12 October 2008 | MartinHafer
It's pretty but not as much as I'd expected considering the hype
In 1984, the Animation Olympiad named this as "the most beautiful animated film ever made". Well, that's a mighty tall order to live up to and so I expected a much prettier film than I actually saw. Now this isn't to say the film is ugly, but only portions of the film are pretty. The backgrounds and effects are indeed lovely, but the characters all too often are cutouts that move through stop-motion (almost like those of Terry Gilliam) and they just have a cheap quality about them. The contrast between these moving characters and the rest of the film is pretty noticeable--especially the rather crudely drawn wolf. Plus, while the film is in some ways quite pretty, it's not especially fun to watch or exciting. I really think some of the Russian animated shorts by Aleksandr Petrov that were done after SKAZKA SKAZOK were far more beautiful and impressive--having a narrative that is much more interesting to all ages. SKAZKA SKAZOK, instead, has very limited commercial appeal--being more for the artsy crowd than the average person. Overall, rather pretty but that's about all. Had I not heard all the hype, perhaps I would have been more impressed.