Beautifully done! I've always loved The Many Who Planted Trees and it's nice hearing more about the story behind it.

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Feb 24, 2023Liked by Animation Obsessive Staff

I just want to say this: I discovered "Animation Obsessive" just a week ago, and I want to thank you for a fantastic resource, so well written and so full of things to discover and enjoy. Please continue for a long while.


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Feb 20, 2023Liked by Animation Obsessive Staff

Thanks for showing me how to use animation to captivate and teach old geezers like me. This was a wonderful experience. Thanks for the education. 🙂

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Feb 20, 2023·edited Feb 20, 2023Liked by Animation Obsessive Staff

Thanks a lot for writing about "The Man Who Planted Trees" - it's one of my favourites and one of those one-creator visionary masterpieces in animation (like Petrov's "The Old Man and the Sea" or Gavrilko's "The Sword"). I never knew how the technique was done exactly, though I suspected it was something like paint-on-cell.

And yes, those fellows at the Dovzhenko Center and the @ukrainiananimation2186 Youtube channel have been doing a great job of restoring a lot of older Ukrainian cartoons - really impressive, especially considering the war. It seems to have actually picked up pace with the war, whereas before the situation wasn't so great - I wonder if some Western money came in. Unfortunately they don't translate them, but I and some others have been filling in that gap by adding subtitles to a lot of them over at https://www.animatsiya.net/studio.php?studioid=7 (whenever possible, we've been adding the newly restored videos). One of my favourite overlooked gems they've recently restored is the 1994 "Yulia's Birthday" - https://www.animatsiya.net/film.php?filmid=1091

That article you linked to is informative but some of what it says should also be taken with a critical eye, given that there's an understandable incentive to portray history from a certain light right now. As far as I can tell (though I may be wrong), the cartoons from Ukraine weren't "redubbed into Russian", but simultaneously made and released in both languages. From comparing both versions of a lot of films, it seems to me that just as much attention paid to the voices in each version (or even more to the Russian one, since it would usually have a wider distribution across the whole USSR - as they mentioned in the article when writing about "Why the Rooster Wore Short Pants" and how people hadn't seen the Ukrainian version before). Obviously, there are examples where one or the other version will be better. But it wasn't like the situation in Armenia or Latvia, where there seems to have been much more separation between the "domestic" and "export" films, and for the "domestic" ones any translation seems to have an afterthought, often just a voice-over by some bored man, totally ruining the flow of any music or rhythm - for example, Robert Sahakyants' brilliant early Armenian musical "Fox Book" was really butchered, and to this day only has an awful Russian voice-over soundtrack - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGMKLcSzvn0

The situation in Ukraine changed in 1991 or so, when the studio stopped making high-quality Russian-language versions and instead started doing low-effort voice-overs (a great example being Irina Smirnova's 1995 "Insolent Goat" - the Russian version was so poorly-done I didn't even add it to the site. Some Russian TV channels even preferred to play a music-only version, though that made the film rather more abstract than it really had to be).

The article also makes it sound as if the early Ukrainian animated productions of the 1920s and 1930s were unjustly censored and lost, when in fact the majority of Soviet animation as a whole (including Leningrad and Moscow) from those years is lost, including a number of its most famous works (such as the colour and sound versions of Tsehanovskiy's 1929 "The Post"). Browse animator.ru by year in the early 1920s and 1930s, and you'll see that the majority of entries say "Film has not survived". Before the mid-1930s, politics was the predominant genre in Soviet animation, and it could be subject to some heavy-handed government interference (e.g. the final part of Aleksandr Ptushko's 1932 "The Master of Everyday Life", which is suddenly bereft of the subtlety and humour so prominent in the rest of the film). Most of the surviving fragments of early 1920s & 1930s Ukrainian animation recently uploaded to Youtube are quite heavily political, and the few that I've seen that aren't (e.g. the 1934 "Murzilka" cartoon) aren't really very good. The actual centres of Soviet quality in animation in those years were in Leningrad (Lenfilm) and to a lesser extent in Moscow (Mosfilm, Mezhrabpomfilm).

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Feb 20, 2023Liked by Animation Obsessive Staff

This is why I love AO. I've been a huge animation fan for a long time but I've never heard about SO many of these legendary artists.

P.S. not sure if you missed it, and I know you can't cover EVERYthing but Leiji Matsumoto passed away on the thirteenth

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I love trees, but I can't understand, why peole plant trees, OK, it sounds soo good, saving the world bla bla bla.

Better Alternative: Just do nothing, and they will grow !

Either there were trees before like in the Sahel zone, there was a wonterful documentary from arte 'Der Waldmacher' . An australian guy, who learned and teached this method in Africa. After I linked it in a 'climate critic' article, arte depublished it and only previews are left, what a pitty. But check it, maybe in your region . . . or buy it.

And if there was nothing, let the gras grow, it will irrigate itself from the air, so other plants will grow and then bushes will grow and then trees.

Doing nothing is not only less work, but the plants and trees can choose the very spot, where they actually want to grow. Imagine, you plant a tree kid at a place, it did not choose and it wouldn't choose, can't get away, has to stay there, might look good for you ignorant, but for the tree it's lifelong torture !

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