Russian animated film Tale of Tales
Russian animated film Tale of Tales was produced by the Soyuzmultfilm studio in Moscow in 1979. It has won numerous awards, has been acclaimed by critics and other animators, and has received the title of greatest animated film of all time in various polls. “Tale of Tales” – a masterpiece of world animation, the legendary animated film of Yuri Norstein, brilliant author of “Hedgehog in the Fog”. The art director Franchesca Yarbusova – an award-winning Russian artist and the wife and collaborator of Yuriy Norshteyn. In 1984 cartoon awarded the best animated film of all time by the results of an international survey.
The storyline in “The Tale of Tales”, like Tarkovsky’s Mirror, attempts to structure itself like a human memory. Memories are not recalled in neat chronological order; instead, they are recalled by the association of one thing with another, which means that any attempt to put memory on film cannot be told like a conventional narrative. The film is thus made up of a series of related sequences whose scenes are interspersed between each other. One of the primary themes involves war, with particular emphasis on the enormous losses the Soviet Union suffered on the Eastern Front during World War II. Several recurring characters and their interactions make up a large part of the film, such as the poet, the little girl and the bull, the little boy and the crows, the dancers and the soldiers, and especially the little grey wolf. Another symbol connecting nearly all of these different themes are green apples (which may symbolize life, hope, or potential).
Tale of Tales was named after the poems of Nazim Hikmet. The film features the works of Bach and Mozart, as well as popular tunes 30s. Once in the application to the “Tale” Norshtein and Petrushevskaia wrote: “It should be a film about memory. Laundry on a clothesline, a bull with a ring in a nostril full of terrible disastrous passions … All this can be arranged in a simple plot, but the plot is a special plot-accordion, expanding, and at the end pivoted to one simple sound – “live.” Because our childhood coincided with the end of the war, and we always have to remember that happiness – every day of peace. Every day “.
Baby, baby, rock-a-bye
On the edge you mustn’t lie
Or the little grey wolf will come
And will nip you on the tum,
Tug you off into the wood
Underneath the willow-root.
Many situations in the film actually derive from this lullaby, as well as the character of the little grey wolf. Indeed, the film’s original title (rejected by the Soviet censors) was The Little Grey Wolf Will Come.
We stand above the water – sun, cat, plane tree, me
and our destiny.
The water is cool,
The plane tree is tall,
The sun is shining,
The cat is dozing,
I write verses.
Thank God, we live!..
1980—Lille (France) International Festival of Films: Jury Grand Prize
1980—Zagreb World Festival of Animated Films: Grand Prize
1980—Ottawa (Canada) International Animation Festival: Best Film Longer Than Three Minutes Award
1984—Los Angeles Olympic Arts Festival: voted by large international jury to be the greatest animated film of all time
2002—Zagreb World Festival of Animated Films: again voted by large international jury to be the greatest animated film of all time
Francheska Alfredovna Yarbusova is primarily known for her work as the art director and artist in the films of Yuriy Norshteyn, beginning with The Battle of Kerzhenets in 1971. She is currently working with her husband on an adaptation of Gogol’s Overcoat.