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Bazar (1934)

The only surviving scene from The Tale of the Priest and of His Workman Balda, a satirical animated opera that mixed fairy tale by Alexander Pushkin, music by Dmitri Shostakovich and Russian avant-garde.


Mikhail Tsekhanovskiy (as Mikhail Tsekhanovsky)


Alexander Pushkin (fairy tale), Mikhail Tsekhanovskiy (screenplay)




The animated film "The Tale of the Priest and His Worker Balda" based on the fairy tale by A. S. Pushkin was to become the first full-length film by Tsekhanovskiy and the fifth film written by Dmitriy Shostakovich. Work on the film began in 1933. The animation for the film was shot almost completely, and deposited in the Lenfilm archive, where it was destroyed in a fire caused by the bombing of Leningrad at the beginning of the Great Patriotic War in 1941. Of the feature film, only a six-minute fragment of Bazar with verses by Aleksandr Vvedenskiy and Shostakovich's unfinished and fragmented score is preserved. Written by Peter-Patrick76 (peter-patrick@mail.com)

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1930s | soviet animation | See All (2) »

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Soviet Union



Also Known As:

Bazaar See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lenfilm Studio See more »
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Did You Know?


The film was intended to be an animated opera with original music. The young composer Dmitri Shostakovich (26-years-old when production began) was hired to compose the music to which all the scenes would be based on. He worked on the film for 4 years, composing an entire 50-minutes long symphony. In 1936, Shostakovich fell out of favor with Soviet leader Joseph Stalin and his works were denounced. His music could not be used for the film, which was shelved. Shostakovich kept his score for the film in his private papers. It was posthumously publicized by his family, first published in book form in 2005, and first performed in 2006. See more »


Featured in Animated Century (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

Small piece of animated cinema
8 February 2008 | by SaturnomeSee all my reviews

Bazaar ("The Market") is the name given to the only surviving piece of "The Tale of the Priest and of his Workman Balda", a soviet animated film of the 30s based on a poem by Aleksandr Pushkin. The film never been completed: it got destroyed in WWII.

What remains is a small piece where characters sings in a market. But really, it is sufficient to consider it quite a great, great work of animation. Yes it is hard to judge something this short, but the animation is of incredible quality, and the design of the visuals is out of this world. Not a single animated movie looked like this until decades later. The music is by Shostakovich.

It was later remade in the 40s. But then Stalin's Soviet Realism dictated the look of animated movies in Soviet Union until the 60s so it looks absolutely not like this wild piece of cinema.

It may be quite hard to get to see a surviving piece of a unfinished soviet animated film of the 30s, but this little film could be of great inspiration to today's animators.

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