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Bulychev, Bradbury and poor animation. 8 Soviet cartoons about space that you need to know

It’s amazing how little the Soviet Union was shooting about the cosmos. The country-pioneer in the conquest of interstellar space, rich in talented science fiction writers and powerful scientific potential, practically ignored this topic. Thinking about the animated space, first of all, remember except that “The Secret of the Third Planet” – a full-length cartoon, remarkably painted and meticulously animated. With other cartoons, things are worse.

The director-animator Vladimir Tarasov in one of the interviews to the magazine “If” told of the opinion that “the art of animation is so fantastic in itself that it is too much to shoot it with fantasy”. In addition, the soul must lie to it: many remarkable multipliers of Soyuzmultfilm simply could not stand science fiction.

“The Secret of the Third Planet”, 1981

Everyone saw this cartoon, he liked to twist on TV even 20 years after the premiere. It was very good, bright and colorful, he was drawn for his time. How much did it take to create a cartoon timing in 48 minutes? 4 years. This is how much the production of the picture from the first to the last picture took.

Cartoon is a film adaptation of the prolific fiction writer Kir Bulychev about the adventures of Alice Selezneva, the dream of any Soviet schoolboy. Director Roman Kachanov managed to attract many Soviet stars to the voice acting, and the production designer Natalia Orlova managed to break away in the cartoon world. What are the grotesque aliens standing like, emerging from a nightmare, but for some reason smiling, not frightening.

It is noteworthy that this Soviet cartoon was twice duplicated for display in the US. And the first version was extremely inadequate in content to the original. In the second version of the voice acting attracted Kirsten Dunst and James Belushi, but completely replaced the soundtrack, after which the cartoon lost a fair share of its charm.

The cartoon turned out really interesting and exciting for the children’s audience, which can not be said about many other Soviet animations about space. At times, it seems that the directors have set themselves the task of not capturing children with this topic, but expressing themselves without regard to the interests of the audience.

“Pass”, 1988

This is another adaptation of a much more adult work by Kir Bulychev, “Settlement.” And it differs from “The Mystery of the Third Planet” as the earth from the sky and on the drawing, on the detail of the frame, and on the quality of the voice acting. She was invited to the same age as the cartoon characters.

The action of the picture takes place on a remote planet, where, 16 years before, the research space ship from the Earth “Polyus” crashed aboard. The leakage of radiation forced the survivors to establish a settlement in the distance from the ship. In it, a generation has grown up that has never seen the Earth, for whom this wild and dangerous planet has become a home. And it is these children who are sent to a new expedition for the pass to get to the ship.

“Pass” Kira Bulychev animator read the first time in the journal “Knowledge is Strength” in 1980 and for a long time nurtured the idea of ​​his adaptation. To work, Tarasov attracted the young professor of the Moscow State University, Anatoly Fomenko, who later presented his pseudoscientific theory “The New Chronology” about falsified historical facts and a review of the existing chronology of historical events. Tarasov liked the style of drawings by which Fomenko accompanied his textbooks on mathematics. He believed that such a style would best convey the atmosphere of an eerie world, in which the heroes of Bulychev are locked. Naturally, the young scientist was assisted in the animation work by professionals.

As a result, “Pass” looks very arthausno and … monotonous. The stylistics of the picture drove her into tight frames, for which the filmmakers had no place to step. And because the cartoon looks pretty hard even in adulthood, what can we say about Soviet children. Yes, and periodically flickering picture, shadow graphics and surreal metamorphosis can drive even the most staunch spectators crazy. What can I say, if Bulychev did not like such experiments on his work.

Music for the cartoon was written by Alexander Gradsky. In particular, in the “Pass” you can hear Sasha’s poetry in his performance. “Cartoon is like a dish that depends on ingredients in many respects, ” noted the animator, to whom two doctors of sciences worked at once: Kir Bulychev was a doctor of historical, and Fomenko – of the physical and mathematical sciences.

In his work, Vladimir Tarasov did not try to lisp with the children. He believes that they are not so stupid, and allusions and interesting concepts can put into the child’s soul the seed that will develop his intellect. The animator said that it is important and necessary to do animation, which will be watched with equal interest by both children and adults. What is man? What is society? How much a person can be lonely and what are we all together? This is his cartoon “Pass”.

The Mirror of Time, 1976

The two above examples are what can be called Soviet high-budget animation. Still, half-hour films of both time and money went much more in comparison with any 10-minute shorts, which were one of the most common formats of Soviet animation. In this format, the “Mirror of Time” is presented – a cartoon of the same Tarasov, this time fantasizing about the cosmos, in which the light from distant stars keeps images of the past of these objects.

