Hoffmaniada is a 2018 Russian animated Stop Motion movie made by Soyuzmultfilm. It tells the (heavily fictionalized) story of German romaticist author Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann as he tries to balance his passion for writing with his dual jobs as a music teacher and a desk-bound lawyer as well as his complicated love life. If only he wasn't constantly haunted by his own fictional characters...
The film adapts and references several Hoffmann stories, including The Sandman (1816), The Golden Pot, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, Little Zaches, Great Zinnober and even Undine, Hoffmann's biggest musical success.
Hoffmaniada was infamous for its Extremely Lengthy Creation, mostly caused by the studio suffering from severe budget cuts, which completely stopped production repeatedly. The film was in various stages of Development Hell for seventeen years, being originally announced in 2001. Once it was released, it recieved critical praise and won several awards, including a Golden Eagle Award for best animated film.
- Adapted Out: For simplicity's sake, Veronika from The Golden Pot is the only human love interest to appear. This turns her and Olympia into Romantic False Leads for the Official Couple Anselm and Serpentina, as the Sandman story no longer has a Clara character.
- Age Lift: Marie is clearly much older than her novel counterpart, and the Nutcracker is never stated to be Drosselmeyer's young, transformed nephew either. Arguably, both are based more on their selves from the famous ballet than on the original story.
- All Witches Have Cats: The Old Witch has the Intelligent Animal version (and a sharply dressed one, at that.) He does however seem rather frightened by her evil doings.
- Artistic License History: While not exactly going for realism in the first place, the film still takes some noticeable liberties with Hoffmann's life. Notably, Undine is presented as his own, personal work, written when he was a young man looking for his big break. In reality, it was a collaboration with Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué who was the one who really wrote the libretto (Hoffmann only composed the musical score.) It was also released at the height of his popularity, at which point he had already gotten several operas and other stage productions made.
- Ascended Extra: Lindhorst's parrot has been given a much expanded role. He is now depicted as a shapeshifter who can transform into a short, bespectled man, and still achieve flight in this form by flapping his arms.
- Atlantis: The utopian realm Anselm is trying to reach, and finally unites with Serpentina in by the end of the story.
- Author Avatar: Anselm of The Golden Pot is treated as this for Ernst, as an In-Universe case of Wish-Fulfillment on his part.
- Big Bad Ensemble: The short has the Witch from The Golden Pot as the Big Bad and the Mice from The Nutcracker as unrelated, recurring antagonists. The full movie adds Coppelius from The Sandman (1816) to the roster.
- Big Damn Heroes: The Nutcracker — usually kept on a shelf in Ernst's apartment — comes to life twice to fight off the mice (without actually killing any of them.)
- Big Good: Archivist Lindhorst — who is actually a shapeshiting Fiery Salamander — serves as this, albeit a clear example of Good Is Not Nice.
- Composite Character: Several examples.
- In the sections adapted from The Sandman (1816), Ernst/Anselm take on the role originally filled by the character Nathaniel.
- The priest who adopts Little Zaches is revealed to be the evil Coppelius in disguise. Also a pretty clear case of AdaptationalVillainny.
- Paulman shares the name with his counterpart from The Golden Pot, but takes on Spalanzani's role as the "father" of Olympia.
- Cute Monster Girl:
- Damsel in Distress: Ernst imagines a scenario where the Nutcracker rescues his beloved Marie from the evil mice chasing her.
- Deal with the Devil: Veronika agrees to participate in the Old Witch's dark cermony, believing it will make Ernst hers.
- Dies Differently in Adaptation: Implied. Poor Little Zaches is last seen being taken away by Coppelius, which doesn't exactly bode well for him...
- "Everyone Comes Back" Fantasy Party Ending: At the very end of the film, Ernst is transported to a theater stage where all of his characters, good or evil, sing a song as a tribute to their creator.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: It's often hard to tell if the film is set in a World of Weirdness, if Ernest is just hallucinating all the supernatural happenings, or if both are somehow true at the same time.
- Mouse World. Ernest at lest seems to believe that his coworkers on the law firm are actually the mice from The Nutcracker, who return to pester him at regular intervals.
- Old-Fashioned Rowboat Date: Both versions have Ernst interact with Serpentina and her sisters — who are swimming by in snake form — while on one of these. In the short, he's with Veronika, while in the feature film, Olympia serves as his companion.
- Robotic Reveal: Olympia is revealed to be a Robot Girl when Coppelius and Paulman fight over the automaton, breaking her in two and exposing the internal machinery.
- Sirens Are Mermaids: Undine appears to Ernst as a siren and refers to herself as a "mermaid", despite only being identified as a water spirit in Fouqué's story. Granted, said story did inspire Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid, so the association is understandable.
- Spiritual Successor:
- Could be seen as one to Paul Berry's 1991 adaptation of The Sandman (1816), which is also one of the stories this film pulls material from.
- It also has many similarities to The Tales of Hoffmann, another BiographyLeClef in which a fictionalized E. T. A. Hoffmann is cast as the romantic hero in a Fusion Fic of his own stories
- Super Mode: The short has Ernst himself transform into a Fiery Salamander to scare off the mice, while the film has Drosselmeyer turn him into a giant.
- Would Hurt a Child: Coppelius is using children's eyes in his experiments, and isn't afraid to take them by force himself.