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Soviet Animation, Where Art Thou?
April 20, 2007 18:16


Rumors spread over Internet that Russian businessman Alisher (I like how this name sounds, nothing personal) Usmanov claims he would buy back rights to a grand collection of cartoons, made in the USSR on world famous SoyuzMultfilm cartoon studio, which were sold to an American company some time ago.

Russian officials from the state federal agency of culture and cinema welcome such a noble initiative of the entrepreneur and say they would be giving the businessman any support required, since he’s doing a great job for the benefit of Russia and its culture. The notable fact is that, as far as I’m informed, Russia’s ministry of culture doesn’t waste its precious time for saving cultural heritage or whatever.

 

I would like to remind you that so-called “Golden Collection” of SoyuzMultfilm animated films, consisting of 547 classical examples of Soviet cartoons, such as “Cheburashka”, “Yozhik v tumane (Hedgehog in the Fog)”, “Alenkiy tsvetochek (The Scarlet Flower)”, “Mowgli”, “Snezhnaya koroleva (The Snow Queen)”, “Skazka o tsare Saltane (Story About Czar Saltan)” and many others, was illegally sold to the United States, and Russian enthusiasts were trying to litigate criminals since that time. Rights to this collection were granted to the “Films by Jove” company, owned by Soviet actor Oleg Vidov (whom we know playing leading part in “Vsadnik bez Golovy (The Headless Rider)”) and his wife Joan Borsten, famous American producer.

As for me, Mr. Usmanov is doing a big good work returning Russia its cultural heritage. I don’t care about reasons that brought him to negotiations with American “Films by Jove”, the result is worth struggling. Animated films, made on SoyuzMultfilm studio, are what most of the Russian people remember since their childhood – cartoon characters were second parents, teaching children good and being much more complex that one could see from the first glance. Every time I watch “Yozhik v tumane” or “Snezhnaya koroleva”, I cannot help admiring its beautiful and original technique and finding some new ideas that enrich my life with fresh impressions.

Soviet dream factory produced strange and miraculous cartoons, which are more than just cartoons – Yuri Norstein, for instance, uses a special technique in his animation, involving multiple glass planes to give his animation a three-dimensional look, and his masterpiece, a short film “Skazka skazok (Tale of Tales)” was voted by a large international jury to be the greatest animated film of all time at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympiad of Animation and the 2002 Zagreb World Festival of Animated Films.

Every country definitely has something to be proud of, and SoyuzMultfilm animated films are among such things for Russia. I’m firm in opinion that returning of the collection starts another golden age of Russian animation, explaining our children what good and evil means, and cultivating a creative way of thinking for future glory of our Motherland.

Sources:
    Izvestia
    International Movie Database
    Wikipedia
     SoyuzMultfilm Fund

Kizilova Anna


Tags: Russian oligarchs Alisher Usmanov    

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