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Baba Yaga, construction et évolution d'un mythe animé en Russie

Abstract : Disney’s animation is accused of “americanizing” occidental folklore, but does soviet animation “sovietize” figure of the witch Baba Yaga? Far from the agitprop propaganda, the witch nevertheless serves the interests of the Party in an indirect manner by shaping a feeling of national belonging. Supposedly “intemporal”, Russian folklore is a construction related to the unaccomplished quest of a defined Russian identity. Baba Yaga is a notable figure of a mythical past who keeps inscribing the national image in the tradition while she continues to evolve. The typical problem of a national soviet art defined by “being not” while not managing to define itself reaches its apex in the animated representations of Baba Yaga. The national symbol of this fairy tale witch thus expresses the societal changes that Russia went through during the xxth century. From decade to decade, Baba Yaga evolves and becomes more modern. When she is animated, however, she preserves her visual identity with the repetition of iconic elements from movie to movie and remains identifiable at first sight no matter what technique is used. Crossing the xxth century without a wrinkle, Baba Yaga is one of the pictures of the Russian folklore threatened to be occidentalized. Now a resilient figure in feature-length movies that try to compete with American animated movies by imitating their processes while keeping a familiar national folklore, Baba Yaga subsists as an essential point of reference in the history of soviet animation.
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Lauren Dehgan. Baba Yaga, construction et évolution d'un mythe animé en Russie. Slovo, Presses de l’INALCO, 2019, À l'Est de Pixar : le film d'animation russe et soviétique, To the East of Pixar : Russian and Soviet Animated Film, ⟨10.46298/slovo.2019.5238⟩. ⟨hal-02053350⟩

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