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A Beginner's Guide to Soviet Animated Cinema
- Published on Jun 9, 2023 veröffentlicht
- This video serves as a beginner’s guide to world of Soviet animation. I cover the entire history of the USSR, including films like The Snow Queen, Story of One Crime, Hedgehog in the Fog, Tale of Tales, Mirror of Time, Winnie the Pooh, and Cheburashka.
I made a video devoted to director Fyodor Khitruk you can watch here:
• A Brief Intro to ...
You can see a list of all of the films mentioned here:
You can watch a playlist of all my cinema beginner’s guides here:
• Film Beginner's G...
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- Film & Animation
Comments • 0
It's also worth mentioning that Soviet animation created a lot of works based on history, myths and farytales of not only Soviet nations, but many others, like Greek, Indian, African, Arabic, with strong, smart, proud heroes. They showed me that the world has so many different peopels and cultures.
Thank you so much. As a russian I really appreciate your observations. No just animations, but movies and literature, tv shows did this way. The world of soviet kids and teenagers was much larger than just soviet union by it's self. Such delicate people like you make me believe that maybe all that old horrible stereotypes about our culture will go away someday, maybe.
@Charlie BlackI grew up reading tolstoy while ib my late teens. I deeply respect the Russian heritage and Culture, and belive art and love is the way to peace.
@Prophecy Rat 2 I grew up being gay so I think I am a bit of an expert here.
It is a shame that most Soviet animation is not getting restored for full-hd resolutions. It is a shame, because even from crappy versions you can see very talented artistic approach, especially in puppet animation.
Unfortunately, if they would decide to restore videos, they would probably also record new audio and that would be a shame. This was done with some soviet cartoons in the early 00's, but they are unwatchable because of terrible sound. Orchestral music from great composers was just played on a crappy synthesizer and the voice acting is bad as well. If you want to see what I mean, look for cartoons with a pink Stripe on the thumbnail. They are on a channel "star media kids". So, I think that it's the best for these cartoons to stay in their original states. A proper reproduction is probably no longer possible, due to lack of orchestra players and good voice actors
@Jan problem isn't that they were tried to be updated. Problem is that those cartoons were made during different time, during different ideas and now idea is only one - profit. So instead of doing those cartoons justice, those companies just redo shit with least work possible to get some cash...
Unique styles literally get ruined by upscale, because neural nets get the information from pre-existed images.
restore to HD videos, and remake the new better voice and music at high cost, it's still better btw.
This is really incredible. There is so much fascinating animation from the eastern Europe that gets easily overlooked by US audiences. This is a fascinating survey of some solid films.
Glad you enjoyed it!
not even EU audiences look at this
Great video. I had the honor of meeting Yuri Norstein back in the 90s, when I was studying animation. He and his wife are a huge influence.
Wow! That's awesome.
Please tell me you cintinued animation? :) i miss animation like this
@projectfear22 Intermittently, but not as much as I would've liked. I miss animation like this, too. :)
I love Yuri, Yaoi is good too, oy.
It warms my heart that animations from my childhood are being discovered by people from other countries and cultures.
Those films are treasured to this day.
They are amazing
As they should be; there's some incredible stuff to be found. I think the animation is beautiful, and quite ahead of its time in many ways. Not to mention the adaptations of Russian fairy tales and folklore are so interesting to see aside from the usual German/French ones.
скажи... у меня мурашки размером со слона. Как здорово, что такие видео и люди есть!
Not only yours or mine, but, apparently, Hayo Miadzaki's too! )
I remember whatching Снежная Королева, being 5-or 6.. I was terrified! Man, I am 43 now, and will remember that experience for all my life..)
That's sonthing that shapes lifes.
Soviet cartoons were a big part of my childhood. I watched Vinni Pukh, Nu, Pogodi, Troe iz Prostokvashino, and many more. My mom and dad introduced them to me. They watched them themselves when they were young, long before they immigrated from Belarus to the US. They are so charming, I recommend checking them out. Definitely feeling the nostalgia right about now.
Cool your parents migrated from Belarus to America, my parents migrated from Belarus to Ireland.
Those are literally best cartoons
your parents ate a lot of soviet propaganda and ,then they moved to the USA? that sound weird to say the least.
@Frank James American propaganda is the most delicious and nutritious. Despite side effects in the form of premature dementia.
The soviet adaptation of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass were fantastic, and far closer to the more modern, darker and quirkier interpretation of Lewis Carroll's work. Also, I absolutely adore the great music and visual madness of The Secret of the Music Box (Шкатулка с секретом). My wife finds it creepy though:)
То же нравится музыка в этой версии.
Oooh we have much scarier shit than this
I mean secret of the music box
In my opinion, all Alice in Wonderland adaptations are creepy. Including films. I do not mean that they have no artistic value. I was just an impressionable child.
Как по мне, все экранизации Алисы в стране чудес - жуткие. В том числе фильмы. Я не имею ввиду то что они не имеют художественной ценности. Просто я был впечатлительным ребёнком.
У меня в детстве была книжка из отдельных карточек (не знаю, как правильно называется такой формат) по кадрам из этого мультфильма. Вот же ужас на меня наводили его персонажи... Ещё в таком же формате была "девочка и дельфин".
