Swiss animator Oswald Iten has written an enlightening analysis of the different approaches to narrative and characterization used by the Disney studio and Russian director Fyodor Khitruk in their respective adaptations of A. A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh.
Though relatively unknown in the West until recently, Khitruk’s three Winnie the Pooh shorts are considered classics in Russia much in the same way the Disney versions are revered in the States. Among the admirers of Khitruk’s shorts was Disney director Woolie Reitherman, who once told Khitruk, “You know, your Winnie is better than mine.”
We should also take this opportunity to wish happy birthday to Fyodor Khitruk, who celebrated his 95th birthday last week. The first of his Pooh shorts, released in 1969, can be seen below: