Monday, February 25, 2008

Peter and the Wolf Wins Oscar

At the 80th annual Academy Awards (2008), Peter and the Wolf won the "Best Animated Short" Oscar for animators Suzie Templeton and Hugh Welchman.

The story-set-to-music was written in 1936 by Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev. According to some sources, Prokofiev wrote it for his son. In his notes for RCA Victor's recording of Peter and the Wolf, David Hurwitz says that, "The project was actually the idea of a Russian schoolteacher who approached the composer with a peculiar combination of shyness and persistence."

Peter and the Wolf presents an opportunity for children to experience the story-telling power of music, while learning to recognize various instruments by their sound.

In the story, each character is represented by an instrument:
  • The Bird - Flute
  • The Duck - Oboe
  • The Cat - Clarinet
  • Grandfather - Bassoon
  • The Wolf - French Horns
  • Peter - The Strings
  • The Hunters' Shot Guns - Kettle Drums
In the tale, Peter heads to the meadow against his Grandfather's wishes, leaving the gate open behind him. From high in a tree Peter's friend, the bird, tells him that all is quiet. Peter's duck has sneaked out through the open gate, and is swimming in the pond. Grandfather has warned Peter about the dangers of the forest, but Peter pays no attention to his grandfather's words. Peter's disobedience has unpleasant consequences.

I am listening to the RCA Victor / BMG Music CD, copyright 1994, narrated by David Bowie, and performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra, Eugene Ormandy, conductor.

As of this afternoon (February 25, 2008), the DVD of the Templeton/Welchman animated Peter and the Wolf is sold out on the UK, and not yet available on the US The DVD is available through Breakthrough Films.

Please share other Peter and the Wolf DVD and audio recordings which you would recommend. There have been plenty!

And when you see the 2008 Oscar winner, let us know right here what you think.


  1. I thought the animation of Peter and the Wolf looked great on the Oscars. I do wonder why Persepolis was not nominated.

  2. On Monday's "All Things Considered" (February 25), Melissa Block interviewed Hugh Welchman about winning the Oscar for Peter and the Wolf. You can listen at