Sunday, January 02, 2011

the twelve months

My daughter discovered an animation series at the library, featuring beautifully animated Russian folk and fairytales. Mikhail Barishnikov's Stories from my Childhood features some traditional and familiar fairy tale characters, like Cinderella and Pinocchio, while also telling Russian tales not as familiar to an America audience, such as the wonderful Twelve Months.

This is part one. The rest of the fairy tale can be watched on YouTube.
From imdb: The Twelve Months On the last day of the old year, an old man tells orphan Christina about the unhappy girl queen. Spoiled by her power, she commands winter to leave and her subjects to bring her flowers. Christina's cruel guardian commands her to go to the cold forest in a snowstorm to find the flowers. She meets the Twelve Months in a forest, and April causes snowdrops to grow for her to pick, and gives her a ring so she can call for their help if needed. When she refuses to show the Queen the Twelve Months' hidden lake, the Queen casts away Christina's ring, and the Twelve Months help the queen see her behavior was wrong.
The style of this animation is very painterly. It also reminds me of 1930s -era children's book illustration. Each tale has a unique look. I can't think of a better way to welcome a new year than with this gentle tale full of nature magic. Plus, it's fun to safely and vicariously enjoy the snow.
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