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Merry-go-Round (Veselaia Karusel) was a multivolume (33 episodes) collection of animation shorts. Pilot episode was produced in 1969.  Veselaia Karusel episodes often included highly innovative and non-traditional animation. Anatoly Petrov was one of the almanac’s authors. His Чудо (Miracle) is a two-minute piece from 1973 short based on a poem by Roman Sef, popular author and translator of children literature:

Have you seen a miracle yet
Never seen a miracle?
What a pity –
Have not seen a miracle
You should go and you should see
You would see a pure miracle
Wonderful miracle:
By a kitchen store near a building #3
Pushing up through the pavement
There is a little birch tree.

Theme of highly technological, just, and somewhat sterile future was highly popular in the Soviet culture of the 1960s-1970. Petrov transforms a simple poem about a tiny tree in the urban landscape into the clean shiny future that completely separates people from nature. The city of future with streams of isolated commuters is a realm of shining glass and chrome oversaturated with technology. In this world of concrete, glass, and iron a tiny tree is in fact a miracle.

Russian, with English subtitles by Russian Media Subtitles


Many Russians learned the Godfather‘s Speak Softly Love from this cartoon. Filmed by Vladimir Tarasov in 1978, Contact is about the meeting of two worlds. The alien spaceship lands in a peaceful countryside where the Artist (modeled after John Lennon circa 1967) enjoys a peaceful landscape. Such encounter with the Alien seems to scare the Artist, but music helps to overcome a language barrier.

No Russian required.