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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Rasa Strautmane's 1967 Russian cartoon is guaranteed to leave not a
smile but a frown on your face. It is the very short story of
dinosaurs: how they hatched and how they became extinct.
Apparently - according to this cartoon, not to be taken seriously - dinosaurs laid their eggs on top of mountains so the sun could warm them up sufficiently to hatch. When the climate changed, over many centuries and the Ice Age was upon them, the egg shells "fulfilled their duty" and became multi-layered to protect the baby from the cold. It became so thickly layered the babies couldn't get out....and died. We see the little ones trying to get out. End of story.
Funny, huh? At least it was interesting, and there were a few semi-humorous moments earlier, such as dinosaur fathers pacing waiting for the kids to be hatched.
Actually, this wasn't meant to be funny but a comment on the oppressiveness of the Russian state back in the 1960s in which the phrases, "I am just fulfilling my duties," is repeated here over and over to get the point. It is referring to the government stifling the individual for the supposed betterment of the state
It seems many of these Russian cartoons in this collection have a similar theme. Hey, all humans ache for freedom and the Russians were no exception. At least the filmmakers in that country had the guts to put their feelings on film, and risk persecution. The collection I am referring, by the way, is the "Masters of Russian Animation, Volume One," now available on DVD. Don't expect a lot of laughs but you will see some very original and different material.
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