The animation in this re-imagining of Peter & the Wolf is excellent,but at 29 minutes, the film is sleep inducing. They should have calledit "Peter & the Snails", because everything moves at a snail's pace. Icouldn't even watch the film in one sitting - I had to watch it 15minutes at a time, and it was pure torture.
Save yourself 30 minutes - do not watch this film - and you will thankme.
I can only guess that the Oscar nominating committee only watched thefirst few minutes of the nominees. Unfortunately, to vote for thewinner in the Best Animated Short (short!) category, the voters willhave to sit through the whole thing. I already feel sorry for them -and must predict that there's no way this film will come close towinning.
This is the day before the Oscars are announced for 2008 and I just gotback from a special screening by our local film society of all fivefilms nominated in the category of Best Animated Short Film. This filmwas among the five and while a very good film, it just seemed in adifferent league compared to the two best nominees, Petrov's "Moyalyubov" and "M?me les pigeons vont au paradis"--as these two films weregreat and clearly deserve the statuette (too bad they can't give two).
"Peter and the wolf" is a retelling of the Prokofiev's classic musicaltale. Unlike other versions, this one is not set in the 19th centurybut more recent times, as there are cars and other modern things in thefilm. Also, unlike many of the previous versions, this one does not usetraditional animation but stop-motion animation--producing a verypretty film.
As for me, although this is a lovely film and tooks years to make, thisis a wonderful case of "been there, done that" because I have seen thisstory before and frankly don't want to see yet another version of thisclassic tale. While the animation is nice, the creators of this shortfilm did not need to spend much time writing--just adapting a story.Because of that, I just can't see it winning the Oscar. Pretty good,but probably not in the running for the award.
2/24/08--Apparently I am terrible at guessing Oscars as this film DIDwin the Oscar for Best Animated Short. It was a lovely film--itswinning just surprised me.
I heard about this film on the news, from director Suzie Templeton,from Hedge End, Southampton, Hampshire, England (which I know verywell) won the Oscar for Best Short Animated Film, and deservedly so. Itis a film based on the piece of music by Sergei Prokofiev, so likeFantasia, a story is added with the music to guide. Basically Peter isthe young boy locked out the woods by his protective grandfather, andhis only friend is a duck, he is bullied in town. Peter manages tosteal the gate keys from his sleeping grandfather and enters the woodswith the duck, and an ill-flying bird. They have a little fun on thefrozen lake, with the grandfather's cat joining them. Soon though theyencounter a wolf, and when it eats the duck, Peter wants to get revengeand capture the wolf with a near netting. He succeeds, and hisgrandfather sees it too, but in the end, when taking the caged animalinto town, Peter can't let the wolf be either put in a stage show, orkilled by hunters, he just lets it go. The stop-motion animation,particularly for the ginger cat and wolf, is extraordinary. Templetonapparently spent a year making this half hour film, and she deservedlywon the Oscar for Best Short Animated Film (also nominated the BAFTA),a great triumph. Very good!User: eliz_rug
I loved this, watched with my 8 year old daughter. It has laughs andsuspense and sadness and happiness.
The animation is incredible, especially the cat, and the characters areso endearing.
I enjoy having films for my daughter that aren't filled with inanedialogue and cute little witticisms, as there are really so fewnowadays that are really funny for kids. She enjoyed just watching andlistening to the music, as she was able to comment on what washappening, or what she thought of the characters, without being afraidof missing a line.
We recommend it to all.
I recently caught the PBS showing of this Oscar winning short and wasengrossed by the terrific stop motion puppet animation. It is among thefinest animation I've seen and shows animators are still using many ofthe old techniques (non computerized) to good use.
Not only was the animation first rate, but I felt it offered a perfectaccompaniment to Sergei Prokofiev's composition. I have fond memorieslistening to Peter and the Wolf as a child on my parent's recordplayer. This adaptation provides a wonderful visual for the story thatI only could imagine as a youth.
I also found the additional filmmaker's comments on how this projectcame together insightful. I have very minor qualms with this productionas I have tried to reconcile my imagination of how the story shouldlook with the creative vision of the directors of this film. Overall,it is a fine piece of work and was well deserving of its acclaim.
In interviews on the DVD, Templeton says that hers is a darker Peter &The Wolf than others. Compared to Templeton's other work (thebrilliantly crafted, deeply moving, but thoroughly distressing "Dog"and the creepy "Stanley", for instance), and considering the way sheends her "Peter", I'm not sure it's as dark as she thinks it is.
This Peter and the Wolf is clearly not for little kids (when the wolfeats Duck, Peter's best friend, there's no hint that she swallowedwhole in a single gulp in Prokofiev's tale, but taken in severalgore-free bites here is alive and quacking in the end), but foranyone old enough to appreciate the scope of this mini masterpiece, arewarding discovery awaits.
