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.