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A polygon of animation

Vendredi pointed out to me one of the unique offerings of anime from Russia. Recently, we were exposed to a Russo-Japanese collaboration in First Squad. I thought it was disappointing, especially because the Japanese part of the collaboration was done by Studio 4C, one of the more hallowed anime studios around. More of the blame, however, can be placed on the poorly told and executed story of the Russians. It didn’t help that the trailer was so different from the film itself: the viewer was made to imagine that the film was going to be a creative action film featuring a girl with a katana, and it was going to be done by Studio 4C. What came out was a quasi-documentary, quasi-feature film, and it was entirely a disappointment.

I became more wary of Russian animation after that experience, but I’m glad to say that Polygon changed that perception into something a little more positive: it’s a short animation that aged very well considering it’s more than 30 years old.

Quoting Vendredi,

Polygon was produced in the Soviet Union in 1977 with a completely analog animation technique known as “photographica”, where characters were coloured using two sets of cels, rather than one – having two sets allowed a very complex portrayal of colour which gives Polygon a rotoscoped or almost computer generated look.

It is only ten minutes long, but I liked how the short portrayed the dynamism of war’s spectrum. Something created to be a weapon of war was actually a weapon of pacifism: isn’t war just the other side of peace?

Enjoy!