When Dina Velikovskaya, a student at the Russian State University of Cinematography, set out to make the heartwarming stop-motion video "My Strange Grandfather," she was already up against the odds. Puppet animation is no longer popular in her native country, a disheartening reality she described in an interview with Animateka: "Now in Russia it's forgotten. I don't know why. Maybe it's very difficult to make puppet stop-motion, puppet animation... maybe it's not contemporary now."
Velikovskaya was undeterred, however, and without any help from her university she taught herself to make the puppets that come to life in her poetic short film. It tells the story of a little girl and her nutty grandfather -- an absent-minded inventor who ventures up and down a windy beach in Russia collecting other people's trash. The tiny granddaughter is embarrassed by his quirky habits, that is, until one stormy night, when he builds an enormous, singing beast from the junk he has gathered.
Watch the gorgeous video above and let us know what you think of Velikovskaya's magical realism. Don't you wish there were more children's stories like this?