Another Russian animation post?!
November 16, 2008 3:49 PM   Subscribe

Animatsiya in English is weblog (warning: livejournal) with a narrow focus: tracking the production of Russian animated feature films. Russian animation has a long history with output both abstract and obstructed; from the early influence of the Russian avant-garde and the work of small groups of enthusiasts, through Stalin-era Socialist realism and a style known as Éclair that was marked by the use of extensive rotoscoping, to the 1960's and beyond when surreal and politically charged (and unfortunately, in this case, anti-Semitic) as well as unconventionally structured, emotionally fueled films found release. Fortunately, when Pilot Studio—the Soviet Union's first private animation studio—decided to relegate parts of that history to the dumpsters out back, the people were ready to sift through the mess.

The links to YouTube are meant as examples– not definitive works. I am no expert and YouTube and the rest of the video-based interwebs don't have some of what I'd pick, unfortunately! If the video is broken up into parts, you will see the rest under Related Videos.

It seems that propaganda pervades much of Russian animation, through its many phases.

The topic of Russian animation is not new to MeFi.

YouTube user yukkimishima has uploaded many Russian animated films that span from the beginning to present day.
posted by defenestration (6 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
I should certainly note that not all of the animation is pretty: The Glass Harmonica, linked above, contains obvious anti-Semitism. Spoils it really.

I should've thought about it more before linking it, or at least marked it as anti-Semitic instead of just 'surreal and politically charged'. Thoughts?
posted by defenestration at 4:00 PM on November 16, 2008

fixed it, per your request.
posted by jessamyn at 4:25 PM on November 16, 2008

Thanks, defenestration - just peeked at a few things for now, but I will enjoy all these links when I have time to explore them. Good stuff!
posted by madamjujujive at 8:10 PM on November 16, 2008

Well crafted post.
posted by snarfodox at 11:49 PM on November 16, 2008


There are some heartbreaking pictures in the photoset of people digging through the dumpsters in back of Pilot Studios, but an old dumpster diver like me can't help but feel a pitter patter of vicarious excitement as well. Because damn that would be some sweet, sweet art.

This is great. (Good caveat re: The Glass Harmonica, but it's worth watching anyway.)
posted by louche mustachio at 12:03 AM on November 17, 2008

Terrific post! Russian animation started off with a bang with Starevich, then vanished like so much of prerevolutionary culture, clawing back to brilliance via primitive attempts like your "small groups of enthusiasts" link (whose plot is very hard to understand, perhaps because—according to this—it's a parody of another movie, Aelita, which it would probably help to have seen; interesting that in 1924 they're already using the swastika as a sign of the bad guys, a year before Hitler published Mein Kampf!). I look forward to exploring more of your links; thanks, defenestration!
posted by languagehat at 7:17 AM on November 17, 2008

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