Given that the weather meant I missed yesterday’s judging panel for the 2010 British Animation Awards (where one of my co-judges was to have been Joanna Quinn, ironically also beaten by the snow) here is Spider, a basically wintry piece by Isolda Solodova, one of the animators responsible for Alexander Petrov’s 2006 film My Love, about which I intend to write shortly. A product of the Sverdlovsk Film Studio, the short is as atmospheric as one can find. Within a decrepit shack lives a spider that, apart from eating flies, spends most of his time looking at the snow from the window. His world changes when a beautiful young woman moves in, inspiring his big eyed frame with thoughts above his station. Is he a frog in search of a kiss from a princess? Can he spin a silken web beautiful enough to ward off the broom? YouTuber pavlovich74, that remarkable purveyor of quality Russian animation, brought it to my attention as a “little gem”. In its dark way it is, as the wintry landscape and drab interior is introduced to Spring by a shapely, seductive maiden, much admired by our arthropod. Those 90% of women who allegedly suffer from arachnophobia will sympathise with the lady’s plight. Those 100% of men who have desired the unobtainable will have feelings aroused. I prefer spiders to flies.