I love the symbolism in this beautiful Russian animation. The fear and despair that accompanies being lost in the fog (unconsciousness) compared to the elation of sharing a simple cup of tea beneath the stars with a cherished companion.
My favourite scene is when the little hedgehog falls into the river. He is forced into surrender and decides to go with the flow. It’s the lowest point of the film until a mysterious “Someone” comes to his aid. “Don’t mention it” is all the Someone says in response to Hedgehog’s words of gratitude for saving him.
*Note: The owl in this film might be frightening to young children. Please do not view before bedtime!
There Lived a Tree by Vladimir Petkevich is another animation that I could not resist sharing. It’s rich with symbolism on the certainty of change. Nature being our greatest teacher of this truth.
The theme of loss and death in this film (not to mention another freaky owl!) will not be lost on small children. I erred in showing this film to my five-year-old before bedtime. She was quite tearful about it. After much discussion, she gave me a kiss on the cheek and said, “If you die before I grow up, this is so you know I love you.”