And we must pay tribute to the “Mirror of Time”, we can plant a seed – from it grow reflections about the boundless universe and hundreds of civilizations with which we will miss the level of development with which we do not come into contact, because the light we see from them is only the past, which occurred thousands and millions of years ago.

The script for the cartoon “The Mirror of Time” wrote an expert closely associated with the space projects of the USSR, to which the system of rescuing astronauts belongs, – Anatoly Korobkov. In the credits it can be seen under the pseudonym A. Ankor. The lieutenant-colonel of aviation liked to saw the stones and studied them under a microscope, and once brought to the studio a script for the cartoon. Vasily Livanov volunteered to help him adapt. That same honorary gentleman of the Order of the British Empire, who owns the canonical image of Sherlock Holmes.

“Return”, 1980

The Valdai T-614 spacecraft with the Soviet cosmonaut on board is returning to Earth from flight to Jupiter-8. But the trouble is, the ship was seriously damaged and can not land in automatic mode. What to do, will have to perform emergency descent in manual mode. Before this, it is desirable to sleep, but … Restorative sleep is delayed, the cosmonaut can not wake up, he is threatened with death.

No matter how amazing it may sound, the protagonist’s prototype is pretty similar to that of the space jockeys from the series “Alien” and “Prometheus”. Yes, and the outwardly complexion of a Soviet cosmonaut is somehow very similar to the representatives of this film franchise.

In this cartoon Tarasov continues to develop science-fiction issues, but in the foreshortening of the spiritual ties of man with the Earth and his home. Of course, as in many works of 20th-century science fiction, this basic message looks naive. But for Soviet animation it’s forgivable.

“Vampires Geones” and “Homelands Geons”, 1991

If Tarasov differs more in philosophical sketches about the cosmos, then his colleague Gennady Tischenko preferred more entertaining subjects. His path in space animation began with the film adaptation of Stanislaw Lem. Cartoon “From the diaries of Jon Tiho. Travel to Interopia “(1986) is difficult to call a masterpiece. Still, the genius of Stanislaw Lem can not be screened with rather poor animation, uneven production and a free retelling in the form of graduate work of the graduate school of script writers and directors.

By the beginning of the 90’s, Tishchenko decided to screen his own work in a series of game cartoons called “Star World”, which includes “Geon Vampires” and “Homelands Geons”, reminiscent of the work of the American science fiction Harry Garrison. The inspector of the cosmological commission Yanin arrives on the planet of Geon, where the Americans want to destroy all local vampires in order to quietly colonize the planet for mining. Janine’s companions will be characters, obviously similar to Stallone and Schwarzenegger.

The narrative in both “Geons” is very superficial, the first cartoon does not end at all. And this particular cartoon did not bring any special value to the cartoon. What does the fact that the main character externally reminds the director himself? On the extreme degree of narcissism? Against the backdrop of the collapse of the Union, “Star World” could not turn into a full-fledged TV series, which is even better. Yes, in the cartoons under the layer of poorish drawing there was an ecological morality. But there are many more wonderful pictures in the world that brought this idea to a much richer language and an expressive visual series.

“The main star”, 1966

This 19-minute cartoon was shot at the Soyuzmultfilm studio a year, when the Luna-9 first landed on the Moon and transmitted a video from the lunar surface, Venus-3 crashed into the surface of Venus with the pennant of the USSR, and Luna-10 “Became the first artificial moon satellite. Cosmonautics news did not come off the pages of newspapers and TV screens, all the boys dreamed of becoming cosmonauts.

In the cartoon, two brothers with the help of a magic wheel travel the history of the Earth in search of the main star person. In the distant future, they meet stately Soviet cosmonauts going to Sirius. Flying saucers, robots, reusable rockets and slender beautiful people with smiles and a kind look. People from the bright communist future, which saw them including the writer Efremov.

Heroes of the cartoon will have to jump into the past and the future, to meet with the designer of rockets and the inventor-self-taught, jumping with self-made wings. With all those who are keen and eager to learn the unknown, push the boundaries of human capabilities.

“Tigers can be found here”, 1989

The inspiration for the multiplier directors was not only Soviet, but also ideologically true Western writers. Of course, by 1989, little attention was paid to this, but Ray Bradbury was respected in the USSR. In 1984, at the studio “Uzbekfilm” was filmed “Will be affectionate rain” for the same post-apocalyptic story. Five years later, Vladimir Samsonov turned to the work of the writer, he shot “Here can be tigers” based on the story of the same name by Bradbury.

The space expedition finds a planet where everything is necessary for human life. And later it turns out that this planet is alive: it allows people to fly, turns water into wine. When one of the researchers is going to drill the surface of the planet, she begins to take revenge.

No matter how fantastic this cartoon is, it is quite easy to guess the story of earthlings mercilessly raping the Earth. The history of the planet that gives, but does not receive gratitude in return.

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