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“A Nose” by Mordi Gerstein

WOW! A real rarity today. It’s A Nose, an animated short from 1966 directed and designed by Mordi Gerstein (who prior to this had worked at UPA). The film is based on a surreal piece of satire by Russian writer Nikolai Gogol, and was produced at Jack Zander’s NY studio Pelican Films. There’s some impressive bits of animation in the film, which shouldn’t be a surprise considering that Emery Hawkins and Jack Schnerk are credited as animators. Nowadays, Gerstein is illustrating children’s books, including the well-received The Man Who Walked Between the Towers.

(Thanks to Mordi’s son, Aram Gerstein, for posting the film onto YouTube.)

  • Mordi’s a great guy ! He visited us up here at the studio several years ago with a copy of his new book. I first crossed paths with him at Perpetual Motion Pictures where he was directing one of the Berenstain Bears specials. . . It’s so great that work like “A Nose” gets out there finally !

  • charming

  • uncle wayne

    Wow, that IZ a treat! Thanky! I love that style!

  • Theo

    YES! Amazing! You made my day with this film. A treasure!

  • Jay Sabicer

    I’m curious about Theodore, the voiceover artist for this film. Is he the same person who did Gollum in Rankin-Bass’ The Hobbit/Return of the King? And who exactly was he? I haven’t found any info on Wikipedia and Google is worthless with just the one name. Anybody got the lowdown on Theodore?

  • Jay Sabicer

    Nevermind. Did a little more digging and came up with Brother Theodore, of whom I am familiar. Surprised he didn’t like using his last name, Gottlieb. When I saw the live action bit in this short, it jump-started my memory, just had to crank it a few extra times.

  • Isaac

    Great stuff, wonderful.

  • Brother Theodore was a treasure. If he were still with us, I’d cast him in everything.

  • Joining in the lovefest for Brother Theodore. Like most children of the 80s I first encountered his indelible voice as Gollum, but years later I found him appearing in the introduction to, of all things, an Elayne Boosler comedy special. His craggy and sarcastic “Bye BYE!” to her as she leaves has been burned onto my brain like a rancher’s brand.

  • Thank you for posting this. I once had the idea to use Gogol’s “Nose” as well, in a different way though.

    Why don’t we see this style more often today? I grew up with animation which was literally crowded by little men with big noses, and that’s still my favourite design mould. Bruno Bozetto (Signor Rossi), Nedeljko Dragić, Zlatko Grgić, Cordell Barker, Paul Driessen: give me a little guy with a big nose and lots of stuff happening to him, and I’m happy.

    • Hello! You are speaking my language. I worked for 6 years IN Zagreb-Film with Dragic, Grgic, Gasparovic, Vukotic, Kolar, Zaninovic, Pavlinic, Stalter, Marks…
      That was my post-graduate study on my Fulbright 1975-82.
      What is your name? We should talk. Take care……

  • AWESOME! Simply beautiful!

    I love the brush-stroke lines and combination with live action/photos.

    Lovely story too.

    *Sigh… back in the day of tradionally drawn stuff.

  • what a great short film, thanks for posting it. Gogol is hilarious!

  • that was fantastic! i particularly enjoyed the “lip synch” being done with the mustaches. what awesome design! and surreal direction.

  • Mesterius

    Brilliant… and funny!

  • Hi Amid,
    Thanks for adding this to your site. The film has always been sort of a “family treasure” and I am thrilled to be able to share it with others to enjoy and appreciate.

    Aram Gerstein

  • “There’s some impressive bits of animation in the film”
    Oh, really? Your opinion………now, mine: How about…
    “ALL of the animation is VERY impressive, innovative,& poetic in this DELIGHTFUL animated gem”.

    Thank you for posting it. NOW we can start to remember WHY hand-drawn animation can dazzle us with amazing artistic & poetic flurries, swirls & swishes, partially drawn characters, stylized & super-fun & funny movements. Why show it all, as in CGI?? Why stick to the “real”?? The creative moves, poses, expressions are SO wonderful in this film. What you leave OUT is a mystery; hence, this pulls us IN, challenges us to get involved, filling in the gaps ourselves, with our own imaginations and our own poetic sensibilities. It works!!! What’s not to love??