Peter and the Wolf (Piotruś i wilk) Made in: Poland, UK, Norway Director: Suzie Templeton Year: 2006
Synopsis: In post-Soviet Russia, a young boy named Peter lives in a small, rural village. His life is as unpleasant as it is dull. At home, he lives with his oppressive (and often intoxicated) grandfather, and while sent into town to do chores, Peter is hassled by bullies.
His only friends are a lively duck and a crow that cannot fly due to an injured wing.
Longing to go beyond the imposing fence that surrounds his house, Peter just wants a few moments of freedom with his companions. But lurking in the woods outside that very fence is the infamous wolf...
Remarks: This "reboot" of Peter and the Wolf comes to life through the glorious use of stop motion animation. The production design is amazing in its realism. The characters are also vivid, and all of them make a strong emotional connection without a word of dialogue.
The directing is solid, and Sergei Prokofiev's timeless music blends in perfectly with the visuals.
The ending is totally different from the story that we've come to know. And although it's bold, it's also abrupt and leaves things feeling a bit incomplete. Yet at the same time, it contains a deeper, more mature theme.
This interpretation makes the film a coming-of-age story, where, in addition to becoming a hero, Peter also learns a hard lesson about the complexities of human nature and survival in a harsh world.
Who would like this film: This is definitely for those who are familiar with the story of Peter and the Wolf, and fans of Prokofiev's work. If you like stop motion animation, you'll definitely love this.
Touching and genuinely emotional, this is a short film that arguably covers as much ground as any feature length movie.
This is not intended for small children, so don't expect anything as cheery as the 1940s version produced by Disney. Although the ending wasn't perfect, this is a gutsy presentation, and true work of art, and one that doesn't talk down to its audience.