In the poultry yard, where every morning they begin with a life-affirming anthem and raising the flag with the fried eggs emblem, an unusual duck appears, completely different from the others. Everyone repels him, no one loves him - and in the end the duckling is outside the gate, unhappy and lonely. But a wonderful transformation awaits him. Harry Bardin, a classic of Soviet animation, presents a nostalgic plasticine presentation of Andersen's famous fairy tale.
The first emotion that the new creation of Bardeen evokes: how cute it is and how similar it is to the old Soviet cartoons, which we all loved so much in childhood! And then you ask yourself: why are the cartoon characters so "scary"?
At first, monster ducklings and kolobok chickens cause some confusion. Bardeen's unusual vision is confusing, and it is unclear how to treat him - as an artistic device or a banal inability to sculpt okay on-screen characters. Different moments of the cartoon make you perceive it this way and that.But you quickly get used to the weirdness of the characters - and then the visual strangeness of "The Ugly Duckling" even begins to be liked: the absurdity of ducklings and chickens is perceived as a cute flaw, for which they love even more.
The tale "The Ugly Duckling", frankly speaking, does not amaze with the complexity of the plot drinking. Screen events in it - about fifteen minutes: the remaining hour is filled three times with repeated hymns, songs, dances and funny opuses. The feeling of some tightness does not leave throughout the entire cartoon. However, the episodes, even clearly taken "for number", look interesting and fresh anyway.
The fact is that Bardeen, who gave us "The Flying Ship" and other favorite cartoons of childhood, could not limit himself to just reading a fairy tale. Instead, he told us a History full of symbols, metaphors and even philosophy.
The ugly duckling, in the midst of ostentatiousness, attacks and rivalry of the poultry yard, is looking for something completely different - real friendship, a true family. From the scene in which he sees swans for the first time and incredulously feels his kinship with them, he sneaks as from the best story about the search for his own flock.
Bardeen is ironic: in a dramatic story, in general, he has a lot of fun. And he subtly teases the most dangerous internal corrosion - self-pity - when the duck pulls on "Oh my God!" the third time, it is no longer pity, but hysterical laughter. Those who recognize themselves in this mirror, next time starting to feel sorry for themselves, will not be able to hold back a smile - and laughter is the first step to healing, as you know.
In "The Ugly Duckling" the cartoonist walked through the political system, making a funny picture of a parade in the poultry yard under the command of a pompous turkey. And - in contrast - an ingenious exchange of remarks: "Are you wild?" - "We are free". And what happens next in this scene is one of the most powerful and deeply felt moments of the cartoon.
Tchaikovsky's music gives depth and emotional strength to the events on the screen - the violin bites into the heart, and the sounds of the march make you want to stomp your foot in time.Despite some viscousness and images of plasticine on the screen, to which you do not immediately feel sympathy, "The Ugly Duckling" is a real cartoon of old Soviet traditions: deeply felt, deep and simple.
The ending worked especially well in it: after recognizing himself, the former ugly duckling saw the inhabitants of the poultry yard in their true light. Those whom he extolled and to whom he was drawn, who in response laughed and humiliated him - they are really nasty. But you will not see the most important thing with your eyes, as the Little Prince said - you can only survive it.
The Topic of Article: Review of the cartoon The Ugly Duckling. A treasure in itself.