Jan 30, 2009

Soviet Animation

My neighbour told me stories of the beautiful animated films the Soviet occupation forces showed in their improvised cinemas in the years after the second world war. Thanks to Al Gore I was able to quickly learn a bit about the History of Soviet Animation.

If you think all animation was like Worker and Parasite from The Simpsons, you may be in for a surprise.

The Magic Flower (part one). 1948.
Beautiful, fluent animation, based on rotoscoping (or, in Russian terms, eclair).

The Magic Flower (part two). 1948.

The Magic Flower (part three). 1948.

The Humpbacked Horse (part one). 1947.
The lack of subtitles makes the story somewhat hard to follow here. Reading the Wikipedia entry helps a bit.

The Humpbacked Horse (part two). 1947.

The Humpbacked Horse (part three). 1947.

The Humpbacked Horse (part four). 1947.
Huh ? The Phoenix looks a lot like Tezuka's Phoenix (drawn in1954) ! The God of Manga a plagiator ? Hmm, no, apparently there exists something like a global consensus on how a Phoenix is supposed to look like...

The Humpbacked Horse (part five). 1947.

The Humpbacked Horse (part six). 1947. Yay, whale island !

The Humpbacked Horse (part seven). 1947.

The Humpbacked Horse (part eight). 1947.

Girl and Dolphin (with substitles). 1978. The matter of dolphin intelligence, or sentience, was indeed vigorously studied in the Soviet Union. I fondly remember reading a Soviet book from the Seventeed on that topic during a voyage to Spitzbergen on a Russian cruise ship in 1990...

Bandar-Logs, from The Adventures of Mowgli. 1973. This adaptation of the story is quite close to Kipling's dark, violent vision.

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