This April marks centennial anniversary of Russian animation. While recently rediscovered works of Alexander Shiryaev are dated between 1906 and 1909, it was Vladislav (Ladislav) Starevich who presented his first cartoon The Beautiful Leukanida (stop-motion cartoon with animated bugs as “actors”) a century ago, in spring (presumably in April) of 1912. To celebrate this occasion during the recent Open Festival in Suzdal a list of a hundred most acclaimed Russian/Soviet cartoons was created. Once There Was a Dog by prominent animator and educator Eduard Nazarov became the most popular film, followed by equally famous Hedgehog in the Fog by Yuri Norshtein and Winnie the Pooh by Fyodor Khitruk.
Once There Was a Dog (Жил-был пёс, 1982) is a beloved animation story based on Ukrainian folklore about misfortunes of an old dog. If features right combination of humor, ethnic/rural flavor, and themes of loneliness, friendship, and empathy.
Russian, with English subtitles