“Polygon” (Firing Range) by Anatoly Petrov “Polygon” (Firing Range) by Anatoly Petrov

“Polygon” (Firing Range) by Anatoly Petrov

Here’s one I hadn’t seen before (Thanks, You Tube) and I thought I’d share. It’s a Russian anti-war fantasy fable by Anatoly Petrov from 1978, with a great use of rotoscope.

(Thanks, Jason Deeble)

  • Theodore Ushev

    Maaaan, I know this film from my childhood…And it is NOT a rotoscopy, believe me or not… It is hyper realistic animation, but there is not a rotoscopy in this… Also, watch well the personages – they are all famous actors…Let’s see if You going to recognize them…:) But apart from this – it is a kitch propaganda film.

  • x

    Based on a tale by Sever Gansovsky. The wiki article gives some details on the technique:


  • Woo! It’s about time CartoonBrew posted this! Great, great film!

  • The general is rotoscoped, yes, ROTOSCOPED, from an old Jean Gabin film.

  • Theodore Ushev

    Dear Oscar, in 1977 in former SSSR, to be able to print frames from a French film, so You can rotoscope them is very close to the Brother Strugatzky books. It was difficult to find bread and butter at that time. A friend of mine was telling me that they didn’t have celluloids, so they have to recycle them several times, paying to people to clean them…May be they used photographs from the film to draw the characters, but not the full movement, for sure. And it shows on the film – the movements are pretty rough…

  • Saturnome

    The (kind of weird) disco music playing most of the time during the short is “El Bimbo”.

    This was on a DVD a bought a long time ago, “Masters of Russian Animation vol.2”, the subs are burned in (with black or grey bars behind for no good reason, just like this youtube post) but it’s still a nice DVD. It’s in part what got me into old soviet animated shorts, a real treasure chest of not so perfectly animated films but mostly the most imaginative ones I’ve ever seen.

    Check out Fyodor Khitruk’s films too, like “Film Film Film”.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      Most of those “Films by Jove” DVD’s (including one on Soviet animated propaganda films) have been out of print for a number of years after they lost ownership to the Soyuzmultfilm library, and often YouTube is perhaps the best way to watch any of these today.

  • Absolutely gorgeous. MY favorite shots have to be when you can see what’s happening through the reflection of that one dude’s eye.
    I love russian animation. Thank you for posting this!

  • Pavlovich74

    I have been interested in Russian animation for a few years and from what I have read on Anatoly Petrov’s work it is definitely not rotoscope (although I have come across this mistaken belief before).
    Some other films by Petrov also have a similar realistic look, but none quite as close.
    This is a nice one,

  • this is the original metal gear solid

  • christy

    that was incredible! Loved it!

  • Michel Van

    yes this rotoscoped from an Jean Gabin film.
    also a other france Actors, Patrick Dewaere
    as running guy chase by Tank
    but even for rotoscope, This a littel Master Piece !

  • Anoniguy

    What a beauty. It was a little disconcerting at first, but I think that the (possible?) rotoscoping doesn’t detract from the film at all. And while the story doesn’t deliver it’s message with a lot of subtlety, it certainly does it in style.

    I really felt for the man who managed to survive the longest. His scenes were some of the strongest – there was so much tension in them!

    Excellent film. Thanks for linking us all to it, Jerry.

  • This is included in the outstanding Animated Soviet Propaganda DVD boxed set. Can’t recommend it enough.