The Town Musicians of Bremen is one of the all-time most iconic Soviet animation pieces. I guess it's natural that you didn't focus on it too much as it was iconic pretty much solely because of its soundtrack and not animated characters.
I can still sing some of the songs from memory its so beautiful
Yep it was like a musical about hippies approved by Soviet authorities
Мы к вам заехали на чаааас!
@Ivan Robin ST "Привет, Bonjour, HELLOOOOOO!!!"
Ray of the golden sun, hidden by the darkness veil...
The animation of Robert Sahakyants at Armenfilm deserves its own commentary. The Armenfilm tales are absolutely iconic all around the post-soviet space for fun, slightly trippy animation combined with absolutely hilarious witty dialogue. They are extremely fun to watch.
I agree , some cartoons were based on popular tales of famous poet Hovhannes Tumanyan in Armenia
Watching "The Wind" was a very specific kind of "fun"...
Yeah, some of those changing you forever. Armenian animations was something else.
Great comment, couldn't agree more
I was expecting to showcase “Wow! A Talking Fish!” from him. A crazy trippy piece of art
I absolutely love Soviet animation. I grew up in Cuba and grew up with a lot of old russian cartoons including these Soviet animations. While I was getting propaganda as a toddler, I still have a special place in my heart for these.
Hello. Where can I find Cuban translations of Soviet cartoons? My Latin American and Spanish friends can't find translations of Soviet films and cartoons.
I always seem to only stick with American and Japanese animation, but this gave me a great list of animations to check out beyond those two. Great stuff!
_Nu, Pogodi!_ is very iconic. Part of many people's childhoods.
I recommend looking into French animation too! Lots of classics. Like Asterix and Obelix.
@AC animatic's based
You should understand that Soviet cartoons were produced just for kids. American/Western animation was not just for kids, and Japanese anime has literally nothing for kids and had no kids shows since it's very beginning, and will never have. Soviet cartoons are also all like Teletubbies and have basically zero inappropriate content.
@s71402san Damn I fr took the bait well done
The Snow Queen is SUPER FAMOUS in Italy, where it's shown every Christmas, together with the Peanuts special. Turns out that a communist party member came back from the USSR with a copy, and his brother in law worked at one of the few TV stations Italy had at the time, he liked the cartoon so much he proposed it to the executives, and since then it's been shown at least once a year.
@kubricklynch - Film History I heard it was a great inspiration for Hayao Miyazaki
A very enjoyable and informative video. But it makes me laugh that the reason Clip-Share recommended this to me is probably because I "liked" a version of "Steamed Hams" that draws heavily from "The Glass Harmonica"! 😂
Haha, that is amazing.
Omg I thought it was just me
@alek derijan I think it happened to me too rofl
Me too xd
Yoo I got the same video today 💀💀
"Golden Antelope" and "Scarlet Flower" were my favorites as a kid, the latter one is mentioned in this video, but it deserves way more time - its incredibly beautiful
Also speaking about Armenian films, "Wow, a talking fish!" is an absolute masterpiece with really cool animation
Lev Atamanov, creator of Golden Antelope, Snow Queen and Scarlet Flower (also Kitten Gav, Ballerina on a Ship, etc.) was also Armenian. His real name was Levon Adamian.
“wow, a talking fish” is my favourite, it’s so psychedelic
My favorite soviet animated film is an adaptation of Treasure Island from 1988. Give it a go, it's great.
I suggest, everybody knows about Treasure Island in 2023, thanks to the meme
@Глеб Горшков I grew up watching it. It is surreal to see it become well known as a meme.
Try to watch the other two iconic cartoons made in the same style before Treasure Island: 1. Captain Vrungel (Kapitan Vrungel') 2. Doctor Aibolit. Same style, same way of humor. One of the best Soviet cartoons of all time.
film film film is awesome. Vinni-pukh is masterpiece. Gena and Cheburashka as well. Mystery of the third planet is also really good one. Zhil-byl pyos is nice but a bit sad.
Also, there's a couple of good cartoons-
- Padal Proshlogodny sneg- a hilarious tale about a dreamer who went into the woods to get a Christmas tree.
- Cossacks (cartoon series) - it's about bizarre adventures of 3 ukrainian cossaks.
- Karlsson- Soviet version of story of karlsson who lives on the roof.
- Wow! The talking fish! (ukh-ty! govoryashya ryba!) - it's an old tale about mythic creatures. Also is a comedy.
- Flying ship. - If you like slavic folklore or lore of the Witcher, this might be interesting for you(but keep in mind its for kids)
- Vovka v trydevyatom tsarstve - Comedy about lazy boy.
- Sledstvie vedut kolobki - Funny detective by animator of Rugrats, Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, The Wild Thornberrys Movie
- Adventures of Captain Wrongel - it's a naval detective musical with good songs and jokes.
- Home for Kuz'ka- its about a little cute brownie. Don't ask me why brownie can be cute, watch it by yourself.
There are also interview on Conan o Brian show with Mila Cunis where them talks about Soviet cartoons. Its kinda fun. And yes our Vinnie the Poo sounds like old smoker, he's a funky bear, he's roar.
Man you’ve just mentioned all my favorite childhood cartoons, mad respect
ухты говорящая рыба это просто гениально. у меня ощущение что я его однажды наизусть выучу. так уж нравятся реплики что иногда и в быту проговариваю.