The sense of connection between Peter and the Wolf is palpable. Twostarving beasts get a taste of what they crave: The Wolf, a scrawnyduck, and Peter, escape from his grandfather's stern, austere care. Ifyou crave stop-animation with depth, substance, and beauty, you willfind this brief film a 30-minute treat, too.
I have to disagree with LDB Movies from Culver City. If they cannot sitthrough 29 minutes of this beautiful work of art, then how do they feelabout sitting through a 2 hour movie that is a masterpiece? To watch"Peter and the Wolf" you first off have to have an imagination. It is athought provoking story with morals. I actually wanted the story to goon and was sad that it was only 29 minutes long. Between the sets, themusic and the time that was put into the project is mind blowing. Watchit again if you have to - to appreciate it for what it is. We first seePeter as this shy boy who is afraid of his own shadow. But thanks tohis animal friends and even the Wolf who at a point thinks of him as ameal, we see Peter mature and gain confidence in a short amount oftime. Every time I watch this short movie I pick up a new lesson thatmaybe others to not see. That is why I suggest you watch it over again.User: Terrell-4
For a young boy, unhappiness can be a natural state. Peter and his agedgrandfather live in a scrabbly old farmhouse on the edge of aforbidding Russian forest. The grandfather has built a wooden fencearound the dirt yard and forbids Peter to go into the forest, wheredangerous things lurk, like wolves. Peter hates this. All Peter has fora friend is a scruffy, long-necked duck. When he goes into town twohunters bully him. Still, Peter is a good kid. He helps a bird with aninjured wing fly again with the help of a balloon. He sneaks out andplays on the iced pond, skittering and sliding and joined by the duck.He accepts his grandfather's fat, fat cat as a creature perhaps not tolike, but not to hurt. Peter even manages to catch the dangerous,hungry and mangy wolf in his net. Peter stops his grandfather fromshooting the wolf. When he and his grandfather take it to town, Peteris a hero. But it's not to last. Those hunters show up to taunt andbully the wolf. Peter stops them with his net. Then, Peter...and atthis point you need to see this stop-action animation short film.
The director, Suzie Templeton, changes some of Sergei Prokofiev'sstoryline, as well as ditching all the narrative. There's no dialogue,just the music and silence. She gives a conclusion that is unexpected,brave and touching. This is particularly so when we figure out thatthere are lessons to be learned, especially since there are bullies inthis world, and good friends can die. Cats eat birds, wolves eat ducks,bullies hurt any they want who are weaker than they.
This new look at Prokofiev's symphony for children runs less than 30minutes. Over the years, the narrative, in my opinion, had become aboring old aunt who stays too long when she visits. There doesn't seemto have been a celebrity who hasn't wanted to prove his or her love forthe kiddies, score some publicity and make a few bucks by doing thenarrative. We're talking everyone from Arthur Godfrey to John Gielgud,Boris Karloff to Paul Hogan, Sean Connery to Mia Farrow, George Raft toWilliam Buckley. That's just starters. Without the narrative, and withTempleton's visual style, we wind up concentrating on the story. Thatmeans we wind up concentrating on this kid who starts out unhappy andwho winds up teaching us all a thing or two.
The extras are worth watching, including the discussion of thedevelopment of the film by the director and how the stop-actionanimation stuff was worked. And, of course, you'll learn which musicalinstruments go with which characters. This Peter and the Wolf won the2008 Academy Award for Animated Short Film. It's a thoughtful,delightful film.
Updated retelling of Sergei Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf is amasterpiece of stop motion animation. Set in modern Russia it prettymuch follows the story of young Peter going out into world despite hisGrandfathers warning and encountering a wolf.
What makes this film so special is that the film has so many smalltouches that add life and magic to the oft told tale. Look at all ofthe facial expressions. These are not inanimate objects these are realpeople and real characters. Look at all of the eyes how alive theyseem. Director Suzie Templeton has added a much needed element, danger,to the proceedings. In all the years and all of the countless timesI've heard the piece I never really feared for Peter or his friends,here at last I do. Its an edgy retelling that is more emotive sincePeter is in very real danger of getting hurt or killed. There is anedge and a weight to the proceedings that I've never experiencedbefore.
Its not fair to compare this to the Disney version since they are twovery different takes on the same story. Both valid, both excellent, butnot rightly compared.
Make an effort to see this film, it quite possibly a classic.
This film earned the Oscar it got. Some very excellent traditional stopmotion animation, combined with modern editing techniques.
The story is placed in a more modern world and given some new twists. Amodern but deteriorating Russia set against an almost primalwilderness. The main character, Peter, has lost his Disney-likecuteness. And that's a good thing! He's a more streetwise butdaydreaming Peter. Tough but lonely. The animation on the characters issimply superb. They even animated the fur of the wolf and cat!
Go see this animation as well as Dog, another one of Suzie Templeton'sgreat little shorts.
