434. Singing Teacher – Anatoly Petrov

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SUMMARY: A singing teacher is surprised by the arrival of a large hippopotamus who could prove to be his greatest challenge yet.

WHY IT’S HERE: Russian animator Anatoly Petrov made his directorial debut with this brief oddity. ‘Singing Teacher’ is a one joke short but it is the semi-realistic style of artwork that immediately sets it apart and pre-empts an obsession of Petrov’s subsequent career. The look of this 3 minute short is terrific, achieved through pencil drawings and shading to create a densely detailed vision in an era when limited animation was still dominating animation. ‘Singing Teacher’ is made all the more endearing for combining this visual style with what is essentially a cheap laugh. While the comedy timing is a bit off in places, the repetition of the hippo’s guttural attempts at singing do become exponentially funnier each time.

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