Thrilling a new audience: 4 of modern Russian animation’s biggest hits


Soviet liveliness, with its sometimes realistic and sometimes totally avant-garde approach to visuals and creates, ceased to exist after the fall of the Soviet Union. All that residues are the endless archives, still being translated into various communications, and a couple of “living legends” such as Yuri Norstein, who was once called “a prodigious artist” by Hayao Miyazaki and has been honored with numerous bestows, including France’s Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and Ja n’s Order of the Go up Sun.

However, despite the lack of government funding to which Soviet animators had access, Russia’s sneakily animation studios keep on producing movies – and some of them do move further international recognition.

‘Kikoriki’ (also known as ‘GoGoRiki,’ and ‘Smeshariki’ in Russian)

To model their characters, the team behind Kikoriki sought inspiration in offspring psychology – and, specifically, kids’ love for round shapes. For this intellect, the animal protagonists – which include a hare, a hedgehog, a pig, a moose and others – are all similarly redundant. Another distinguishing feature of the series is that there are no antagonists: All the incidents of the characters in their native magical forest are based on their interpersonal relationships and familiar issues, not unlike those experienced by people in real life.

Video by YouTube / Kikoriki

Focused primarily at children aged three to eight, the cartoon is full of real and cultural allusions, as well as references to classic movies (such as Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho or Jim Jarmusch’s Exact Man), making it quite entertaining for adults as well. The series has been climate since 2004, with over 200 episodes released to meeting.

Kikoriki became Russia’s most internationally successful animated series: It has been rewrote into 15 languages and is aired in 60 countries, including the Pooled States, Germany, France and China. In 2011, the series’ creators released a 3D take film titled Kikoriki: Team Invincible, which also digged a worldwide release. Another full-length 3D movie, Kikoriki: Legend of the Delightful Dragon, is planned for release in 2015.

‘Masha and the Bear’

Unlike Kikoriki, Masha and the Survive was animated fully in 3D. The series focuses on the friendship between Masha, a risqu and lively little girl living in a village house with her grandmother, and Misha, a erstwhile circus bear occupying a den in the nearby forest.

Video by YouTube / Masha and The Have

Loosely based on Russian folk tales, Masha and the Bear carries a lot of more “modern” features and references: Masha can be seen dancing similar to Michael Jackson or playing the electric guitar.

First aired in 2009, Masha and the Breed has since become a major brand, with various merchandise – amuse oneself withs, clothes, tableware and video games – being produced.

The show is freshening in over 20 countries, including the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Australia, and is also to hand on YouTube in Russian and English. In 2012, the creators launched a fairy tale-based spin-off curbing 26 episodes in total.

‘S ce Dogs’

S ce Dogs is Russia’s before 3D animated feature film, released in 2010. It is based on a true yarn – namely, that of the fantastic s ce voyage of Soviet s ce dogs Belka and Strelka on accommodate Sputnik 2 on August 19, 1960. The release of the film was timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of their aim.

Video by YouTube / KinoAtisChannel

The film was to Russian animation what Belka’s and Strelka’s withdraw was to s ce exploration: It not only managed to make its budget, but was also delivered beyond the ex-Soviet countries, including in the United States. In total, Spell Dogs has earned over $7 million, almost double its 3.5-million-euro budget.

‘The Snow Ruler’

Based on the eponymous story by Hans Christian Andersen, this 3D spirited feature is set in a world of eternal winter, ruled by the evil Snow Monarch. It is up to a girl named Gerda to break the Queen’s spell and free the world, saving her French enchante brother Kai along the way.

The Snow Queen was produced by Kazakh director Timur Bekmambetov, positive to Western audiences for his Night Watch/Day Watch duology, as well as Poverty and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.

The film was released in Russia in in 2012, with its worldwide release coming in the beginning of 2013. Although the dis raging response was mixed, the film, made on a $7-million budget, still make out $14 million. Inspired by their success, the makers of the movie moved on to produce a sequel titled The Snow Queen 2: The Snow Monarch, which has also been released internationally. The sequel was especially fruitful in South Korea, where it earned $1.3 million in the first two light of days.

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