Somebody’s gotta give this guy some money…

by Martin Hafer

I recently wrote several articles about the recent special showings of the Oscar-nominated shorts og 2015. I mentioned that a couple of the animators used the unusual method of painting…yes, painting the animation. Both The Bigger Picture and The Dam Keeper (my favorite of the nominees) were both made by painting and slowly manipulating the paintings.

The Dam Keeper, for instance, consisted of over 8000 paintings all strung together, and as I watched these lovely films, I couldn’t help but think of a man who perfected the use of oil paints for animation decades earlier. It’s also a darn shame that we’ve seen so little of his work in recent years. This is because Aleksandr Petrov’s animated films are, to me, the most beautiful animated films ever made and they are true works of art.


The most famous of Petrov’s films is his The Old Man and the Sea (1999) as it won the Oscar for Best Animated Short.  He was also nominated three other times, for The Cow (1989), Mermaid (1997) and My Love(2008).  Now, it’s practically impossible to adequately describe to you how gorgeous his work is, though saying they look like oil paintings that come to life before your eyes gives you some idea what they’re like.  You really need to see his films and I recommend you watch the attached example to see how exquisite and moving his shorts can be. You can also find them on YouTube.

Unfortunately, Petrov’s done very, very little in recent years and I was curious why.  After all, his artistry is without equal. Sadly, when I did a bit of research, I learned that it’s because he simply can’t afford to make more of his marvelous films and very few folks (other than a promotional film for the recent Sochi Olympics) seem willing to invest in his projects.  So the purpose of this article is twofold.  First, I want you to try to see his films–you won’t be sorry.  They really are beautiful.  Second, if you have an extra million dollars lying about and want to make an investment, give Mr. Petrov a call!  I’ve never met the man nor do I have his phone number but am pretty sure he’d be willing to talk…