Every evening, Hedgehog travels a path in the dark forest to have tea and count the stars with his friend Bear. One evening, Hedgehog catches a glimpse of a beautiful white horse disappearing into the heavy fog. His curiosity piqued, Hedgehog dares to step off the path and pursue the white horse. But many strange and even dangerous creatures hide in the fog. As Hedgehog becomes ever more lost, he worries that he will never see his friend Bear again.
It's hard to impress upon Western viewers how large a cultural impact this short, simple animated film has had upon Russian culture: artwork, postage stamps, stuffed toys, statues, storybooks, and many other celebratory works have been created around it. The film was even listed as one of Russia's greatest accomplishments (alongside Leo Tolstoy and Sputnik) at the 2014 Olympics. Other animators, including Hayao Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli, cite it as an inspiration.
Can be watched with English subtitles here.
This work provides examples of:
- Anger Born of Worry: When Hedgehog finally arrives, Bear scolds him for taking so long, before finally admitting that he was worried.
- Big Friendly Dog: Retrieves the hedgehog's lost parcel.
- Civilized Animal: The hedgehog and the bear meet every evening for tea. What could be more civilized?
- Don't Go Into the Woods: Hedgehog knows he shouldn't stray from the path, but he just can't resist...
- Four Legs Good, Two Legs Better: The hedgehog and the bear walk on two legs.
- Face Death with Dignity: Hedgehog has suffered so many frights that by the time he falls into a river, he's resigned to letting himself drown. Fortunately, it doesn't come to that.
- Funny Animal: The hedgehog and the bear. Every other animal in the short averts this trope.
- Interspecies Friendship: Hedgehog and Bear.
- The Lost Woods: With a touch of Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane. Is the forest truly enchanted? Or has the nervous Hedgehog let his imagination run away with him? It's hard to say, particularly since the White Horse seems almost fairy-like. (And then there's the elephant...)
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Applies to much of the short (see The Lost Woods above). In particular, the identity of the voice in the river is a mystery. Is it a magical river creature, or simply a kind fish?
- Not Drawn to Scale: Unlike other animals shown, the bear is positively tiny, twice the size of the hedgehog at most.
- Ominous Fog: Right there in the title.
- Ominous Owl: An owl follows the hedgehog around. Subverted in that it never harms anyone and comes about as more of a Cloudcuckoolander.Hedgehog: "Weirdo."
- Sea Monster: Something unseen (probably just a large fish) appears to help the hedgehog out of a river.
- White Stallion: A mysterious, beautiful white horse lures the Hedgehog from his path. At the end of the film, the Hedgehog still finds himself wondering what became of it.