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Fyodor Khitruk, Famous Soviet Animator, Dies at 95

4. December 2012 by Masha 0 Comments

At age 95, the creator of the Soviet Winnie the Pooh passed away in his Moscow home yesterday morning. The trio of short films based on author A.A. Milne’s books are still frequently broadcast on Russian television.


Vinni-Pukh is the Russian translation of Winnie the Pooh since "pooh" has no meaning in Russian. "Pukh" describes the white fluffy seeds shed by poplar trees in the early summer.


The Soviet version is said to preserve the essentials of Milne’s work, using much of his original text. The physical differences between the cartoon bears are noticed immediately but there are also large distinctions between their personalities.


With more character and a stronger conscious, Vinni-Pukh is a take-charge bear who loudly sings songs and recites poetry throughout the films. He’s charming and witty and Russians love him.


"Vinni has become a Russian national hero. He is living among us," says Svetlana Kim, head of the animation department at Moscow's Museum of Cinema. "It is because of the warmth of the characters. Disney's Pooh cannot in any way compete with ours. Our heroes look so real, so humane, with real character. In the American version, the heroes are without heart."


However, before Vinni-Pukh, Fyodor Khitruk made animated films for adults, such as The Story of One Crime in 1962. During his long career, he received numerous awards at film festivals all over the world.


Check out Vinni-Pukh and The Story of One Crime with English subtitles right here!