A 13 minute animated joy-ride, THE LEGEND OF RASPUTIN is full to bursting with cinematic delight. Following the historical (yet often apocryphal) account of the life of Raspuntin, mystic, healer and prophet to the Russian Elite during the final days of reigning Tzar, this is a film that is boasts exceptional quality.
The story of Rasputin larger than life on it’s own- but director Jamie Shannon puts a highly colorful spin on the already roller-coaster tale. There is bright, raucous humor weaved into the story that is satisfying to all ages- side-long jokes (both verbal and visual) will have the older viewers chuckling, while the modernized tone and other-wordly style of production design will delight younger audience members.
The writing is wickedly sharp, and the action tight, but a special note must be given to the design. THE LEGEND OF RASPUTIN is done with puppetry- a style rarely seen in the age of animated CGI. The effect of puppetry in this show gives the work a look and feel rather like the youth-aimed films Henry Selick (Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach) or Tim Burton (Beetlejuice, Corpse Bride).
What is perhaps most compelling about this short, is how clear the director’s vision is- every detail is carefully crafted and the result is a lovingly enjoyable, historical (yet satirical) look at a fascinating life. A film worthy of attention!
Review by Kierston Drier
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THE LEGEND OF RASPUTIN, 13min., Canada, Family/Animation
Directed by Jamie Shannon
Mystic, prophet, healer, love-god – Grigori Rasputin’s unique talents bring him to St. Petersburg’s luxurious Winter Palace to heal the dying Prince Alexei, heir to the throne, in the waning days of Tsarist rule. When Rasputin succeeds, he becomes spiritual aid to the royal family, and infamous national celebrity to a public that is becoming increasingly critical of its rulers.
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