The Animated Soviet Propaganda Series

Animated Soviet Propaganda

Part 1 of 12 of the Documentary “Animated Soviet Propaganda” From 1924 to perestroika the USSR produced more than 4 dozen animated propaganda films. They weren’t for export. Their target was the new nation and their goal was to win over the hearts and minds of the Soviet people. Anti-American, Anti-British, Anti-German, Anti-Capitalist, Anti-Fascist, some of these films are as artistically beautiful as the great political posters made after the 1917 revolution which inspired Soviet animation. A unique series. With a unique perspective. Includes interviews with the directors of the animated films which are still alive and commentary by a leading Soviet film scholar. Two hours of documentary and six hours of animated films:

OVERVIEW COMMENTATORS:
Igor Kokarev, Professor of Film Sociology, Russian State Film School
Fyodor Khitruk, director and animator, Soyuzmultfilm
Vladimir Tarasov, director and animator, Soyuzmultfilm
Boris Yefimov, satirist, artist and writer

 

Watching these films reminds me very much of current media efforts in the US of 2009. The villains have changed, but new ones have emerged: climate change, global warming, carbon dioxide, big oil, coal, nuclear power, and power transmission lines: in short anything which generates electrical power, or uses energy.

These are the Nazis, the evil capitalists of these films. Global warming deniers are the vile, big-nosed, fat Jews seeking to deceive the green, planet-saving Truth Seekers. Conservatives are the disrupters against the People. Kids watch today’s cartoons featuring good penguins and polar bears fighting these evils. How long will it be before those same kids begin to clamor to have the deniers, the dissenters, and the disrupters disappeared?

Obama and the Democrats have replaced Lenin, Comrade Stalin and the Communist Party. The players, like the themes, are the same: do as we tell you, make sacrifices for the future, think not about how you live, save the planet. We, self-proclaimed intelligentsia, know what’s best you you. We know how you should live in every aspect of your life. Our power is absolute, and eternal. You are ephemeral and worth only the cost of your labor, the sacrifices we demand, are interchangeable and disposable in the end. Together we will march into a shinning future were all that is old will be swept away.

There is now something for these lost children to believe in. And so they line up… marching bravely forward into the new world of Hope and Change, singing soaring hosannas to the One who leads them and to the planet they are saving.

 

Clip #1

Part 1, American Imperialists -1

Black and White, 1933, directed by L. and I. Ivanov-Vano.
Mister Twister, 1963, A. Karanovitch, Soyuzmultfilm Studio.

 

Clip #2

Part 1, American Imperialists -2

Someone Else’s Voice. 1949. I. Ivanov-Vano. Soyuzmultfilm, Ave Maria, 1972, I. Ivanov-Vano. Soyuzmultfilm.
The Millionaire, 1963, V. Bordzilovsky and Y. Prytkov, Soyuzmultfilm.

 

Clip #3

Part 1, American Imperialists -3

Shooting Range, 1979, V. Tarasov. Soyuzmultfilm.
Mr. Wolf, 1949, directed by V. Gromov. Soyuzmultfilm.

 

Clip #4

Part 2, Fascist Barabarians -1

Kino-Circus, in three acts: Adolf the Dog Trainer and His Pooches, Hitler Visits Napoleon, and Hitler the Juggler on Powder Kegs. 1942, directed by L. Amalrik and O. Khodataeva.
Newsreels #1-4: “What Hitler Wants”, “Beat Fascist Pirates”, “Strike the Enemy on the Front Lines and at Home”, and “A Mighty Handshake”. 1941. Directed by V. and Z. Brumberg, A. Ivanov, O. Khodataeva, and I. Ivanov-Vano.
Fascist Boots Shall Not Trample Our Motherland, 1941, directed by A. Ivanov and I. Vano.

 

Clip #5

Part 2, Fascist Barabarians -2

Fascist Boots Shall Not Trample Our Motherland, 1941, directed by A. Ivanov and I. Vano. (Cont.)
The Soldier and the Garden, directed by Stanislov Sokolov
To You Moscow, 1947, directed by G. Lomidze.
We Can Do It, 1970, directed by L. Atamanov.
A Lesson Not Learned, 1971, directed by V. Karavaev.
The Adventures of the Young Pioneers, 1971, directed V. Pekar.
The Pioneer’s Violin, 1971, directed by B. Stepantsev.

 

Clip #6

Part 2, Fascist Barabarians -3

The Pioneer’s Violin, 1971, directed by B. Stepantsev. (Cont.)
Vasilyok, 1973, directed by S. Aristakesova.
We’re Drawing Occtober, directed by Y. Gamburg and O. Zakher.

 

Clip #7

Part 3, Capitalist Sharks -1

Interplanetary Revolution, 1924. Directed by N. Khodataev, Z. Komisarenko, Y. Merkulov.
China in Flames, 1925. Directed by N. Khodataev, Y. Merkulov, Z. Komisarenko.
We’ll Keep Our Eyes Peeled, 1927, directors N. Khodataev Group.

 

Clip #8

Part 3, Capitalist Sharks -2

Images of Yuri Merkulov, drawn in approximately 1960-1965, director Y. Merkulov.
The Shareholder, 1963, directed by Roman Davidov.
Proud Little Ship, 1966, directed by Vitold Bordzilovsky.
Prophets and Lessons, 1967, directed by Vyacheslav Kotonochkin.

 

Clip #9

Part 3, Capitalist Sharks -3

Prophets and Lessons, 1967, directed by Vyacheslav Kotonochkin. (Cont.)

 

Clip #10

Part 4, The Bright Future, Communism -1

Time Forward March, Time! 1977, directed by Vladimir Tarasov.
Lenin’s Kino Pravda (Truth in Cinema), 1924, presumed to be directed by Dziga Vertov. Made as a silent film.

 

Clip #11

Part 4, The Bright Future, Communism -2

Soviet Toys, 1924, directed by Dziga Vertov. Goskino USSR.
Victorious Destination, 1939, directed Leonid Amalrik, Dmitry Babichenko, Viktor Pokolnikov.
Lenin’s Kino Pravda (Truth in Cinema), 1924, presumed to be directed by Dziga Vertov. Made as a silent film (Cont).
Join the Cooperative, circa 1925, director unknown.

 

Clip #12

Part 4, The Bright Future, Communism -3

Join the Cooperative, circa 1925, director unknown (Cont).
Plus Electrification, 1972, directed by Ivan Aksenchuk.

 

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