Fyodor Khitruk (1917-2012)
December 7, 2012 6:33 PM   Subscribe

The great Russian animator Fyodor Khitruk passed away on December 3rd at the age of 95. You might know him as the director of the delightful Vinni Puh. (Parts one and two can be seen here with subtitles, for part three see this previous post.) posted by louche mustachio (15 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
I so adore Vinni Pukh.

posted by sonascope at 6:50 PM on December 7, 2012

His little song makes me squeak involuntarily.
posted by louche mustachio at 6:53 PM on December 7, 2012

Aww man. :(

RIP... I fucking love Vinni Puh. So much more adorable than the US version. And man, the Eeyore, soooooooo depressing.
posted by symbioid at 7:40 PM on December 7, 2012


Oh, man. I'd never heard of this guy, but the backgrounds in Vinni Puh look like the perfect version of childhood doodles. Same with Vinni's lack of legs. This, like every other bit of Russiana I see, makes me really want to learn Russian.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 7:43 PM on December 7, 2012

If you look at the Russian version of his Wikipedia article, you'll see that he's credited as director on the shorts louche mustachio listed above. However, he also wrote a few shorts that he did not personally direct, and his list of credits as animator is far, far longer and stretches back to the 1930s. Sadly, not much of the early Soviet stuff is available on YouTube (or elsewhere, really).

Also, Russian is less of a learned language and more of a guttural cry of the soul.
posted by Nomyte at 7:48 PM on December 7, 2012 [2 favorites]

Also, Russian is. less of a learned language and more of a guttural cry of the soul
posted by Mblue at 7:57 PM on December 7, 2012

Yes, to clarify, he was an animator at Soyuzmultifilm staring in the late 30s - I stuck to his works as a director in the post links for the sake of brevity.

posted by louche mustachio at 8:00 PM on December 7, 2012

(the animator.ru list is longcat long)
posted by louche mustachio at 8:02 PM on December 7, 2012

Hmm. Here is the third Vinni Puh with English subtitles.

For some reason I thought it had been posted before.
posted by louche mustachio at 8:45 PM on December 7, 2012

-"-"- Tender thoughts for all the joy he brought to the world. A life well lived. The cosmos is all the more twinkly and warm hearted.
posted by nickyskye at 9:12 PM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

As a Russian, watching the subtitled cartoon posted above made me realize just how vital a language can be in conveying tone. Even though the translation is mostly correct, literally speaking, so much of the dry conversational charm of the original is lost in the process. And in fact, I think this is a feature of the language, not a fault of the translation. Whenever I hear Russian conversation between two experienced participants, there's so much embellishment, metaphor, personification, and straight up invention of new words that it sounds more like a stream of consciousness than the careful, orderly syntax of English. Maybe it's the result of a shared history in a freezing country under an oppressive regime; I can't say. But it makes me wonder just how much I'm missing by watching, for example, anime with subtitles.

Rest in peace, Fyodor Khitruk. I grew up on this stuff, and it's even better watching it now than when I was a kid.

posted by archagon at 11:48 PM on December 7, 2012 [4 favorites]

posted by Smart Dalek at 12:20 AM on December 8, 2012

I watch a LOT of unsubtitled animation, simply enjoying the medium and trying to gain as much as I can from the visual storytelling. Sometimes I wonder what I am missing in the dialogue: sometimes when I do see the translated version it seems a little diminished, as if more of the story was told in the expression of the language than the words that are being spoken.
posted by louche mustachio at 12:57 AM on December 8, 2012

I'm just savouring the first episode of Vinni Puh and came to explain about 'going visiting'. The Russian host is always expected to treat visitors to a snack and a drink. That's why the always hungry Vinni Puh wants to visit someone.

I didn't know Khitruk. This is absolutely unexpected and adorable. Thank you!
posted by Dragonness at 9:06 AM on December 8, 2012

That's why the always hungry Vinni Puh wants to visit someone.

I think that motivation is in the original too:
Pooh always liked a little something at eleven o'clock in the morning, and he was very glad to see Rabbit getting out the plates and mugs; and when Rabbit said, "Honey or condensed milk with your bread?" he was so excited that he said, "Both," and then, so as not to seem greedy, he added, "But don't bother about the bread, please."
Khitruk was wonderful and I have been a fan of Vinni Puh since I first came across him.

posted by Quinbus Flestrin at 1:56 PM on December 8, 2012

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