Limpopo (Лимпопо, 1939) by Leonid Amalrik and Vladimir Polkovnikov

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Limpopo (ru)

Year 1939
Director(s) Amalrik Leonid
Polkovnikov Vladimir
Studio(s) Soyuzmultfilm
Language(s) Russian
Genre(s) Comedy
Literature (Rus./East Slavic)
Animation Type(s)  Drawn (cel)
Length 00:12:31
Wordiness 9.27 profile Ru, En
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Date: December 04 2021 09:46:07
Language: English
Quality: good
Upload notes: 202 characters long (view)
Creator(s): Dorian Rottenberg, Niffiwan, Жукороп

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This film is part of the Doctor Aybolit series.


Adaptation of the well-known children's poem by Korney Chukosvkiy about a kind doctor who cures animals.

Here's the original poem in Russian. Here's an English translation by Dorian Rottenberg (the English subtitles are based on it, though with differences). The doctor's name is literally translated as "Ow it hurts!".

There was also a colour version of this film released in Feb. 1940, but Russia's state film archive no longer owns a copy.

Chukovskiy had this to say about the cartoon in a Feb. 15, 1940 article:

The reason my story "Limpopo" was a success for the artists Amalrik and Polkovnikov was because they completely abandoned unnecessary caricature, trickery, callous and soulless American tomfoolery, and took the path of intimacy and poetry, of quiet and gentle lyricism.

This should be the essence of the true Soviet style of children's cartoon. All the characters portrayed in this film are lovable. Doctor Aibolit is funny, eccentric, but first of all he is touching. He is a typical Soviet doctor - selfless, humane, ready to give his life for his patients. And how poetic is the sea depicted by these artists, how poetic is the Russian blizzard that prevents the doctor from getting to his patients on time...

Limpopo seems to me to be one of the best cartoons I've ever seen.

Here are some words from Georgiy Borodin, animation historian, writing in 1999/2013:

It was in 1939-41 that films began to appear at the new Soyuzmultfilm studio that subsequently entered the "golden collection" of Russian cinema - "Limpopo" and "Barmaley" by Leonid Amalrik and Vladimir Polkovnikov, etc. Their appearance marked the beginning of the indigenous Soviet school of 2D cel animation... Doctor Aibolit from the movie by L. A. Amalrik and V. I. Polkovnikov "Limpopo" (1939) became a model for animators and proof of the possibility of depicting a positive, human persona in animation.



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