песни из олетучего корабля хороши
Yea, I too wan't to see this picture of Ashton Kutcher watching Vinnie Pukh with his son
"Очень синяя борода" is also a good one, really expected to see it mentioned in the video.
Dr dolittle, treasure island, Funtiks adventures
I'm russian and i saw in my childhood at least half of all mentioned cartoons. And i love them very much. Just recently i rewatched the "musicians from Bremen", it's such a great movie. I'm really sorry that non-russian speakers can't fully enjoy the lyrics of their music
I have a soft spot for Soviet animation. There is such a wide variety of multi-talents throughout its history (and many, many films I still need to watch)! They have a very different style and approach from American animation, so it's always exciting to find some gems from both Soviet and other international animation studios! I hope to see a history for animation from the Eastern Bloc which includes iconic animation such as Hungarian Folk Tales and the French-Czech collab Fantastic Planet!
I was actually thinking about doing videos on Hungarian and Czech animation specifically.
@kubricklynch - Film History Can't wait to see it!
Many of these cartoons were broadcasted on Sundays on national tv in a culture channel for kids in Mexico. They were a part of my childhood :3
We didn't even know what Soviet cartoons were showing in Mexico.
I'm fascinated by art made in URSS. It's so original and intriguing. Thank you a lot for give me the opportunity to know more about it.
Couldn't agree more! Thank you for watching.
Yea propaganda pieces sure are original and creative
@ZX T have you ever watched a movie named "they live" it's a American movie (i think) which the main theme is how ever price of art is a propaganda for who made it
@ZX T Propaganda isn't inherently bad. It all depends on how well the message is conveyed. If done well, propaganda movies can seem less like a heavy handed attempt to promote an ideology and more like an engaging analogy or call to action. Many of the best American movies were also kind of propagandistic. The issue was only allowing the production of pro government propaganda movies, not the fact that propaganda existed at all.
I'm from Croatia, but I watched the Snow Queen as a kid because we had it taped on a VHS from a TV program. It was actually dubbed in German so I had no idea it was Soviet until I stumbled upon it a few years ago while on a nostalgia spree. The Ghost of Canterville was an extra in some DVD and it was dubbed in English. I loved the rotoscoping style and I would rewatch them all the time.
Celteovil casting is not rotoscoping.
Great video! 👍It's honestly really sad how underrated and overlooked the Soviet animation industry is. Whether you love or hate the Soviet Union, there's no denial that they had a rich animation history. It's a shame how the only thing that comes to most people's minds when they think of Soviet animation are those poorly made propaganda cartoons from the 20s, 30s and 40s like "Interplanetary Revolution", "Soviet Toys" etc., even though they only make up like 1% of all the cartoons produced in the Soviet Union, not to mention that just because a cartoon is Soviet, doesn't mean it's propaganda. Fun fact: The "Soyuzmultfilm" animation studio alone had produced more than 1500 cartoons.
In the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, they made good cartoons. And the communist cartoons were done well. There were a lot of experiments. There are primitive jobs, but at the same time it is difficult work. Do not belittle the work of people.
This was such an interesting video. My sister and I used to watch the snow queen when we were kids and we were obsessed with this movie. I always wondered where it came from and why it felt so intense and now I know! thank you!
Glad you enjoyed the video!
A big heartfelt thanks from a girl born and raised in Soviet Russia! 👍 Loved the vid 💖 Some of the animations looked unfamiliar though - probably 'cause they were rarely shown on TV back in the 70s and 80s. I' ll have to check them out. P.S. The Snow Queen, The Little Mermaid, The Wild Swans, Thumbelina, and Cinderella are still my all-time favorites 🌷
Thanks for the retrospective, you've mentioned some animation milestones even I was unfamiliar with. People deserve to know that there was more to USSR animation than a crude trippy arthouse projects and propaganda pieces.
The late 70's were notable for simplistic artstyle and often parable-like plots, cynical, but not vile.
My 2 most favourite cartoons of that time was Icarus and the Wisemen (1976) and A Very Blue Beard (1979).
Both retell the classical plots from the different points of view, and I seriously recommend finding both with subtitles and watch them. A Very Blue Beard is also a jazz musical that is told entirely in songs.
YESSS finally someone's talking about A Very Blue Beard! It can come across as sexist at times but I enjoy it so much. I think even if you grew up with Soviet cartoons like I and many of Russian (and post-soviet at large, I suppose) gen z did, chances are you wouldn't know about this cartoon
I remember going to the Ghibli Museum when I was in Japan and there was a room with papers all over the walls, showing things from sketches to colored images. There were a few drawings of the wolf from Tale of Tales there.
I've heard about the Soviet Winnie the Pooh from someone whose parents came from the Soviet Union. I watched a few episodes of it and I sometimes bring it up to other people, who are Americans like I am and have not previously heard of it. One time I mentioned it to a Chinese student and he was surprised to hear that not many people know of it here.
God I wish we had more 2D animation representation. The style, the colors, the personality displayed with each piece is breathtaking. Modern 3D either can’t or refuses to have such bold choices. Everything either looks like spider-verse or Pixar now
Soviet cinema wasn't so much focused on profit, so they had more freedom to experiment.
