The Bathtub (Ванна, 1986) by Yuriy Butyrin

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The Bathtub
Vanna (ru)
Bồn tắm (vi)

Year 1986
Director(s) Butyrin Yuriy
Studio(s) Ekran
Language(s) Russian
Genre(s) Comedy
Animation Type(s)  Drawn (cel)
Length 00:00:58
Wordiness 7.35 profile Ru, En
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Date: July 09 2022 02:02:30
Language: English
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Creator(s): Cynir, Niffiwan
Date: May 25 2022 06:19:36
Language: Vietnamese
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Creator(s): Cynir

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A short public service skit about conserving water, featuring the Wolf and Hare from the "You Just Wait" series.

This is an example of the very short, simple "PSA"-type assignments that some animation directors of the late Soviet era had to do from time to time, especially at Ekran studio (which was the official TV animation studio). Often, they would be interspersed with the actual "artistic" works that those same directors made, and often there wouldn't be much in common between them. These would often use popular characters from well-known cartoons to deliver some sort of simple message, often a particular initiative of the government - in this case, the Hare and the Wolf from the "You Just Wait" (Nu, pogodi!) series, although drawn in a different style.




To this day, Well, Just You Wait! (Ну, погоди!) remains the only Russian animated film recalled by generations of Vietnamese people. Folks even use the original Russian sentence as a catchphrase when they need to humorously warn about something. That's probably why a not-so-famous director named Đặng Nhân Lập decided to create a Vietnam version of this series.

Since the early 1980s, the two series Tom & Jerry and Well, Just You Wait! has followed many different paths to dominate the film market in Vietnam. Of course, in Vietnam's economic situation at that time, which was both conservative and extremely poor, the managers quietly allowed them to exist to ensure a certain amount of "GDP" to maintain the entire administration. When the free market economy was officially recognized in 1986, the entire Vietnamese cinema also... fell into free fall. This may explain why as time goes on, Vietnamese animation becomes less developed, with too few hand-drawn films, at the same time the drawings are no longer as spacious and the stories are very rigid.

About ten years ago, I had the opportunity to talk with an animation director from Vietnam Television (central television channel). His company was hired by VTV to make a 2,000-episode historical television series to celebrate the 1,000th anniversary of the founding of Hanoi city. However, the entire crew only has about a dozen persons and must continuously complete it so that every night there will be a film to show. Since then, that series is still being produced, but is completely unknown. The filmmakers' lack of historical understanding is not to blame, because they are just artists, not researchers ; furthermore, because the budget was too low and the time was too tight, they cannot make them diverse. However, the main problem causing those films to die in the dark is the overuse of digital technology. The drawings and movements don't even compare to cutout films. See : Thousand Years of Pride.

Now we will return to the early 1990s, when the Vietnamese government began implementing cultural revival programs. The Hare and Wolf series can be considered a typical example. In fact, they are not part of a unified series and do not have an official title. Each film is an independent story, although the three characters Hare - Wolf - Wolf's Wife are constantly present. Why so ? The filmmaker's main purpose in creating these films was to form a stable source of funding for Vietnam Animation Studio. Until today, even though it is called a company, there are very few employees and the headquarters is just a few small rooms, let alone a few decades ago. This series of films was made according to purchase orders from the Ministry of Culture and Information of Vietnam. Because if they appear on television or in cinemas, they would definitely lose revenue. At that time, animated films in Vietnamese theaters were mostly from Walt Disney and some Japanese studios ; Vietnamese films, of course, could not compete with them.

I think it's very possible that Vietnamese filmmakers have imitated Soyuzmultfilm filmmakers, not Ekran. However, it is true that the original Well, Just You Wait! nor is it purely entertainment like Tom & Jerry. All episodes are intended to educate civic awareness, of course from a humorous and even satirical perspective. Five volumes of Hare and Wolf were produced sporadically from 1992 to 2003. After that period, perhaps because of the Berne Convention, which Vietnam signed in 2006 ; furthermore, at the beginning of the 21st century, Vietnam Animation Studio was in the process of transferring generations and starting to experiment with computer graphics films, therefore, films with content close to children's age will be given priority.

It can truly be said that, this series has coincidentally shown the innovation process of Vietnamese society through economic measures. The Wolf couple covers almost all the identities of rural people (người nhà quê) in Vietnam, specifically the Northern Delta region, where is the political center of the country. Although Hare is just as cunning as in the original Soviet film, he only appears as an object of bullying. I also note one more thing that, as mentioned before, in Southeast Asia there are no wolves, even hares and rabbits are very rare, so the images of hares and wolves in the minds of Vietnamese people are very faint. I say this jokingly, perhaps Vietnamese filmmakers in the past only imagined wolves through dogs. In addition, in the series there are often scenes of Wolf smoking : It is called as the farmer's pipe (điếu cày) ; this tool is a bamboo tube that applies the same mechanism as a cannon, but to use it, you have to pour some water inside like a Maksim machine gun ; that's why when you smoke, its sound will be almost like the sound of a stream, so many people still call it "cigarette shooting" (bắn thuốc lào).






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