Buratino or Pinocchio: The epic battle between Soviet and Western cartoons


At unkindly the same time as Soyuzmultfilm was founded in the 1930s, the great reformer of the world at large cinema Sergei Eisenstein made the acquaintance of another recognized flair by the name of Walt Disney. The Soviet director remembered the encounter in an article christened “Disney”.

“Disney’s animals, fish, and birds are wont to stretch and undertake. <…> This cry of optimism could only be done in drawing, for there is no such corner of capitalist authenticity able to be captured for real on film that could sound with such hopeful encouragement without being deceitful! But, fortunately, we have lines and coating. Music and animation. Disney’s talent and the ‘great comforter’ known as cinema.»

During the Backer World War, the great comforter became the great pro gandist. Animation was the righteous vehicle: the enemy could be drawn as monstrously and grotesquely as the imagination permitted.

Almost simultaneously, in 1942, Disney released a grotesque fantasy with reference to the misadventures of Donald Duck in the Third Reich, while in 1941 Soviet animators distributed the agitprop piece What Does Hitler Want? He wants to coming the land to the landholders and the factories to the capitalists, of course. What he actually profit e avoids is also understandable – a speedy death im led on a Soviet bayonet.

In peacetime, exhilaration once more began to fulfill its edutainment mission. The game of cat and mouse, discerned to every child, was brought to the screen by the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studio in 1940.

Since then, the well world has had its eyes glued to the love-hate (mostly hate) relationship of Tom and Jerry. Tom and Jerry caught on in the USSR in the antiquated 1980s, when home video recorders and tapes became commonplace. But Soviet viewers had already reflect oned something similar. Instead of cat and mouse, the more familiar wolf and hare duo from Russian fairy tittle-tattles battled to outdo each other.

Soviet animation inspired and was roused not only by Walt Disney Studios. For example, the English cartoon Doctor Dolittle (1971), based on the list by Hugh Lofting, influenced the Soviet Doctor Aybolit (1984), drawn (really) from the tale by Korney Chukovsky.

Another example is the Soviet Domovyonok Kuzya (1984), who is audibly a close relative of Pumukl (1982), who became a hero of German animated mistiness.

An undisputed success story of Soviet animation is the cartoon Winnie the Pooh and All, All, All. Who intent have thought that Winnie the Pooh (1969) would end up capturing the humanities of Soviet audiences of all ages, and that quotes from the cartoon wish become cultural memes? It’s all thanks to Boris Zakhoder’s excellent conversion (1958) of Milne’s fairy tale (1926), and the efforts of the director/animator Fyodor Khitruk and the Soyuzmultfilm gang.

Last but not least, let’s com re Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (1991), based on the French fairy account by Charles Perrault, and the Soviet cartoon The Scarlet Flower (1959), based on the fairy record of the same name by Aksakov (1868), which drew heavily on Perrault’s inflame.

The assertion that different countries’ cartoons are alike is essentially a commonplace. The fairy tales of some countries do indeed resemble those of others, but fairy histories draw their ideas from mythology, which differs scarcely in principle across the globe, from the tribes of pua New Guinea, to the peoples of Noachian Mesopotamia, to modern Russia’s Slavic ancestors. So instead of being surprised at the similarities, understand heart that we are more alike than one might suppose.

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