Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Anatoliy Petrov "The Singing Teacher" (1968)

The Singing Teacher was the debut film of the great Russian director, Anatoliy Petrov (1937 – 2010) who died last Wednesday. For an orbituary may I point to an authorative and appreciative digest of Anatoliy's life by Georgiy Borodin, translated by niffiwan. The Singing Teacher takes an incongruously huge hippopotamus into the study of a suitably academic professor who, although initially startled, nevertheless attempts to teach the beast to sing. Hippo’s are not born for the high notes and the old fellow becomes increasingly frustrated as the lesson degenerates. Neither can be faulted for effort however though the scholar has to sink low indeed to raise standards. Stylistically I should point to the realistic manner of the artwork, albeit the hippo has a head and body impossibly squared, the antithesis of art one might think. Anatoliy's work is available widely although comparatively few of his films have English subtitles. I shall certainly write more about his work.


loveable_homebody said...

This is hilarious! Many cartoons with little to no dialogue seem to work well, for both humour and sadness.

How was this illustration effect achieved? mostly through pencils and shading, I presume. I haven't seen much of this style in years -- perhaps because most of it's done on computer now? Maybe there is more of this style out there that I just haven't seen.

Ian Lumsden said...

Hi Loveable,

Thank you for your appreciative comments. Pen and paper on cells it most certainly was though Anatoliy was innovative in his work. During his career he used a technique whereby two layers were made, one of which being slightly blurred lending a 3D effect when photographed by a camera that itself is moved in a varied way to add more realism. Although early, "Curiosity" has something of this effect I think. Computers do all the work nowadays.

David Cribbin said...

R.I.P. Anatoliy Petrov - one of the few great animators of all time, his style, and technique where beautiful, unequalled - Dave

niffiwan said...

julia2night has directed me to a subtitled version of "Hercules Visits Admetus" (yes!). I've updated my article: