Tadanari Okamoto – Tadanari Okamoto Film Works Vol 4 (1961 – 1995)


Beginnings: 1932-1963

To tell Okamoto’s story from the beginning, we have to make a short detour
to talk about Tadahito Mochinaga, the legendary father of Japanese stop-motion
animated filmmaking. Mochinaga had started out working under Mitsuyo Seo,
and had left Japan for Manchuria just before the end of the war, where he found
himself in demand for his animation knowhow. (To learn more about his fruitful
China period, I refer you to an outstanding article on Mochinaga by Kosei Ono on AWN.) Continue reading

Boris Stepantsev – Vovka v Tridevyatom tsarstve AKA Vovka in Far Far Away Kingdom (1965)



19 min. 48 sec.

directed by Boris Stepantsev
written by Vadim Korostylev
art directors Anatoly Savchenko, Petr Repkin
artists O. Ghemmerling, Lev Arkadyev
animators Anatoly Abarenov, Galina Barinova, Antonina Alyoshina, V. Dolgikh, Youry Butyrin, Leonid Kayukov, Tatiana Taranovich, Victor Arsentiev, Olga Orlova, Anatoly Petrov, S. Zhutovskaya
cameraman Michael Druyan
music I. Yakushenko
sound Boris Filchikov
script editor Raisa Frichinskaya
voice artists Emma Treivas, Michael Yanshin (Tsar) , Clara Rumyanova (Vassilissa) , Elena Ponsova (The Old lady and the Librarian) , Rina Zelenaya (Vovka) Continue reading

Tatu Pohjavirta – Collected Shorts of Tatu Pohjavirta (1999 – 2005)


This is some absolutely gorgeous animation. Not all of the shorts on here are top-notch, but nearly all are worth viewing – especially Reflector, a short which is easily worth the entire torrent all by itself. I put this collection up there with Blood Tea and Red String in terms of stop-motion quality, even if this guy appears to me much, much less well known. Some of the other shorts are just kind of weird (Virtavalta, I’m looking at you! Extremely short and literally just like a buff man busting into a house Kool-Aid-Man style) but even that one is charming in it’s own way and I think that a lot of people should watch it!

–SteampunkDuck Continue reading

Chris Lavis & Maciek Szczerbowski – Madame Tutli-Putli (2007)



Madame Tutli-Putli boards the Night Train, weighed down with all her earthly possessions and the ghosts of her past. She travels alone, facing both the kindness and menace of strangers. As day descends into dark, she finds herself caught up in a desperate metaphysical adventure. Adrift between real and imagined worlds, Madame Tutli-Putli confronts her demons and is drawn into an undertow of mystery and suspense. The National Film Board of Canada presents a stunning, stop-motion animated film that takes the viewer on an exhilarating existential journey. The film introduces groundbreaking visual techniques and is supported by a haunting and original score. Painstaking care and craftsmanship in form and detail bring to life a fully imagined, tactile world unlike any you have seen. Jungian thriller? Hitchcockian suspense? Artistic tour de force? The Night Train awaits you. (Written by courtesy of National Film Board of Canada) Continue reading

Roman Kachanov – Varezhka (1967)


The Little girl dreams of a dog. But dry prudish mum is categorically against animals. In the yard all children walk with dogs. And the girl walks her mitten on lead. Unexpectedly her mitten turns into a knitted puppy.
III VCF, Leningrad 1968, – the First premium in the section of cartoon films.
VII IF animation films, Annecy (France) 1967 – the First premium for the best children’s film.
V ICF, Moscow 1967, – the Silver medal in competition of children’s films.
X IF films for children and youth, Gijon (Spain) 1968 – Grand prix ” The Golden plate”; a prize of Gijon for high quality of animation. Continue reading

Yuriy Norshteyn – Yozhik v tumane aka Hedgehog in the Fog (1975)



Plot / Synopsis
Hedgehog is on his way to visit Bear cub, to sit and count the stars, their nightly ritual. On the way however, he is distracted by the sight of a beautiful white horse in the fog, and curious about the nature of this strange world, ventures into it, becoming hopelessly lost in the process.
Hedgehog in the Fog [ Ëжик в Tумане ] is a classic Russian animated short film from 1975. Based on a story by Sergei Kozlov. Charming in its simplicity.

In 2003 “Hedgehog in the Fog” won the “#1 Animated film of all the time” at “All time animation best 150 in Japan and Worldwide” contest in Tokyo, Japan.

Awards: “Outstanding Film of the Year”, London, UK, 1977 “Second Prize”, Sydney, Australia, 1978 “Third Prize”, Chicago, USA, 1977. Continue reading