@Gustav Santos ...except for the strict censorship laws and their requirement to push Soviet/Communist ideals
This statement is just so clearly biased and traditionalist. 3D animation has breathtaking and bold elements that 2D just can't replicate and vice-versa. They're just different animation styles, neither is objectively better or worse.
In North Korea, China and Japan, other cartoons are made in 3d.
I'm not super familiar with Soviet animation but I've seen the Humped Back horse several times on PBS and the Snow Queen also. Both are really fascinating. There was some neat stuff here. I've seen the "shooting Range" short you showed in the intro and the anti capitalism message of it lives rent free in my head.
I remember seeing The Snow Queen as a kid, I didn’t realize it was a Soviet cartoon and have been trying to figure out which version it is, so thanks for listing it here. The Hunchback Horse is another of my favorites.
It's creator, Lev Atamanov was an ethnic Armenian, but had to conceal his ethnicity, unfortunately, in order to be allowed to work in Moscow at Soyuzmult film annimation studio. Some realities of USSR that Russians don't talk about.
Wow, that was comprehensive! Growing up in Russia, I've never seen the first propaganda films or, basically, any older films/ For me it all started at the end of 1940s with beautiful adaptations of fairytales. By the way, have you seen Varezhka (The Mitten) by Roman Kachanov, 1967? It's absolutely iconic here.
There was even a Soviet anime like The Adventures of Lolo the Penguin or Twelve Months, which were made jointly by Japan and the USSR. By the way, the usual Japanese anime was also shown in the Soviet Union. I've heard a lot of stories from the older generation about how they couldn't sleep at night for a long time when they were kids when some idiot decided to run the Barefoot Gan in prime time. In the Soviet Union, they were still poorly aware of what age ratings were.
Hey kids! Here's a film about a survivor of the Hiroshima bombing! What could go wrong?
@Jason RossOh shit is it THAT anime!? Poor kids😂
This is not an anime. Don't misinform people.
I suggest you get acquainted with the Russian cartoon "Dunno on the Moon" (1997). It's a children's story about adult life. The film is based on the adventure fairy tale novel of the same name written in 1960 by Nikolay Nosov, which satirizes the Western American society. The book was published during the height of the Cold War, at a time of arms and space technology race between the Soviet Union and the United States.
The animated movie tells us about a fictional world of dwarfs who live on our planet. Among them are scientists, doctors, writers, engineers, artists, chefs, and the main character Neznaika, who cannot find his place in this world. The dwarfs live according to the principles of socialism. Social equality is paramount - they work together, rest together, and even share the harvest equally. In this world, they do not know what money, injustice, and labor exploitation are. One day, Neznaika finds a lunar stone, the scientist discovers the concept of weightlessness, and the dwarfs embark on a space journey, building a rocket. But something goes wrong, and only Neznaika and his partner Ponchik fly to the Moon. There, friends encounter a different world - a world of money and power.
too bad none of this is reflective of what being soviet citizen was actually like. appreciating the animation is one thing but the message is based on a philosophy of despair and bullshit. nice story telling for a complete farce of a country.
@Anton Dashchenko Yes, I was surprised as well))
and still it definitely is Dunno: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunno_on_the_Moon
@James Zaccardo and you know what it's like to be a soviet citizen? Were you alive at the time? What part of the Soviet union were you from?
Holy crap. Great video man. I’m a huge nerd for old animation. My copy of Feherlofia is one of my prized possessions. This video had so many films I have to see now. Thank you for sharing this with us!
Thank you and glad you enjoyed it!
Would love to learn more about soviet animation in general. I never new they had much an an animation industry, and the fact that so many of these are adaptations of western works that never got western adaptations was especially interesting. The adaptation of "There will be soft rain" was really amazing. While I found the design of the robot (who's supposed to be our sympathetic character) was pretty terrifying, but I thought that the way they changed the dog from the original story into the bird that causes the robot to destroy itself was a really really smart change.
Propaganda has long created an extremely distorted caricature of life in the Soviet Union. The music culture was at least as diverse as the animation industry, and yet propaganda would suggest that soviet music consisted purely of Choir and March music.
Considering you brought up Ivano-Vano, I'm surprised you didn't mention Moydodyr, both the 1939 short and its remake in 1954 which he directed.
Not to mention, he also directed the remake of Humpback Horse in 1976 cause Russia at the time didn't have the restoration tools to fix up the original Humpback Horse to re-release in theaters.
Thank you so much for this! I grew up with a few of these but did not know they were Soviet. The the stories and emotions in some were un-Disney-like complex which confused me as a child but made them all the more fascinating.
I'm glad that they get talked about. As someone who grew up with parents who used to live in the USSR until the 90s to pursue better jobs in Germany, I grew up with several of these animations in my early childhood that was previously stored in VHS tapes. I watched a lot of 'Treasure Island', 'The Adventures of Captain Wrongel', 'Winnie the Pooh', 'The stories of Prostokvashyno' and 'When last year's snow fell (a plasticine animation about an 'eagle man' who is experiencing a massive family issue due to his drunken behaviour in the middle of New Year's Eve)'. Of course, growing up in Germany, it was easy to consider soviet animation as highly overlooked and seldom talked about. I still haven't lost my appreciation for them and I feel happier about them being freely distributed on Clip-Share for all to see, added with subtitles for plenty who can't understand Russian as I can. They're all strange in style but not in their charms. What's not to like when animation takes a unique approach and does its stylisation exceptionally well? Or simply establishes a 'soviet-style animation' that's immediately recogniseable in today's standards.
