1980s Soviet cartoons based on US science fiction classics

Frank sez, "Rhizome has a collection of 1980s-era Soviet cartoons based on stories by American sci-fi authors such as Ray Bradbury and Stephen King. The accompanying synth music is retrofuturist joy."

Shown here: the Soviet crappytoon version of "There Will Come Soft Rains."

Soviet Sci-Fi Animation in the 1980's (Thanks, Frank!)


  1. I like how robobutler is authorized to use lethal force against anything that doesn’t immediately respond with the password. It’s been quite some time since I read the original but I seem to remember the the house’s systems were characterized as being cheerfully oblivious rather that clinically depressed and somewhat menacing. It’s pretty interesting what they changed.

    1. Having not read the story, I thought the robot was responding to something “living”.

      Love the Terry Gilliam feel of the flick

  2. Crappytoon? The animation may not be smooth but everything is beautifully painted. I take more issue with the tonal liberties the cartoon’s creator took, but those can be forgiven as a combination of artistic license and a very bleak Soviet misunderstanding of what America must be like. Gloomy forbidding concrete structures? I think they’re projecting a little.

  3. God. I remember being traumatized as a kid by watching an IPA animation of Edgar Allan Poe’s “Tell-Tale Heart.” As an adult I kept wondering why would they show that to kids.

    Now I’ve seen a worse animated short to show kids…

  4. I really like the style of this stuff. It reminds me of one of my favorite animators Stefan Schabenbeck.

  5. Even hearing from the commenters here that they took liberties, I can’t watch this. I can’t even summarize There Will Come Soft Rains without bursting into uncontrollable, slightly hysterical tears, and just typing the name made me choke up.

    I found it an incredibly powerful short story, obviously. Unfortunately, such that I can’t even think *about* it, only *around* a story-shaped hole in my head.

    1. In that case, I strongly suggest you don’t watch it. It wouldn’t be pretty.

      DANG, but there’s some good doom-laden samples to be had from that stuff…

  6. “There will come soft rains” is one of my absolute FAVORITES, and this cartoon is, I think, well done in the spirit of it. Thanks Cory for sharing this.

  7. I have come to the conclusion that we should show nursery-school classes ‘There Will Come Soft Rains’. The harm is outweighed by the good too much for this to be at all reprehensible.

  8. You’d think that if you were to build a robot to take care of your long since vaporized remains that you’d make it a little less menacing sounding.

  9. Yeah, some liberties were taken. Does anyone remember the Simpsons episode that had the Itchy and Scratchy animators go on strike? Krusty has to hire out Russian animators, and it reminded me of this.

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