Yuri Norstein - Good Night, Children
Michael Sporn posted this on his Splog, and it's a great surprise. This is an animation created by Russian master Yuri Norstein in 1999. These are the opening and closing sequences to a popular children's television show. Norstein spent a year and a half making these two scenes, which are brilliant and entertaining in the way that all of his work is. This is remarkable to watch in the age of computers and software programs. Everything is meticulously created and animated by hand, with the skill of a true artisan.
It goes without saying that this kind of painstaking art will disappear after the passing of Norstein - an event that is, we all pray, many many years in the distant future. These animations are already like museum exhibits, time capsules from the long forgotten past. I think that's what I enjoy about his film shorts so much. They carry the weight of history. The feel like works of art that have aged for centuries.
As always, these two scenes are far too short. One only desires more of Yuri Nortstein's classical art. To my mind, he remains the world's greatest living animator.