It was a very long time ago. In middle school, maybe, 6th grade. A new girl joined our class. She was from a family of diplomats and had just arrived from abroad. She had lots of cool stuff: ‘What Love Is…’ stickers, erasers of different shapes and colors, ‘BIC’ pens… She showed us photographs of fun places, and taught us about life ‘over there,’ TV shows, movies… We were all mesmerized and intrigued by her stories, but one day she said something that kind of brought me back to my senses. She said, “I hope one day we’ll learn how to make animation like Disney, so we don’t have to watch ‘Hedgehog in the Fog’ any longer!” I couldn’t believe my ears. I thought ‘Hedgehog’ was great, and it was beyond my understanding how anybody could think differently. I remember I tried to defend ‘Hedgehog,’ but my attempts were dismissed. Disney ruled.
I have a lot of respect for the original, old school Disney. I love it. And it’s wonderful that Russian kids can now enjoy Mickey Mouse and his pals, laugh at the seven dwarfs, and sing along with Snow White. But with all the respect, ‘Hedgehog’ doesn’t have to strive to be like Disney. It’s not Disney. It’s different. It’s a gem in its own right. Don’t rob yourself of it. It’s only about 10 minutes long. Open your heart, and let “Hedgehog” in. From Russia with love.
Live for the Love of it,
The Happy Amateur