The Wolf and the Seven Little Goats In a New Way (Волк и семеро козлят на новый лад, 1975) by Leonid Aristov

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The Wolf and the Seven Little Goats In a New Way
The Wolf and the Seven Little Goats To a New Beat
Волк и семеро козлят на новый лад
Volk i semero kozlyat na novyy lad (ru)

Year 1975
Director(s) Aristov Leonid
Studio(s) Ekran
Language(s) Russian
Genre(s) Comedy
Folklore & myth (Rus./East Slavic)
Animation Type(s)  Plasticine (2D)
Length 00:10:15
Wordiness 7.81 profile Ru, En
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Volk i semero kozlyat na novyy
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Volk i semero kozlyat na novyy
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How love for music made the wolf and the little goats friends. Music inspired by Dave Brubeck's "Take Five", performed by the "Ulybka (Smile)" quartet. Based on the Russian folk tale.

The Music is by Alexei Rybnikov. The art direction by Lyudmila Tanasenko. Due to its inventive and renewing character, it is Aristov's best known and appreciated animation. Technically it's a cut out animation with 3-D, semi 2-D sculptured elements, likely glazed clay (the animation technique above says "2-D plasticine" but that's not actually correct, it just looks similar.

The second video has 34 seconds of nothing at the beginning.




Though I quite like the mother goat's song at the start and end (with its rhythm almost certainly inspired by Brubeck's "Take Five"), I much prefer the excellent 1957 adaptation of the same story that tells it in the traditional way. I also prefer Aristov's films that he made both before this (his collaborations with Hodatayeva such as "The Brave Fawn") and after this (e.g. "The Tree Frog"). I'm not really sure that this one is his "most appreciated"; it's definitely not the one that won the most awards.

Compared to 1957, all of the characters are less appealing except possibly the wolf. The goat-mother here is portrayed as a hapless worry-wart who tries to prevent her kids from having fun but is powerless to do so (she even tells them to not play inside the house while she's gone, the opposite of the goat-mother from 1957, and they wink to themselves as she says this). Her melody, I think, is meant to be "needlessly complicated".

While the goat kids in 1957 have many positive qualities, the ones here have kind of an ugly design to them, act kind of bratty, and the melody of their signature song is not very appealing but rather simple (I think). This also makes the wolf's decision to join their song not that believable to me, because their song is just not that good. And also, as far as I can tell, the wolf is still ravenously hungry at the end of the film. He's still gotta eat at some point, and nobody's given him anything except a flower for that concert. And yet the film acts like everything is resolved. So the "moral", such as it is, is actually a dangerous one.

So, overall, it's not a favourite of mine, though I do like some things about it.



But as far as I know it was the invention of 2 d use of plasticine, that was what was special about it

Replies: >>3


>But as far as I know it was the invention of 2 d use of plasticine, that was what was special about it
It looks like glazed clay to me, not plasticine. It doesn't deform anywhere, I see no fingerprints - the pieces always look like they have a hard surface. Although the aesthetic does look similar.

Tatarskiy wrote in his 1986 essay "Making Animation" (which I translated back in 2008) that when he started making his 1981 cartoon "Plasticine Crow", his colleagues at the studio were saying "Nothing good can come from our plasticine - only the Americans know how to do this!" and "The plasticine will melt underneath the projectors!"



What aristov started, or rather, Ludmila Tanasenko the art director of the film. That's an underrated profession in animation. But Tanasenko was always in for trying something new to broaden the possibilities of puppet-animation.See for instance The Trunk(Sunduk)1986, and all her other work with Yulian Kalisher) What she did here was applying a 3D means to a 2D cut-out, or flat-puppet technique (The russian name for it, which I think, is better.)making it into a semi-2D technique. That's the revolution she started! Tatarskiy and Eduard Belyahev from Saratov Telefilm builded further on the same idea. But Tanasenko herself would be nowhere without the 3 layers of glass flat puppet film technique, which, also later was perfected by Yuri Norstein. The Russian animation workers continuously stimulated renewal, and experimentation in each other. And often that starts with art-directors or cameraman. Petrov and Norstein are good examples of Art-directors bringing something really new that revolutionized Russian Animation.

Replies: >>5


I agree, the art director was often an important person. And they would often later go on to direct films of their own, and these would often be quite interesting. Just off the top of my head - this path was followed by Valentin Olshvang, Irina Smirnova, Sergey Alibekov, Ideya Garanina. While other art directors would find a director and then stay with them for the rest of their careers (e.g. Vera Kudryavtseva-Yengalycheva with Leonid Nosyrev). Not just art directors went on to become directors, though. Garri Bardin started out as an actor before making the switch (and continued acting afterwards), though apparently this was far less common. Maybe because of that, the art direction seems relatively less important in his films.

In any case, while this definitely looks aesthetically close to plasticine animation, which would have such a big influence in future years, it's not there yet. The first plasticine animation is still Tatarskiy's 1981 "Plasticine Crow".


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