The Little Mermaid: 1968 Soviet Animation of the Tale by Hans Christian Andersen


This is a beautiful 1968 Soviet adaptation of ‘The Little Mermaid,’ by Hans Christian Andersen. It was produced by the great Soyuzmultfilm studio. There are no subtitles. Just enjoy it as a brilliantly animated musical approach to a great tale.

The film begins with a busload of tourists sightseeing in Copenhagen. Then it moves to sea and our story begins…


The Tale of the Dead Princess and the Seven Knights: Russian Fairytale Animation


This is a 1951 Russian animation of an 1833 fairytale poem written by Alexander Pushkin that is based upon the classic Grimms tale, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. It was directed by Ivan Pyetrovich Ivanov-Vano, known as the ‘patriarch of Soviet animation.’

You can read Pushkin’s The Tale of the Dead Princess and the Seven Knights.

The film is in Russian so you can use the YouTube settings to turn on English subtitles.

Beauty and the Beast: Russian Animation


This is a 1952 Soviet film adaptation of a variation on the Beauty and the Beast story called 'The Scarlet Flower', written by Sergey Aksakov in 1858. This story focuses much more on the bargain made between the unseen beast and the girl's father when he touches the scarlet flower on the magical island that is the beast's home than in the versions most American audiences are familiar with..

The animation technique in use here is called rotoscoping. Actors were filmed in costume doing their character movements, then traced frame-by-frame to create what was supposed to be a more realistic animation. In fact, rotoscoping often produces a curiously lifeless movement in conflict with the more fantastic backgrounds.


The Meeting: 1984 Science Fiction Animation from Ukraine


This is an extraordinary 1984 science fiction animation from the Soviet era Ukrainian film studio known as Kievnauchfilm. Aliens visit the earth to investigate whether humans have any knowledge of the reality behind UFOs.

Here’s a link to another animation from this studio. Stephen King’s ‘Battleground’ short story.


Pereval: 1988 Soviet Science Fiction Animation by Vladimir Tarasov

Humans have crash-landed on an alien planet. Sixteen years later, they send a small search party consisting of their children – born at the time of the crash – back toward the broken ship. The young members of the party make their way through a hostile and surreal landscape that holds surprises for them. Finding the ship well-preserved gives one of the young people an important connection to his past and to his origin.

This film was directed by Vladimir Tarasov and was adapted from a novel by Kir Bulychev.