12 January 2009

Vinni Pukh

As it turns out, the misdeeds of the former Soviet Union were not limited to violation of human rights (enforced political "education", imprisonment in gulags, limitation of free speech, to name a few) and maintenence of the constant (and terrifying) threat of nuclear war. They also engaged in shameless, large-scale copyright infringement. Tsk tsk, comrades! In the late 1960s, there was produced an adaptation of A.A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh; it has apparently become something of a cult classic.

See it here if it won't embed.

In spite of (or perhaps because of) the bargain-basement visuals (I'm cutting them some slack because they didn't have Disney's studio and artists) and the fact that I don't understand Russian, I found this cartoon utterly charming and amusing. True, this production jettisons Milne's overly precious Englishness (exemplified by here-absent Christopher Robin), but retains in spades his celebration of the universal quality of childlike wonderment and appreciation of the absurd. There is Vinni Pukh himself, looking like a slightly deranged Siberian bear cub and sounding like June Foray with laryngitis. There is Piglet, who lives in something of a slavic chalet, looks rather like an actual piglet (unlike whatever animal Disney's Piglet is supposed to be), and wears blue gingham high-waisted shorts. There are the bees, wild-eyed and menacing in their military-like organized defense of their honey hoard. All in all, strangely wonderful. If only I could understand the (martial-sounding) songs and the dialogue (which is reputedly very witty in Russian). I can't believe I haven't heard of this before!

File this under A, for Awesome!


Kiti said...

I hate Blogger formatting, and it hates me.

Mama Mia said...

I second the hating of blogger formatting! Grr. I'll watch the animation later tonight, after I finish unpacking all my clothes and bathroom. Love ya!

Kiti said...

I'm hating it so much right now I'm actually considering switch to Wordpress.

On my computer, this blog post has huge spaces between paragraphs, does NOT show the embedded Youtube video, and does NOT show a comments link, even though I know there are comments. So messed up.

luminarumbra said...

Darn you, Deb! Do you know how long I spent watching these things because of your link?!

Sarah Patterson said...

This is Sarah, K-W's wife. I loved this post! I waited with bated breath to see what Eeyore would be like in parts 3-4, and I wasn't disappointed. Devastatingly cute, all of it!