Made me super happy to see "Well Just You Wait" at the very end. My mom's from Russia, but I grew up in California watching those VHS tapes on repeat! This is super cool and I'm definitely going to have to watch some of these films, thanks so much for an awesome video
The Snow Queen was truly an amazing film
And having read Andersen's story and seen this cartoon, i could not for the life of me understand why Disney announced that their 'Frozen' was made after "Snow queen"? What was there from the original "Snow Queen". Only that some woman lived in a palace made of ice?
A very compelling list with such meaningful comments. Thank you.
Also for the cartoons of the late USSR there were several interesting ones:
🤸♀Of course, this is a series of "Happy Carousel" / "Веселая Карусель". Where many different animators and directors created short films for Soviet children in completely different styles. Among them are real pearls. clip-share.net/video/DBYed8ZRVJA/video.html
🤸♂ a small series of Armenian films of the late USSR. "Armenfilm" studio. Works in particular: "Wow, talking fish" "Three blue-blue crimson lakes", "In the blue sea, in white foam" and some others. Unique visual style and storytelling. However, some of them may be more difficult to translate clip-share.net/video/NSq914Y10AE/video.html
🤸Soviet adaptation of "Alice in wonderland" clip-share.net/video/5oym9aw-Iso/video.html
Finally! I was looking for this comment, thanks!
This one in particular was designed as a collage featuring iconic Soviet animators styles and characters
Hello from Russia! Thank you for awesome video. I was surprised and pleased to see so much respect. Just history and love, no propaganda or hate about anything outside the theme. Great work! A lot of fantastic movies mentioned, a lot is yet waiting for curious viewer.
Hello! Glad you liked it.
Главное не забывать, что СССР - не только Россия
@Добрый Утром да, СССР это все те страны, которые входили в состав, когда речь заходит о достижениях. Но если говорить о претензиях, то...
Делали с любовью для людей которые потом строили советский союз
I had caught Petrov's "The Cow" as a part of an animation festival and it opened my eyes to how wildly different the animation language had developed in Russia. Just sublime and so different from other things I had seen. I was smitten.
Thanks for pointing the way to other works to discover!
Yes, Petrov's "The Cow" is a special and a little underrated film, a deep one.
Thank you very much for telling about these beautiful part of world animation. I've watched these cartoons in my childhood, and i really appreciate you work about it. I want to add that a lot of Soviet cartoons are available for free on Clip-Share, because they are declared world heritage and are not burdened with copyrights - the last gift from Soviet Union before its collapse
While not soviet, I wanna recommend the work of Cuban animator Juan Padrón and his 1985 film Vampiros en La Habana (Vampires in Havana). It's a crazy story with cartoonish characters, however, it does not shy away from dark humor, violence and sexual content.
Interesting! I'll have to check it out sometime. I'd love to do a video on Cuban cinema.
I can also recommend a Hungarian-BRD-Canadian animation from 1986, called Macskafogó (aka 'Ловушка для кошек' or 'Cat City'). This was my first ever watched adult animation and it was so bizarre that I peremptory fell in love with it back when I was a kid.
that film looks terrible
@Dead animator if you only like childish Disney aestethics and don't understand proper art - go watch Disney channel and stop spamming in comments
@Yanik Kunitsin Let him. The more activity in the comments section, the better!
This video unlocked so many childhood memories for me. I grew up in a post-soviet country and my mom had a bunch of CDs with dozens of these short cartoons I would regularly watch. Still remember Leopold the Cat being sort of a "childhood role model" for me 😄.
I haven't seen at that time many of the creations featured here though, as they're aimed at older audiences, but now is a perfect opportunity to watch them. Great video!
Fun fact, Hedgehog in fog inspired belowed pub chain in Latvia(well Riga to be exact, haven't seen them anywhere else). Their logo is taken straight from the movie albeit given a martini glass and turned into a silhouette
ir daudzi ārpus Rīgas, ja pareizi atceros Ogrē ir viens
An excellent retrospective and history of Soviet animated films. Would love to see you do videos of the animated films from other countries like Denmark
I’m definitely planning on making more videos like this for other countries. I was thinking Czech or Hungarian, but I will look at Danish as well!
@kubricklynch - Film History Much appreciated. Would love to see Denmark cinema getting some attention.
Another series of animated films to mention are from Romania called “The Son of Stars” (1988) and “Delta Space Mission” (1984) by directors Călin Cazan and Mircea Toia. They’re rad cosmic little adventures.
Love this video. As a Russian person, I love both Soviet animation and cinema(and some Russian stuff, but not much). The problem with recommending good movies from that time is that almost all of them are beloved in no small part to how they are able to convey the feeling and era of that time. The stuff you hear from grandmas and grandpas, your parents, the stuff you see remains of around you and in some people with traditional soviet upbringing. None of these things can register even to 5% if you have not experienced living and talking around these strange people and their memories. The tone of most of these movies appeals to foreigners, but it is impossible to convey why. That is why, in my opinion, these animation movies are so amazing. They can do that much better than traditional life action movies. From lighthearted to surreal and depressing, they convey all the feelings we know and experience, the stuff we were brought up with and explained by older people that lived through that era.
