The Forest Chronicle (Russian: Лесная хроника) is a 1970 Soviet animated short created by Soyuzmultfilm.
The story begins with Hare who sings that a good friend is one who does not lie and stays true to his actions. However, greedy Wolf comes and steals Badger's newly built house. He doesn't stop there as he lays claim to anything that he deems lost, even an apple that fell from a tree. Vixen, who herself takes something which does not belong to her, also becomes a victim of Wolf's lies. As revenge, she sends Hare to fetch the wolf to retrieve a lost item which the Hare is too honest to keep for himself. However, once the wolf sees what it is, a bear trap closes on his paw, causing him to rush through the forest, damaging the house he had taken away earlier from Badger. Badger removes the trap from Wolf, and in "gratitude," Wolf returns Badger's now destroyed house.
The official Soyuzmultfilm YouTube channel has uploaded the full short here.
Provides examples of:
- Actor Allusion:
- Wolf is voiced by Anatoliy Papanov, who happens to be the voice for another Wolf from a much more popular cartoon, using the same voice he used there.
- In a weird inversion, Klara Rumyanova as Vixen threatens Wolf with "Nu, pogodi," both referencing her role in the titular cartoon, and giving a funny mental image of Zayats being finally able to say it to Volk this time around.
- Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Everyone wears clothes with the exception of footwear. Then again, they live in a forest.
- The Big Bad Wolf: Wolf, duh. But instead of blowing down houses, he just commits a bit of larceny here and there.
- Bittersweet Ending: As a "thank you" for being saved by Badger, Wolf forfeits the house he stole from him after having already destroyed it. Badger still has his tools and he proves to be quite handy with them which gives him the chance to fix it back to its original state. So one can keep this in mind if one feels unsatisfied with the conclusion.
- Blatant Lies: Wolf's lies are easy to poke holes through, though it was never his intention to be believable so long as he gets what he wants.
- Butt-Monkey: Poor Badger. In his brief screentime, he is forced out of his house with only his tools as his possession, and is then given back his house only for it to be already destroyed by the one who forced him out of it nonetheless.
- Compulsive Liar: Wolf's lies basically boil down to claiming ownership of things that come from nature, such as a patch of land in the forest, an apple from a tree; and even things that would be improbable for him to own, such as moose antlers.
- Cunning Like a Fox: Vixen manages to get some payback by having Hare lead Wolf to a hidden trap as she watches with glee from a distance.
- A Dog Named "Dog": As per usual with Soviet funny animals, everyone is named after their species.
- Expy: This Wolf and Hare brings to mind another Wolf and Hare who just debuted in their own short called Nu, Pogodi! a year earlier (not counting the pilot) and had also released its second short on the same year as this one.
- The hare has brown fur and big blue eyes, much like Zayats. However, he wears blue instead of green, his voice is slightly lower, and seems to be a bit older in comparison. He also manages to outwit the wolf, albeit unintentionally as he interprets the wolf's cries of pain as jumping for joy.
- This Wolf is basically Volk after a shave and a haircut with another variant of his pink shirt, though his fur is noticeably lighter and he doesn't express any desire to eat the hare. Still, the similarities are exacerbated by Actor Allusion (see above).
- Foil: Hare and Wolf, to an obvious degree. Whilst Wolf lies to get anything he wants, Hare is honest to the point that he even puts up a notice for things that were not even lost in the first place, such as a moose's fallen antlers.
- Funny Animal: The forest is populated with them.
- Innocent Blue Eyes: Hare has blue eyes, and is innocent to the point of unwavering honesty.
- Jerkass: Wolf.
- Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Again, Wolf. He thanks Badger for helping him get out of the trap, but laughs at his face when it's discovered that the house he had built has been ruined.
- Karma Houdini: Aside from getting a bear trap to the paw and having paint spilled on him, Wolf just walks away looking no worse for wear.
- No Honor Among Thieves: Wolf sees Vixen steal a bag of nuts while a squirrel is not looking. Rather than ask if they could share or compliment her on her cunning, he just steals the nuts from her instead.
- Predators Are Mean: Wolf. Oddly, he doesn't prey on any of the creatures (including Hare), opting instead to steal their stuff.
- Righteous Rabbit: Hare, to be specific, whose honesty is a known reputation around the forest.
- Typical Cartoon Animal Colors: The characters consist of a brown hare, a grey wolf, a black and white badger, a red fox... Pretty much everyone, really.
- Ungrateful Bastard: For Badger's help in getting the trap off of him, Wolf gives Badger's house back after having already destroyed it in a flurry of panic. He just leaves him there, not even offering help to fix it.
- Villain Protagonist: The short mainly focuses on Wolf and his extortion of the characters around him.
- Woodland Creatures: A cartoon called "the forest chronicle" won't be complete without them. Wolf is the only exception to this, making it all the more appropriate when he starts terrorizing the other animals to give up their things.