February 26, 2013

Hedgehog in the Fog

Well friends, there's procrastination, and then there's moi. I've brought dawdling to a whole new level. Want to know when I planned to show you all this book? LAST MAY. Aaaand here we are, nearly a year later. In my defense, I thought this was a story that would be more appropriate to show you all in the foggy grey months (hey that's ALL YEAR LONG here!), so actually, I really have no excuse.

Ok, so a little backstory on 'Hedgehog in the Fog' by Sergey Kozlov & Yuri Norstein and Francesca Yarbusova. Are you getting that there's a Russian vibe?


Last year, a friend of mine sent me a link to an amazing video. I promise you that you've NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE IT. The Hedgehog in the Fog short film is considered one of the best animated films of ALL TIME. It's not happy-go-lucky Disney fare and it might creep out the very sensitive, so watch it yourself first before trying it out on your kiddo.

I was so enthralled I looked around and discovered that there was a book written many years later, by the original creators, based on the film. A magical, otherworldly, ethereal book.

I've never seen anything like it! This book got under my skin and has never let go.

It's truly one of the most incredible-looking picture books I've ever seen. (it's far less intense than the movie, which features swirling foggy are-they menacing-or-are-they-not shadowy figures of unknownness.)

The story is really simple. A hedgehog is trying to bring raspberry jam over to his best friend Bear's house, so that they can hang out and have tea and count the stars, but the little fellow gets a bit turned around in the fog. And has Many Thoughts in the process.

I'm not sure if this is a translation thing or what, but there are several references to drowning. The little Hedgehog wonders if a horse will drown in the fog if the horse falls asleep. He wonders if he will drown because he is so wet after floating in a pool of water.

After being pursued through the fog by an Owl and other creatures, which may or may not be figments of Hedgie's imagination, he makes it safely to Bear's house and they do indeed partake of tea and jam and make a fire of JUNIPER TWIGS (that's awesome!).

And the Owl has a conversation with a well.

Friends, I've said this before, but there are some books that are books, and then there is Art.

Need more, of all of this amazing? Here's the film:


And there's a DVD of Norstein's work, HERE.

And take a peek at another book by Francesca Yarbusova (she's Nortein's wife), called 'The Fox and the Hare'.

WHAT DO YOU THINK??? Flipping incredible, yes? This one is in the shop!

19 comments:

  1. I think it's flipping cute! Very interesting book. The hedgehog is so sweet looking with his little bundle of jam!

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  2. I'm game for anything with a cute little hedgehog in it. This one looks lovely!

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    1. The hedgie is our cute animal of choice around here!

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  3. Eek! You had me at hedgie, and then an owl shows up, and it's Russian, and I think I may need this. Now.

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    1. ha ha! yeah. i thought the same thing when I saw it.

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  4. I'm love love loving that owl! This artwork looks incredible!

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    1. SUCH cool art -- I so admire people who can create this kind of beauty...

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  5. Just so you know - I hate page jumps. I rarely go to them.

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    1. heh, no worries, they don't appeal to me either -- I did a test post to make sure the function was working IN CASE I ever had a monster post in need of trimming -- it wasn't working properly before, but it was fixed by my web designer Ana from Blog Milk. She's awesome!

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  6. Glad I screened the film before showing it to my almost 7-year-old -- it would not be his cup of tea with the sudden appearances, suspense, dramatic music. Heck, I was a little uneasy myself watching that cute little guy wander around alone in the deep, dark woods. Beautiful but not for us today.

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    1. thank you for pointing that out Christina. I just updated the post to reflect that parents should watch it first to see if it suits their kiddo ~ the strange foggy weird factor might be too much for a sensitive little viewer!

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    2. I tend to screen everything after learning an early lesson -- never expected anxiety to come with movie watching but we're all unique so that's just my boy. I also do a lot of whispered "I know this character will be okay. He's still alive at the end of the movie."

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    3. ha ha I do that too! I tell Julia, nothing bad is going to happen to anybody. :)

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  8. I love how the book is cute and beautiful at the same time. The atmosphere and character design are fantastic!

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    1. You hit the nail on the head! it's so moody and cool and gorgeous and yet strangely lighthearted all at the same time :)

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