Armenian school is the most rebellious, cheerful and musical school in the Soviet animation.  Robert Sahakyants is the main figure in it. He created a special surreal language with his students and followers. Arzamas has chosen the most colorful cartoons of the school.

Prepared Pavel Shvedov.

 “How Bears Have Been Feeding the Whales”

Director Robert Sahakyants, 1974


This is one of the first pictures of the director where there is already a slightly absurdist incline. Two bears want to feed the whale, but they don’t know what it looks like, so they accept a greedy turtle instead of it (in fact, it quickly re-educates).

“The Fox book”

Director Robert Sahakyants, 1975

“The Fox book” has become the main film which transformed the views of  Armenian animators about animation art. In this one, Robert Sahakyants contemporized fables of the medieval writers such as Vardan Aygekci and Mkhitar Gosh. After this surreal cartoon was accompanied by the rock music, Armenian animation went towards completely new frontiers.

 “The Fox Who Couldn’t  Do Anything”

Director Robert Sahakyants, 1976

This cartoon is drawn in such a psychedelic manner as “The Fox book”, but the plot is simple and touching: a malicious fox offends everyone and spoils everything until discovers that he also has a talent.

 “Striped Tigers”

Directors Valentin Podmogov, Rafael Babayan, 1969

The plot shifter is Aarmenian directors’ favourite technique . In this film, tigers, to the delight of the audience,  decided that it was time to change places with the trainer.

 “…And Every Night “

Director Aleksandr Andranikyan, 1987

And again a story about the circus. An incredibly lazy clown is ready to do anything for not going out of his dressing room to the audience. Sincerity is trendy. The clown’s strained jokes should give way to the cat’s natural charm.

 “Hunting Hare”

Director Aleksandr Andranikyan, 1977

This funny drawing is about an unlucky hunter and a blue hare which was created by Aleksandr Andranikyan at the age of 17 at Roman Kachanov’s course, the Soviet legend of the puppet and drawing animation.

 “A Violin in the Jungle”

Director Valentin Podmogov, 1970

This very beautiful cartoon is about a violinist in the jungle. Both lions and monkeys are ready to listen to the great musician.  Lev Atamanov,  a classic figure of the Soviet animation, is in the screenwriting group of the film.

 “The Giant Who Dreamed of Playing the Violin”

Director Ella Avagyan, 1986

The violin can be called the main musical instrument of the Armenian animation. In this cartoon, there is whole music lover tragedy  about the violinist and the giant, but with a happy striking ending.

 “The Talented Donkey”

Director Gayane Martirosyan, 1985

This is a puppet cartoon about parents sometimes being too zealous. Donkey’s mother wants the best fate for him and hires teachers; a dog and a cat. Those faithful teachers somehow teach him barking and catching mice, but, of course, the donkey remains true to himself.


Director Robert Sahakyants, 1979

Robert Sahakyants shooted his best cartoons based on Hovhannes Tumanyan’s fairy tales: “Three Blue-Blue Lakes of Crimson-Colored(1981), Who Will Tell a Fable? (1982), Wow, A Talking Fish (1983), Wow, Holiday” (1985). “Kikos” has become the first film among the works of this outstanding Armenian writer – a funny story about how the whole family mourns the death of the fictional son, nephew and grandson.

 “In The Blue Sea, White Foam…”

Director Robert Sahakyants, 1984

Maybe Sahakyants’s most famous work is another film based on Armenian folk tales. In the legend about an underwater wizard (by the way, it was recorded by Harry Bardin) who was tricked by the fisherman’s son, music has become an important component of the plot, and people know the main song “The wind is in the sea, the storm in the sea…”  better than the cartoon.

Original source: Павел Шведов, Arazamas

Translator: Sona Melkonyan © All rights reserved.