ZASADIL DEDEK REPU (1945)
Article 5389 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Jiri Trnka
What it is: East European whimsy
An old man plants a beet in his garden.
The title translates as “Grandfather Planted a Beet”. It’s an early work from animator Jiri Trnka, who here works in the realm of hand-drawn animation rather than the puppet stop-motion style with which I’m mostly familiar from him. It’s a charming bit of whimsy without a shred of dialogue, so it’s one of those shorts that doesn’t require subtitles or translations. I’m not going to give away too much of the action here; it’s best enjoyed as it unfolds at its own pace. I will say that the fantastic content turns out to be that the beet grows to massive proportions before the short is over. There’s almost a sense of mime to the way the characters move and communicate in this one. This one is cheery and pleasing.