Free Essay

Difference Between Russian and American Animation

In: Film and Music

Submitted By kshuk
Words 1816
Pages 8
Students number: 1111965 Students name: Ksenija Mihailova
“Difference between Russian and American animation;
Comparing Russian and American Vinnie the Pooh”.
" The characters in most of American cartoons do nothing but smack and humiliate each other in all possible ways. There is much less aggression in our cartoons. Our artists didn't want to create action. They wanted to create a dialogue with viewers. It was not a dogma that was enforced upon them - it was a tradition that was coming from Russian folklore fairy tales,"
-Sergei Merinov , a Russian catoonist.
American animation began in the 1920s because of it potential to make profits at a time when cinema idustry was in really hight level and it was golden age of it. As it is not surprisingly Disney soon became one of the most successful animators, largely due to its merger of art with bussiness and profit(David MacFadyen, Yellow Crocodiles and Blue Oranges ). The Disney became popular and now because it aim to capture the spirit and innocence of childhood. It displayed characters running aroud, playing through colorful frames with musical accompaniment. Disney animation was also visually realistic, as it can be seen in Snow White (1937). It set a new standard for characters movement , which now cold be traced from a live actor. Also it helped to set a standard for realism in American animation. In capitalist market Disneys ability –tap into the childhood spirit made the studio so successful. Disney gave people what they wanted to see; it gave them the new imaginationfull of fairy tales which helped audience to escape the realities for at least 90 minutes. American animation especially Walt Disney cartoons produced enormous impression on Soviet people. In the summer of 1933, the history of Soviet animation chaged dramatically, when in Moscow hosted the first-ever festival of American cartoon. After this festival Soviet administration decided to create something that they called ”Soviet Mickey Mouse”. In 1936 (three years later) they establish animation studio under the name Soiuzmult fil’m that produced animated films for children for the whole Soviet period(Svetlana Smetanina ,Pravda.Ru;english.pravda.ru). To compare the Soviet type of films that were produced diffres less in design than in aim, in ability to stare deep into social life and natures processes , an ability to find simple rewarding equivalent to those forms of reality. Other Russian studies took more productive position and tried to pinpoint the alleged non-Western approach to movement, music and rhytm in the current and future Soviet animation. They suggested that the use of rhytmic music can help turn stagnation of the body and perpendicular to the point of revolution. Minimum of lines , as the movement of the most ecpressive parts of physicality caould lead to a less graphic specificity lines should reflect movement. This approach allowed the artists to sompose fantastic and certainly condemn the actual existence of air, showing that fantasy is a reality that hides unusual.
These graphic philosophies were clearly transferred to the real material world the black and white sketches of Ivanov-Vano’s famous “Moydodir”. A young boy struggles with the bedclothes and other rebellious objects that suddenly comes alive, fleeing his unwashed hands; books, clock, napkins, a samovar… A big, flexibly animated washbowl roundly criticizes the boy for being grubby. All nature washes, why does he not? He is then chased by brushes and soapy water after a crocodile scares him into getting a scrumb down. Only when he is squeaky clean do object befriend him again and he joins their world- towards him fly clothes a table, tea and cakes.
Unfortunately to Soyuzmultfil’m studio came bad times. In 1941-1943 studio was evacuated to Smarkand and many directors went to the front. The war was the most political topic and this is hardly surprising. At he time lots of satirical images of Hitler and fascists were invented. One of examples that was made by Soyuzmul’tfilm “What Hitler wants?” was a chapter from Satirical Newsreel(Daria Donina, The centennial of Russian Animation; indrus.in). In the first postwar decade all Soviet industries suffered from the shortage of funding. But the lack of investment was only one side of the coin. With the establishment of Socialist realism, all the innovative and highly convincing style was neglated. The filming of live action , followed by a frame by frame projection that had to serve the animators as their nly source for the realization of movement. As an example “Ksahtanka”(Mikhail Tsekhanovsky,1952), was probably one that despite all these challenges manage to develop Russian animation. All in all Soiyzmultfilm produced 1,530 films during its existence. These films some of which have been incorporated into Soviet pop culture such as Cheburashka (1969-1983), Nu, Pogodi! (1969-2006) and of course Ezhik v tumane (1975), did not have a compete in a commercial market(Russian Animation in Letters and Figures, animator.ru).
