Friday, December 26, 2014

Nikolai Gogol's "The Night Before Christmas" (animation)



It is the night before Christmas and devilry is afoot. The devil steals the moon and hides it in his pocket. He is thus free to run amok and inflicts all sorts of wicked mischief upon the village of Dikanka by unleashing a snowstorm. But the one he'd really like to torment is the town blacksmith, Vakula, who creates icons of the devil being vanquished. Vakula is in love with Oksana, but she will have nothing to do with him. Vakula, however, is determined to win her over, even if it means battling the devil.

Taken from Nikolai Gogol's first successful work, from the story collection Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka.

The Night Before Christmas (Russian: Ночь пе́ред Рождество́м, Noch pered Rozhdestvom) is a 1951 Russian animated film (here presented with English subtitles) directed by the Brumberg sisters and produced by the Soyuzmultfilm studio in Moscow. The film is based on Nikolai Gogol's story The Night Before Christmas. The animation features heavy use of rotoscoping, known as "Éclair" in the Soviet Union, and is an example of the Socialist-Realist period in Russian animation.