A Naughty Kitten (Непослушный котёнок, 1953) by Mstislav Pashchenko

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A Naughty Kitten
The Disobedient Kitten
Непослушный котёнок
Neposlushnyy kotyonok (ru)
Sõnakuulmatu kassipoeg (et)

Year 1953
Director(s) Pashchenko Mstislav
Studio(s) Soyuzmultfilm
Language(s) Russian
Genre(s) Comedy
Literature (Rus./East Slavic)
Animation Type(s)  Drawn (cel)
Length 00:10:48
Wordiness 9.99
Animator.ru profile Ru, En
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A naughty little kitten escapes his home and makes some animal friends in the forest, but they get into trouble when it gets dark. Based on the children's story by Ivan Belyshev.

This cartoon was praised by critics and colleagues alike.

Soviet film historian S. S. Ginzburg noted in his book "Painted and Puppet Film" (1957) that "the film, very simple in its plot, is in its genre an unsurpassed example of directorial and visual animation skill to this day"

Animation director Ivan Ivanov-Vano wrote that "Pashchenko showed amazing ingenuity and imagination in this film", while at the same time "the result was brilliant not only technically, but also creatively [...] The kitten in the film turned out to be unusually light, fluffy and charming, which immediately won the sympathy of the young viewer. It was a victory for Pashchenko, his persistence, diligence, ingenuity. It was a new victory of Soviet animation." (Ivanov-Vano, 1980, p. 135)

American theorist Jennifer Lynde Barker has singled out this film as an important starting point of the trend of "fuzzy modernism", and one of the only examples that uses traditional animation: "While almost all of the work that falls into this category is stop motion, an important starting point is Mstislav Pashchenko’s The Disobedient Kitten (Neposlushnyy kotyonok, 1953). Pashchenko's film contrasts the rotoscoping that typified Soviet social realist animation with a fuzzy kitten, who is disobedient to realist structure, line, and content, in a film typified by aesthetic imprecision, abstraction, blurriness, and cuteness. The kitten, and other woodland children (rabbit, squirrel, and hedgehog), journey away from realism, and their fuzziness aligns them with a space for imagined possibilities of existence." (Barker, Jennifer Lynde. "Crafting Animation: Hermína Týrlová’s Fuzzy Modernism". Mai Feminism. 2021-12-13)

1954 - First Durban International Film Festival (South Africa) - Bronze Medal



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