niffiwan (niffiwan) wrote in animatsiya2,

Weightless Life 1 - Dialogue With Disney

Crossposted with the older "Animatsiya".

The first of a four-part documentary series about Russian animation which recently aired, translated into English by yours trully. This episode is a good, fun overview of Russian and early American animation history.


Here are the notes; a list of the people and films mentioned (that I've been able to identify):

From the intro:
Oleg Anofriyev
Iosif Boyarskiy
Fyodor Khitruk
Yuriy Norshteyn
Inessa Kovalevskaya
Aleksandr Kurlyandskiy
Aleksandr Tatarskiy

The footage from 1:17-1:45 is from Man with a Movie Camera (1929), directed by Dziga Vertov:

The short man on the lower right corner who sometimes frames certain images is the "director" from Fyodor Khitruk's "Film, film, film" (1968):

3:24 - "Interplanetary Revolution" (1924) - can be seen in its entirety (with commercial breaks) on Memocast over here, unless you live in any of the CIS countries.

4:54 - "We Don't Bite Here" (1937), "It's Hot in Africa" (1936), "Little Liar" (1938), "A Noisy Voyage" (1937)

6:04 - "Little Red Riding Hood" (1937). It's now in the public domain (as are all Soviet films prior to and including 1954), and can be downloaded here. You can use the ed2k link, or read this guide on how to download directly from the website (look for the settings you need to have on your download manager).

7:33 - list of Soviet children's artists whose styles could no longer be used in animation because of Disneyification: Vladimir Lebedev, Cherushin (can't find any info), Vladimir Favorskiy (russian link).

11:19 - Disney's "Steamboat Willie" (1928), the first animated film with synchronized sound. Can be found in many places, for example here.

12:06 - Messmer's "Woos Whoopee" (1930), starring Felix the Cat:

12:30 - "Down With the Second International", "China in Flames", "How Avdotya Became Literate". "China in Flames" can be viewed on Memocast over here.

12:59 - Samuil Marshak, well-known Russian children's poet.

13:03 - "Post" (1929, sound added in 1930), a classic of Soviet animation but one which is impossible to see anywhere nowadays outside of occasional special festivals/museum exhibitions. says that it was actually coloured on the film positives.

13:33 - "The Tale of the Priest and of His Workman Balda (Bazaar scene)" (1930s). Same situation as "Post". This feature film was never finished, but most of it once existed. Everything except the market scene was destroyed by German bombing in WW2. Shostakovich's music for it can be bought on CD at sites like

15:10 - "Film Circus" (1942) - watch it over here on Memocast.

15:57 - "The Little Grey Neck" (1948). Public domain, so it can be downloaded in high quality over here or over here (again see my earlier post about how to download from those websites).

16:41 - "The Little Humpbacked Horse" (1947).

17:40 - "The Snow Queen" (1957), "Mitten" (1967), "Boniface's Holiday"

18:21 - "Glass Harmonica (1968). It's available on Youtube, but it's a pretty dark image...

18:25 - "Story of One Crime" (1962):

18:50 - Disney's "Fantasia" (1940)

20:04 - Disney's "Cinderella" (1950), "Sleeping Beauty" (1959)

20:44 - Disney's "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh" (1977, made up of 3 short films released in 1966, 1968 and 1874). Fyodor Khitruk's "Winnie-the-Pooh" (1969). Only one of the Russian films has been posted on Youtube with English subtitles, and it is the second one (although their timing is rather wonky - the text sometimes flies by very fast).

22:27 - Dyozhkin's "Shaybu! Shaybu!!" (1964, a wordless, action-filled hockey cartoon) can be seen over here on Youtube: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. The Extraordinary Match (1955)

22:48 - "You Just Wait!" (Nu, pogodi!), a very famous Soviet series. Many of them can be found on Youtube. They are practically wordless; the only thing you need to know if you watch them is that "nu, pogodi!" means "you just wait!", "volk" means "wolf", and "zayets" means "hare" (another meaning of "zayets" is "stowaway", which is used in one episode). The series started in 1969 as part of "The Happy Merry-go-Round", another series which featured various animated sketches.

24:16 - In 2003 at the Laputa Animation Festival in Tokyo, Japan, 140 animators from around the world were asked to choose their top 20 films. From that list, 150 films were chosen. "Hedgehog in the Fog (1975) and "Tale of Tales" (1979) were chosen as #1 and #2, with Disney's Fantasia a more distant #3. I can't find any English information about it, but there's some info in Russian over here, listing the Russian films which made it on there.

24:20 - scene from Petrov's "The Cow" (1989), on Youtube over here.

24:27 - scene from Yuriy Norshteyn's unfinished feature film "The Overcoat", started in 1981 (30 minutes will be released by the end of this year).

24:30 - scene from Petrov's "The Old Man and the Sea" (1999), which won an Oscar.

24:39 - Frank Thomas (1912-2004), Ollie Johnston (1912-).

25:16 - "Alosha" (2004) revitalized the genre of animated feature films in Russia.
Tags: history, weightless life

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