can't tell what is so different compared to other cartoons. :(
Jul 26, 2013 10:37 PM

Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 1095

By the way. This thread reminded me of a one particular animation short that i have been trying to find for years. Until i didn't know which country it came from but i'm pretty sure now that it was soviet's.

What i remember about that short that the main character was a pig and in the end of it the pig ate something and after that a tree grew from it's stomach and that's was the ending.

So if anyone know's what's the name of it this short was let me know.

Modified by Kuruwin, Jul 26, 2013 10:44 PM