Words by MPDClick’s Film Trend Researcher.
A surge of interest in Soviet cartoons and commodities fuels the Reflective trend for autumn/winter 13/14, reminiscing bygone socialist systems and teachings. A fable written by Leo Tolstoy in 1886, ‘Ivan the Fool’ has a prominent role in Russian folklore literature and is the subject of a new animated film due for release in 2015.
Like many folk and fairytales, Russian and German fables for children deal with complex political and social issues, simplifying fundamental principles for child consumption. At a time of social and political change, Soviet fairy tales communicated communist ideologies of equality and generosity that are still valued in today’s capitalist societies.
A tale of greed, ambition, military power and the rewards of living an austere life; Tolstoy’s original story contained a political subtext in support of Christian anarchism beliefs. The fable refers to the traditional struggles of good and evil while teaching principles of socialism. The story’s simple hero ‘Ivan the Fool’ eventually becomes ruler of his country, without the need of an army or a currency. A children’s doctrine for Communism, out of context the story is now enjoyed as a traditional fairytale.
A subject used in contemporary Russian animation, Ivan the Fool is currently being produced for a mainstream Western audience with Michael Gambon and Vanessa Redgrave involved in the project. The synopsis for the animated, family feature film promises “fantasy landscapes, enchanting countries, magical and mythical characters” up-dating the classic tale. Early animation sketches attached to the project suggest that the soviet aesthetic will be modernized, with references to Russia’s mountainous landscape.
Renewed interest in the Eastern European nostalgia marks an opportunity to discover a wealth of animation from the Soviet era that has been largely unexplored as inspiration for Western design.
Image source: IMBD