Last Year's Snow Was Falling
is a Soviet clay-animated
film (with a few cel-animated parts) made in 1983 by Aleksandr Tatarskiy
It tells a story of a dude whose stern wife sends him to the forest to get a New Year tree. The guy is lazy, extremely greedy, even more air-headed and "can't spell some letters and digits right".
Can be watched on YouTube
with English subtitles (part 1
, part 2
, another version
This short provides examples of:
- All Animals Are Cats: The crow can take catnaps anywhere, including a moving windmill wing and a rheumatic's back. It keeps pestering the protagonist. And then it sleeps on protagonist's lap.
- Anachronism Stew: Most clothes and household objects date back to the 19th century with occasional dip to the 17th or earlier, plus metric system, phones, fire extinguisher, 1970s CRT TV, sneakers.
- Bigger on the Inside: The house on chicken legs, very much so.
- Brick Joke:
- "Where did the cup go?"
- The pike and those arguing women show up a lot.
- The man who ate watermelons and spat chicken bones in the beginning. In the second half a pack of enthusiastic dogs are waiting for more under his window.
- Baba Yaga: doesn't appear in person, but Dude spends second half of the short going through her chicken-legged house
- Catch Phrase: "Aint big enuph!"
- Decoy Protagonists: The narrator first starts to tell the story about a magical pike, then two arguing women, then a miller, then a guy who really likes watermelons, then about a metal cup chained to a can (!), and only then he finds the hero.
- Deranged Animation
- Elmuh Fudd Syndwome / Fang Thpeak: The dude. Oh yes. (Which one, depends on translation.)
- Flying Carpet: One of the magical items in the chicken-legged house.
- Funny Background Event: Too many to list. Even some of the dude's actions qualify, when he and narrator discuss something else.
- Hammer Space: The dude keeps any number of items inside his hat and coat.
- If I Were a Rich Man: The daydreaming sequence mentioned below.
- Interactive Narrator: The woodcutter argues with the narrator and makes demands that the story turn for the better for him.
- Involuntary Shapeshifter: Hero suffered through this because he messed with
- Magic Wand: that was there in chicken-legged house.
- Mood Whiplash: This extremely wacky and funny cartoon ends with a very sad and moving title score.
- Mr. Imagination: Our hero spends most of the first segment daydreaming about what life he is gonna have after he catches the hare. All the while, the hare is just standing there, yet to be captured.
- National Stereotypes: The crow with huge golden earrings on the marketplace is a caricature on a Gypsy merchant. Not remotely as smart, though.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Oh. All the damn time.
- No Name Given: The hero of the short, who is simply identified as "Dude" (Мужик).
- Not Quite Back to Normal: Tiger tail
- Unintentional Period Piece: Some scenes could have only be filmed in the USSR in the 1970s or early 1980s.
- The scene where a watermelon enters a cannon before flying away (with a crow as a honor guard) parodies the departure of foreign guests by plane. They were very common in the news.
- The "Gypsy speculator" stereotype.
- The whole speech impediment thing might be a joke on Brezhnev.
- World of Chaos
- Your Princess Is in Another Castle