Today’s Sunday is all about Yuriy Norshteyn, a Russian animator best known for “Hedgehog in the Fog” and “Tale of Tales”.
I was fortunate enough to see him live as he talked about his career, his works and experiences when he visited here a while ago. (Fun fact: most of the art in Norshteyn’s films is by his wife, Franchesca Yarbusova, an award-winning artist.)
Norshteyn’s cut-out animation barely looks like cutouts at all: he uses a special construction with movable multiple glass planes that allow him to achieve amazing effects without the use of computers. There’s actually a story that one of my teachers told us about him back in animation school, and it’s about how some (possibly Canadian? or British?) animators studied his films, and managed to recreate all of his crazy effects without any digital tools, except for one – the Hedgehog coming out of the fog. They tried everything, and still couldn’t solve the puzzle. So when Norshteyn visited their country, (I feel pretty bad about not remembering where that happened) and they got a chance to ask him the secret behind the fog effect, which was genius in its simplicity. For giggles, do any of you want to guess what it was? Here’s the animation in question:
And here are some hedgehog sketches I squeezed in between working on the baby-painting picture.