I saw this film almost by accident, and I am very grateful. Everythingto the last detail is meticulously cared for. The puppets areincredibly detailed, the animation perfectly done, the lightingexcellent and the acting superb. But most of all, the story... thisstory has a little but very meaningful twist at the end and stillmanages to be true to the original. Disney's Peter and the Wolf may becute and charming, but lacks the depth of this masterpiece. Tempelton'sPeter has some strong personality and penetrating eyes. Some peoplemight find it slow, but only if they want to watch everything move atthe pace of Fairly Odd Parents. I'm glad I lived to see this work and Ihope many people has the opportunity and disposition to watch this.User: bob the moo
Peter lives in the countryside with his oppressive and restrictivegrandfather. He is unwelcome in the town and his only friend appears tobe his duck. Playing outside on the ice one day, Peter's grandfathertakes and locks him in the house leaving the duck unprotected when awolf comes. Witnessing the death of his friend in the jaws of the wolf,Peter sets out to get instant revenge with a deadly and dangerous plan.
In this updating of the famous story, we find ourselves in a modern(yet also ancient) setting that feels like it is Eastern Europe. Thestory is well delivered and is a good mix of issues regarding the youngboy Peter and the variety of emotions he goes through across the film.Although it is short it is engaging and interesting and I found all ofit to be easy to watch and enjoyable. The plot is easy to follow butwill provide food for thought for older pre-teens. Animation wise thefilm looks great. Some viewers will bemoan the washed out and depressedlook of the film but for me this was a strength as it allows thetouching moments of happiness to stand out more but more importantlygives the whole thing a nice edge that I thought worked and drew me in.
It also suits the character of Peter as here he is dead eyed and worndown but yet with sparks still in him. It is an interesting characterand one that the silent "script" brings out well. Of course this ismore to do with the skill of the animators as they bring out so muchwith the stop motion figures. It does lack the smoothness that modernchild audiences will be used to but it is better for it, suiting therough, bleak feel of the film and, despite what I said about not being"smooth", it looks great throughout. The music is good as well,matching the mood of any individual scene and shifting well whenrequired as another reviewer commented, it is a good way of gettingchildren into this type of music.
Overall then an engaging and enjoyable animated take on a famous story.It has a great bleak atmosphere and a strong story and centralcharacter. Shown over Christmas 2006, it proved to be a welcome breakfrom mass produced cartoons with simple cloying messages and is worthseeing if you get the chance.
I saw Peter & the Wolf at its world premier in the Royal Albert Hall,accompanied by the Philharmonia orchestra. That's an electricexperience that will be hard to duplicate
But it certainly won'tdetract from watching the film in future. Is it a re-imagining of P&TW,a reinterpretation, or a modernisation? Actually, it's all three.Peter's stamping ground is visualised in a depressed, cold andwindswept forest somewhere in Eastern Europe; it's hard to tell if it'spre or post Soviet economic bloc. It could be any time, and that is thefirst great achievement of the film. Peter is a wan, pale and sullenyoung boy, garbed in hoody and dirty trousers, a stroppy kid, the typewho lives down the road yet his surroundings are timeless. It raisesthe themes of conflict between rural and urban, youth and age andcruelty and compassion with great dexterity. It's an adaptation thatspeaks both to the past and the present, which is no mean feat.
The plot is well-known and well-worn: the down-trodden Peter escapesthe confines of grim homestead and taciturn, unsentimental grand-pappywith his pet duck and a bird with a broken wing (supported by aballoon, in a very nice touch) to go playing in the unbounded, frostywoods. Until the wolf creeps in. After suffering a great loss at thewolf's paws, Peter must rise to the occasion and capture the beast, whois much stronger and more ferocious than Peter is, but less clever Arites of passage tale and an introduction to the orchestra forchildren, this version is actually quite gruelling in some respects.Impoverished and inhospitable, Peter's home life is plausiblymiserable, and also easy to relate to: his run-ins with betterclothed-and-fed peers and ugly hunters convey beautifully the threat ofbullies and ignorant adults. Sharp and clever, but morose, Peter is acompelling hero, and the coda with him standing triumphant and grown,will provoke cheering and a quickened heartbeat.
The stop-motion animation is far less slick than that seen in Wallaceand Gromit, but extends a naturalistic, un-burnished and at timesalmost ghoulish appeal. The slightly jerky movements, warped faces andgrimy sets combine to create a world at once familiar yet alsodeformed, blighted by neglect and insensitivity. The animation alsoworks amazingly well with the music, the movements of people andanimals alike assuming the beats, leaps and whirls of the instruments.I guess you could call this a true musical, because while thecharacters may not leap into spontaneous song and dance, the musicactually speaks for them. I'm not much of a music critic, nor do I knowSergei Prokofiev's piece (or any of his music, for that matter) at allwell, but I still loved the soundtrack. It did sound modern, and hadobviously adapted and moulded to fit the film with small nuances andflourishes, but I'm sure Prokofiev would have approved.
Considering the applause the film got, I'm certain no one else mindedeither.