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E.T.A. Hoffmann was always one of the most beloved German writers in Russia. We already wrote about the animated version of Nutcracker (1973). Tatyana Ilyina produced her full featured version of Nutcracker in 2004. Hoffmaniad (Гофманиада), the most recent stop-motion animated film with elements of computer animation, has been in the works since 2001. It will combine elements of several novels, including Little ZachesThe Golden Pot, and The Sandman. It features art and design of a prominent Russian-born artist, Mikhail Shemyakin. As of now, a 20-minute version is available (based on The Golden Pot). The quality of puppets and design is amazing. Fantasy and reality blend together, and the world of the protagonist, Hoffmann, who serves as a low-rank official, is more tragic and surreal than magical adventures he writes about. Unfortunately, no exact release date is given.

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Directed by Stanislav Sokolov

Russian, no English subtitles

Nothing creates a holiday spirit better than the Nutcracker. This version of E. T. A. Hoffmann’s story is combined with Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s famous ballets, the Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, and Swan Lake. It was produced in 1973 by Boris Stepantsev, one of the prominent Soviet animators who among other films created a famous Russian version of Karlsson-on-the-Roof based on stories of Swedish writer Astrid Lindgren.

The plot is slightly changed, and the protagonist of the film is not Marie from the original Hoffmann’s story, a seven-year girl from a middle-class family, but a young maid who helps the enchanted Nutcracker to break a spell and become a prince again.

There are no dialogues, and this animated ballet does not require knowledge of Russian language to enjoy.