All these research was made to put you inside of what was happening around American and Russian animation, but the main thing that I want to write about is comparison of two different animations based on one story- Winnie the Pooh and Vinni-pukh. The visual difference in the American and Soviet animated version of A.A. Milne book Winnie the Pooh !926 are noticeable without animation expertise. The story of the silly plush bear is largely the same, but the interpretation is different, some even call the Russian version of it – anti-Disney. To begin , first thing I want to notice that the characters in Disney version are photographically realistic, characters in Russian Vinni-pukh are not. The outlook of them are taken from Soviet Socialist Realist aesthetic, which dictates that from should be subordinate to content. In the Social Realism art has become a means of the spread of socialist propaganda and cultured opposition in relation to the bourgeois capitalist values since the October Revolution. It is understood as a logical culmination of the golden age of social responsibility in Russia(David MacFadyen , Yellow Crocodiles and Blue Oranges).As fact Russian animators rejected the Disney tradition of photographic realism achieved through cel-animation and sketching using the rotoscope. The tedious pen and inc work took a long time to produce , giving animators no reason to produce a ninety minute film when a nine minute one would receive air-time and do just as well. Social Realism is supposed to accurately represent reality, and photographs are usually the most effective means to this end.
Now I want to put u inside of the first chapter of Boris Zakhoder’s Chapter one, in which we are introduced to Winnie the Pooh and Several Bees (1969), Winnie the Pooh encounters bees in the honey tree. Taking a look at the Disney version we can noticed that the visually and acoustically bees are realistic, but in Russian bees are larger in size, more exaggerated in color and scarier in general, and we again get back to the main reason why –long standing tradition of Social Realism in the Soviet union(C. Vaughan James, Soviet Socialist Realism,1973). Furthermore we cant not notice the main character bear, which is drawn like soft, with plump lines and simplistic movement as well as Piatochok(the pig) is very small , fast moving frames. The bear is nice, drawn really bright and like to eat a lot of honey; Piatochok is neurotic in a cute way and is best friend of Vinni- the good characters are shown as nice and cute, while the bad ones do not hide their antagonistic nature. As well in the Disneys version , framing fills a vast majority of the shots. In the honey tree scene , the tree occupies the left side of the frame and is shaded sky with a sunlight sources fill the other corners of the frame. There is no free scape on the frame, the animators has draw all over the scene, with no white space left. But as we can see in Russian version of this movie is bare ; in the same honey scene, there is nothing besides Winnie , the balloon and the bees . No branches frame the characters. There is no complex layering or light sources and the close proximity between Winnie the Pooh and the tree is not explicitly evident in each shot. The only visial information that is provided – characters and simple background. As fact to compare space is always present(white).
If to say about details; the lightning is note realistic- the sunlight’s angle is not clear. Also such thing as camera angle it tends to focuse directly on the main characted instead of making variety camera angles . There no illusion of three-dimensional reality. Even the themes that Vinipuh In Russian animation talk about, the became popular . Its absurdist humor appeals to both child and adult audience. He frequently walks around uttering nonsense rhymes such as this:
Если б мишки были пчёлами
То они бы нипочём
Никогда и не подумали
Так высoко строить дом
И тогда
(конечно, если бы пчёлы – это были мишки!)
Нам бы, мишкам, было незачем
Лазить на такие вышки
(Vinni-Pukh.Dir. Fedor Savel’evich Khitruk. Soiuzmultfilm 1969)
Words to describe these character wil be – ironic, philosophical and nonsensical. The cartoon’s remaining appeal can be attributed to the time period of its production, the Leonid Brezhnev regime (1964-1981). 0 Perhaps the absurdism characteristic of the little bear's simplistic utterances captured the interest of audiences much like the avant-garde art of the past did because it created the illusion of movement in an otherwise stagnant society. All of the Soiuzmul’tfil’m productions follow a similar visual style, affirming that the simplicity and absurdism of Vinni-Pukh are not anomalous, but rather accurate representations of Soviet animation trends.
In the conclusion I would like to say that between these both animation that even based on one story are so much different, because of the time and place. That they both are striking , the reasons behind the type of run deeper. On one hand Disney were profit-driven in that capitalist market because of busy, realistic, retrogressive cartoon style, but on the other hand Socialist cartoons produced by Soyuzmultfim that were simple, un-monumental, progressive , were state –controlled and had to mark push. Also they were using duality I humor attract the audience in its absurdist tradition. In fact that Soyuzmultfilm production was trying to create something similar to Disneys, but in keeping reflected to their Soviet cultural context-so it cant be called anti-Disney. In general I choose these animation because everybody from us have heard about American Winnie and his “copy” Soviet one that at least each of us have heard of , and know about absurdist difference in both of them inspite the fact that the story is similar and to show how both animation studious during one period of time doing absolutely different previous of life because of different situation.…...

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