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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


Olga Khodatayeva (1894-1968) was one of the first women in Soviet animation. She mastered fine arts in Moscow, worked as an illustrator, and joined the industry in 1924. She worked in Sovkino (later Mosfilm) and since 1936 she was employed as an animation director by Soyuzmultfilm, the biggest Soviet animation studio established in the same year by Stalin.

In 1928 Olga Khodatayeva produced a silent animation short Samoyed Boy (Самоедский мальчик), an anti-religious propaganda aimed at shamans of Nenets people, natives of the north of Russia. Her background in painting helped her to create much more polished animation than Vertov’s.

During her career, she managed to produce over 20 animation films. Among them are Disney style Tom Thumb (black and white, sound, 1938)

and highly praised beautifully executed A Fire Glowing in Yaranga (color, sound, 1956) based on the folk tales of the native peoples of the Russian north.

Awards: Venice Film Festival, 1956.

Notice that both films the adaptations of folk tales, typical for the socialistic realism period of Soviet animation (1930s-1950s).