I used to set "My Holidays" as an English composition. The students would lose the will to live (or was it me?) just as they arrived at their destination, five or twenty pages later. Not a mention of the holiday. Russian animator Nina Bisyarina takes the same route in the marvellous A Trip to the Seaside with one difference – the pair actually do arrive at their destination – but don’t raise your hopes. No, I have it very wrong, two differences: the journey is utterly enthralling. I have featured Nina’s work previously but this gem is the best yet. A young girl and her mother are taking an interminable journey to the seaside involving sleeping overnight. The child clutches a postcard with two tropical parrots, a palm tree, the sea and an ocean going vessel. During the journey the image sustains her vivid imagination. An adult holds a glass drinks container the contents of which flop about to inspire a vision of the sea in the postcard, billowing curtains on the train provoke postcard palm trees to flap about, parrots fly from the card. Always we are inside the world of the child with a tincture of the mundane, adult world that would intrude were it not for the girl’s determination to treasure image and dreams. The hand drawn style of Nina’s work is captivating as is the accomplished animation, the colouring in all its delicacy, as well as the recreation of a listless rail journey spiced with an innocent child’s imagination. Quite, quite wonderful. So many high points: the train stops at a station and bunny rabbits and teddy bears leap outside the carriage window, a vast cruise ship passes by in the night, the fresh light of morning streaming into the train, and mother and child at their destination. Do read niffiwan’s journal (http://niffiwan.livejournal.com/31333.html) recounting his highlights of the 15th Open Russian Festival of Animated Film. Nina shared the Best Direction award with Valentin Olshvang's Rain in the Evening, And thank you, pavlovich74, for your welcome recommendation of one of the best films on the blog this year. If there is a better young Russian director out there at the moment I have yet to see them.