Just wanted to say that with all of this I'm in no way trying to say that the soviet period was anything but a hopeless and bleak period or that I think positively in any way of modern day Russia, but it is hard to deny the intrigue of this weird world people around me lived in, but I, thankfully, would not have to experience. Watch soviet animation!
Thank you for showing soviet animation and I feel very sorry you had to pronounce all those names.
I am extremely happy Mosfilm has uploaded a huge archive of soviet films on youtube with updated quality and resolution, there are a lot of cult classics but even more hidden gem films.
I really missed Krteček - the mole on this list, it's an animated series by the zcech cartoonist Zdenek Miller and was published from 1957 to 2002. It also was very popular in East Germany (Iron Curtain times) but also gained popularity in the west.
I will probably do a video on Czech animation in the future.
I'm shook... "The Golden Antelope" is a soviet animation! As kids my brother and I (and consequently my parents too lol) used to watch it literally on the daily 😲✨
I'm starting to think we watched more Soviet movies than I previously thought! 😄
Lot of good memories and emotions associated with this movie ❤️
I remember when I watched hedgehog in the fog as a kid i had nightmares about the owl. this whole thing was a nostalgia trip, im so glad my parents raised me on soviet animated cartoons despite living in the early 2000’s
You should take a look at animation from eastern bloc in general, there are so many hidden gems in there, especially when it comes to animation for children, like Pat & Mat is probably my most favourite stop motion series and I believe that they are making new episodes to this day like 50 years later still in stop motion.
Thank you for taking the time to research, edit and publish this! It was really fascinating to see the different styles and the gradual shifts in animation styles as animation became more accessible.
Really fascinating stuff. I especially liked that you highlighted the importance of certain animators as well as their shift in styles and influence on the animation world and other animators. I had no idea that soviet animation had such an influence on Japanese anime but looking at the animation styles I can see how.
Very enjoyable watch. Time for me to dig deeper!
Thank you for this. Always a pleasure to see an example of overcoming the so called "Soviet fobia". Too easy to throw the child away while spilling the water. While in fact it has a rich heritage, unique and inspiring works of art to learn from. Some of them are my very favourites.
This video was great! I took an animation history course and we covered several of the films you mentioned in my class. Especially loved Hedgehog in the Fog.
Two shorts that I remember most vividly from my class not mentioned here were Dinosaur Mountain (which as simple as it was absolutely broke my heart), and ... I think it was called The Hand. It was about a little artist being forced to only create art of the master hand. Pretty on the nose yet somehow made it through the sensors.
I'm not sure if those were made for television or if they were actual films, but I never forgot those two.
Treasure Island was a great film in my opinion. I wish it was included in this list just because of how truly good it is. And it is also well known now because of the meme.
There is another great Ray Bradbury's adaptation: Here there be tigers (1989) made by Vladimir Samsonov. It made me fall in love with Bradbury's short stories and I love it dearly ^^
Growing up with this films, I’m very glad to see them being appreciated by a wider international audience
Such a delightful video, watching this, opened up a lot of memories for me. I had the Snow Queen on VHS when I was little and I would watch it for countless hours, along with the magic pony. The artwork was just so gorgeous to look at.
The Humback horse was on Finnish TV (in 20 minute parts) when I was a child. We managed to tape all 3 parts on VHS which I recently digitised. So happy to have it, it's still one of my favourite films ❤️
The first ever Russian animation was created as early as 1906 by the choreographer Alexander Shiryaev. His works were lost in private archives and rediscovered only in 1995. Shiryaev worked with puppet animation, his creations could be seen here (start at 25:43): clip-share.net/video/KRsgoM8daus/video.html
Thank you so much for this introduction to Soviet era animation. I appreciate the hard work needed to compile these titles with examples. You've broadened my "animation spectrum" and am very grateful.
There's an entire world of creative animation I've never heard of before. Thanks for this interesting video!
god, these films shaped my childhood! this video brought many memories to the surface. one of my favourites that wasn't mentioned is an adaptation of "Alice in wonderland" by Efrem Pruzhansky, I highly recommend it. there's even "Alice in mirrorland" in that same style if I remember correctly.
I was born and bred in Russia and those cartoons were a big part of my childhood. Of course I also watched a lot of Disney cartoons and films but those from the Soviet era have a special part in my heart forever. It's very interesting to find a video about those cartoons on a channel dedicated to arthouse and independent cinema, for those who grew up in Russia they're seen as something very common and not hard to interpret. Thanks so much for creating this video about those lovely masterpieces ❤
I was born in 1994 in post-Soviet Ukraine, and i still remember how i watched old soviet cartoons on my TV. After some years they were disapearing from tv or mixed with Western cartoons (Duck tales, Alladin). Old ukrainian post-soviet cartoon studios were still working and making good old cartoons even after ussr falls - some of those cartoons even get International prizes.
As someone who would love to get into the animation industry, I can't help but love how some of these films looked ( the late Stalin and Kruschev eras were a particular standout to me, seeing as the animators managed to get some extremely vibrant and beautiful artwork out of what appears to be Red-green technicolour). It's also very interesting to see just how Snow Queen seems to have defined Miyazaki's art direction.
Also surprised the 1989 Ukrainian adaptation of Treasure Island wasn't mentioned given it's popularity in recent times due to it's version of Dr Livesey. Although it's not as artistic a piece as a lot of the stuff here, I feel it has a lot of what makes Animation so fun a medium (especially with how much the animators go wild with complex moving shot compositions for seemingly no reason but to show off)
I waited for him to mention Treasure Island only to be disappointed oh well
There is no Ukrainian adaptation, there is a Soviet cartoon.
@Olegio4 Kov yeah the studio is based in Kiev iirc, though you are right in that it was made and released before the collapse of the Soviet Union. Just when you hear Soviet there’s a tendency to place it as solely “Russian” so I find it helps
If you haven't made a video on him already, I'd LOVE to see you talk about Czech puppeteer/stop motion animator Jiří Trnka. I was OBSESSED with his Mid-Summers Nights Dream adaptation in high school.
I haven’t but that’s a good idea!
I loved The Snow Queen as a kid! It always felt very ethereal and had a certain vibe I couldn't identify at that age -- it just felt timeless. Definitely need to revisit it, and check out some of these others!
Probably because its creator was Armenian!
@Ellada Probably not because of that
Сама оригинальная история Ганса Христиана Анднрсена "Снежная королева" на самом деле очень христианская поэтому атмосфера и внеземная.
The Soviet version of The Little Mermaid from 1968 is *so* good. It's my favourite adaptation of the tale:
I used to watch a lot of these back in the day, they are very nostalgic. There was a few TV channels here in Estonia, where all the best Sojuzmultifilm produced cartoons were and others as well.
I personally love Kievnauchfilm's works more than everything from soviet period. I grew up on their cartoons. Most popular of their works are Cossak series (1969-1995), The Adventure of Captain Wrongel (1975-1979), Alice in the wonderland (1982), Dr Aibolit (1985) and Treasure Island (1986-1988) I think the main reason why i like em so much is watching their works is an whole adventure (cap. Wrongel literally about traveling around the world) and a lot of soviet films are missing that feeling, since usually based on fairy tales. Also David Cherkassky's and Radna Sakhaltuev's art style is worth mentioning, looks cartoony and realistic at the same time somehow. Also worth mentioning Armenfilm's works such as "Kto rasskazhet nebylitsu?", "Wow! A talking fish!" and "In the blue sea, in the white foam"
this was fantastic. thank you for putting it together and sharing it 💜
I was lucky enough to see The Snow Queen as a little girl in New York. It’s wonderful, and you can see the influence of that folk tale on CS Lewis’ Narnia. Another animated film of that era that was actually shown on US TV in that late 50s/early 60s era was called The Golden Antelope. Very beautiful, another folk tale, and I never forgot it. I recently found both films online, and it was a joy to see them again.
The creator of both cartoons you mentioned was an ethnic Armenian Lev Atamanov, his real name was Levon Adamian. Had to conceal his identify an pass for a Russian to be allowed to work at Soyuzmultfilm studio in Moscow.
Это не народная сказка. Её автор писатель Ганс Христиан Андерсен. Советую прочесть оригинальную историю чтобы по достоинству оценить эту историю.
Wonderful video. Very nice structure. I think it is important though to also show the Armenfilm studio cartoons as one of the most prominent features of Soviet animation created by Robert Saakyants. His "Wow, a talking fish" and "In the blue sea, white foam" are true masterpieces that influenced the last young generation of the USSR.
Coming from Russia I am very happy to see people from other countries discovering Soviet animation! It was indeed very artistic and creative, something that is missing at the moment unfortunately. I've watched so many Soviet cartoons as a kid and I absolutely love them. I also love the fact that there were some films about Greek mythology and folk tales from other countries and nations made. They are very beautiful and epic!
Great video. Really a shame that western countries, for propaganda purposes, ignore the fact that the Soviets had a vast and productive cinema and art industry
You cannot imagine how sick was russian censore system. They were banning a lot of movies, artists, authors, books. Mostly western, and they did undeniable damage to their own, just to list the names af all soviet poets, actors, artists, creators who were sentenced to deportation to camps, and died consequently. Like they banned ABBA after the group released song "super-trooper". Soviets translated is as a song to praise a solder=trooper. And here are listed the best and mostly neutral cartoons, there were more than enough propaganda in animation too, like in all other types of Soviet media.
@Emokter the red scare really melted your brain didn’t it
@Emokter Take a step back and consider that the U.S. also did the same and that's why you feel so strongly when another country does it.
@brlxnnxYeah and while to my knowledge they didn't sent artists to prison, didn't they also give out fines and ban movies depicting gay characters positively and such? And I know John Waters has been fined for depicting obscenity multiple times (which he always pleaded guilty because just paying the fine was easier)
@Human Bean You're describing Murica? Sounds like them.
This was an awesome interesting video! I love animation! It's so cool to see how it has evolved in other countries!
Excellent video my friend! You did a fantastic job with researching these animated films. You made me discover lots of new ones. I love Soviet animation.
Thank you very much!
Great work! The only thing I would add is David Cherkassky, creator of many iconic animations like soviet version of Treasure Island.
There was a cartoon about two detectives investigators "coloboks" from 1987, that was fun too. And the Golden Antilope.
