Hedgehog in the Fog

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Hedgehog in the Fog

The hedgehog and bearcub are counting the stars. The Bear cub was talking and talking, "...because... if not you, who else would count the stars?" And the Hedgehog was thinking, "Isn't it wonderful that we are together again?"
Directed by Yuriy Norshteyn
Produced by Soyuzmultfilm
Written by Sergei Kozlov
Starring Alexei Batalov
Maria Vinogradova
Vyacheslav Nevinniy
Music by Mikhail Meyerovich
Cinematography Nadezhda Treschyova
Editing by Natalia Abramova
Release date(s) Flag of the Soviet Union 1975
Running time 10 min 29 sec
Country  Soviet Union
Language Russian
Followed by If the Stars Fall (1978)

Hedgehog in the Fog (Russian: Ёжик в тумане, Yozhik v tumane) is a 1975 Soviet animated film directed by Yuriy Norshteyn, produced by the Soyuzmultfilm studio in Moscow. This cartoon is considered one of the best animated films of all time. The Russian script was written by Sergei Grigoryevich Kozlov, who also published a book under the same name. In 2006, Norshteyn published a book with the same name, listing himself as an author along with Kozlov.[1]


[edit] Plot

The main theme of the cartoon is the concept of Enlightenment and release from the yellow mist of civilization. [sic] This is a story about a little hedgehog (voiced by Mariya Vinogradova) and his friend bear cub (voiced by Vyacheslav Nevinniy). The two would meet every evening to drink tea from the cub's samovar, which was heated on a fire of juniper twigs. As they drank their tea, the hedgehog and the bear conversed and counted the stars together. One day, the hedgehog decided to bring raspberry jam. As he went to the bear to count the stars, he passed through the woods and found a horse standing in a fog, where the hedgehog can't even see his own pink paw. He is curious as to whether the horse would drown if it went to sleep in the fog. The hedgehog decides to explore the fog.

He finds himself in a strange world inhabited by many frightening creatures (eagle-owl, moths and bat) but also helpful and kind ones (the snail, the dog and the 'somebody' under water); that world of silence and rustles, of darkness, high grass and enchanting stars. The hedgehog hears the sound of the owl, which he called freak (Russian: псих). He is so frightened that it seems to him that the owl is very close. He is frightened, but his curiosity keeps him exploring the unknown. The characters Hedgehog and Bear Cub are very kind and friendly. In contrast, the eagle-owl is very hostile, being on the hunt and not taking care of the beauty of the surrounding world.

Another plot summary and interpretation:

The hedgehog's nightly walk through the woods to count the stars, drink tea and eat jam with his friend is such a habit he's not even aware of the dangerous owl stalking him. Instead of paying attention, he thinks of the conversation he will have with his friend. He comes upon a beautiful horse standing in the fog. The sight stops his internal dialog and awakens his sense of wonder. His curiosity about what it might be like to experience a different reality leads him into the fog. He becomes a little afraid in this strange place and calls to the horse, but the horse does not answer him. He examines a oak leaf and a tree as though he has never seen them before. Realizing he has lost his jar of jam, a symbol of comfort and the familiar, his curiosity turns to fear, heightening his sense of danger to the point of being afraid of an obviously friendly dog who, miraculously, restores to him his jam. But someone called the dog with the whistle similar to the Beethoven's V symphony. All the while, faintly in the distance, we hear his friend calling for him. Still frightened, even with his jam, the hedgehog runs blindly through the fog and falls into the river. After a short struggle, he relaxes, literally "goes with the flow", accepts his fate and eventual death without fear. The horse watches him float by and does not attempt to help him. Suddenly, an unseen Someone touched his hind paw and asks, "Who are you and how did you get here?", questions humans (and hedgehogs) have asked themselves for thousands of years. He answers truthfully and simply and his life is saved. He makes his way back to his ordinary world, a changed being. His friend talks and talks, but the hedgehog sit quiet on the right side, joyful at just being together with him again. He thinks of the horse, the symbol of the impersonal wonder, mystery and beauty of existence. This is a story of how to live fully; by being in the "now" and being aware of the world and ourselves as we truly are. "Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." ~ Frederick Buechner

[edit] Creators

Hedgehog in the Fog on the 1988 USSR stamp.
Director Yuriy Norshteyn (Юрий Норштейн)
Writer Sergey Kozlov (Сергей Козлов)
Art Director Franchesca Yarbusova (Франческа Ярбусова)
Animator Yuriy Norshteyn (Юрий Норштейн)
Camera Operator Alexandr Zhukovskiy (Александр Жуковский)
Composer Mikhail Meyerovich (Михаил Меерович)
Sound Operator Boris Filchikov (Борис Фильчиков)
Script Editor Natalya Abramova (Наталья Абрамова)
Voice Actors Alexei Batalov (Алексей Баталов) Narrator
Mariya Vinogradova (Мария Виноградова) Hedgehog
Vyacheslav Nevinny (Вячеслав Невинный) Bear
Film Editor Nadezhda Treshchyova (Надежда Трещёва)

[edit] Awards

[edit] Other information

The fog effects were created by putting a very thin piece of paper on top of the scene and slowly lifting it up toward the camera frame-by-frame until everything behind it became blurry and white.[1]

Hayao Miyazaki considers Yuriy Norshteyn "a great artist"[2] and cited Hedgehog in the Fog as one of his favourite animated films.[3]

[edit] Legacy

Since January 2009 the main character (the Hedgehog) from the movie has a statue in the city center of the capital of Ukraine, Kiev[2].

[edit] See also

[edit] References

[edit] External links

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