Thank you for mentioning Rein Raamat's "Suur Tõll", it is truly a masterpiece, the red threat is so real, and the music (scares the crap out of you)! It is listed in top 10 of animated horror movies of all times. Imagine watching this on big screen, as most of those arthousy animations were at the time.
And there was a series of 4 short cartoons "Смех и горе у Бела моря" (Laughter and Sorrow by White Sea) 1987, that thanks to the voice of Evheniy Leonov has a very special place in my heart. As the title implies, those are both funny and tragic stories. It is the voice of Soviet Winnie the Pooh.
I applaud 👏
Man, I live in Russia, and even I didn't know about those cartoons that you showed for the first five minutes! 😄 Although, I'm a big fan of cartoons and animation...
Otherwise, you showed a lot of good cartoons that are worth watching for both adults and children.
I want to note that all sorts of surreal cartoons were not often shown on TV 🤔 Such cartoons could be shown only 1-3 times on TV, for all the time. Few people in Russia have seen such surreal cartoons on TV. Sometimes they could be shown in cinemas, before the start of the film. But this was also rare. Mostly, on TV, they showed beautiful and kind cartoons :)
Otherwise, thank you. A good review of the animation 👏
Thank you very much
Also for a separate video on Fyodor Khitruk's animation
Glad to find such dedicated person who working on videos for so long even the views not as high sometimes... Wish you luck and many views and viewers ฅ^•ﻌ•^ฅ♡
Core memory unlocked. My aunt gave me a vhs tape with a doll of “the snow Queen” it’s an absolutely beautiful film. I’d completely forgotten about it until this video!
I bet you didn't know that its creator, Lev Atamanov is an ethnic Armenian - Levon Adamian.
I grew up with these and I still enjoy watching them and show them to our children. The one about the 12 months is one of my absolute favorites.
Great review, where I again saw many of the cartoons that shaped my childhood, even though I grew up in modern Russia.
Yes, we still had a joint project with the Japanese, "Lolo and Pepe," and that's surprising, considering the relationship between our states.
I wish I had seen the postmodern cartoon "Treasure Island" with the incredible doctor and karate chopper Jimi.
I wish I could have found an analysis of Soviet cinema, especially the films of Tarkovsky and Bondarchuk.
I saw both The magic Pony and The Snow Queen in the Colombian national channel when I was a kid, but I didn't learn that the Snow Queen was a Soviet animation until now, or that they were from the 40s.
I found about the Hedgehog in the Fog because Chrome have (had) a feature that allows to set themes to the window, and I saw the Hedgehog theme and loved it. It is my favourite animation now
The creator of the Snow Queen Lev Atamanov was an ethnic Armenian. His real name was Levon Adamian. To be able to work in Moscow at Soyuzmultfilm studio and be greenlighted for big projects, he had to hide his ethnicity, change his name and pass for a Russian. The untold realities of USSR.
Thank you for this. I had no idea that my favorite animation from childhood was a Soviet production. Which is mind boggling to me growing up in USA at the “end” of the Cold War.
Thank you so much for preserving knowledge of soviet animation to the global audience.
You are welcome!
4:41 Those birds look very similar to the title character of Osamu Tezuka's magnum opus, "Phoenix." The Soviet film came out when Tezuka was about 19 years old. Later on, when he was 26 years old, he first started publishing "Phoenix." This makes me think that he may have seen this film and been inspired by the designs to include in his own works later on.
the mystery of the third planet literally gave me trauma lmao
i'm very happy that the world is discovering soviet animation, it's beautiful, it's so great and deep that i envy everyone getting into it now and seeing all those gems for the first time!! and i'm grateful for an ability to grow up surrounded by such artistry
thank you, this was such a great intro video. I came across Soviet era animation from a russian classmate during my college days, but wanted a fuller context to the directors and system responsible for creating such beautiful pieces of art. Thank You so much!
I'm russian and i didn't know about a lot of these cartoons. Definitely going to check them out, especially the earlier ones.
It's very interesting to watch a video about the cultural elements i grew up with from the perspective of somebody who didn't grow up in a post ussr country.
Thank you for this video, it was very interesting!
Very nicely done. It's opened my eyes to a school of animation I wasn't otherwise aware of. Thanks for sharing!
I am a Russian animator and I am very pleased to see this video! Thank you for your interest in our part of the animation world!
I will point out a slight inaccuracy, in our educational institutions, the study of Russian animation begins with Vladislav Starevich and his cartoons about the life of beetles. One of them is "The Beautiful Lyukanida" ("Прекрасная Люканида" in Russian, if it will be easier to find). Lukanida is one of the first cartoons shot in the stop-motion technique. Thanks again for the research done, you are great fellows! It is very interesting to watch how our animation is seen in other countries!
Glad you liked the video. I’m aware of Starewicz, I just didn’t include him because he is pre-Soviet. I actually talked about his films in a recent video.
Thank you for creating this brief outline of Soviet era animation. I've already watched a few of the titles listed!
You are welcome!
Glad english community is getting exposed to soviet animation, you did a great job! Although i think that Uncle Au and Adventures of a Little Brownie deserve to be here
Отличное видео! Я такая счастливая, что другие культуры хотят узнавать больше об всеми мультиками с которыми я выросла- я обожала (обожаю, вообще-то) Карусель и Ну, Погоди :-) Я считаю, что мультики для всех возрастов, и именно Советский мультики прекрасное примера этого.