Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea Animated Not Once, But Twice

Ernest Hem­ing­way wrote The Old Man and the Sea in an inspired eight weeks in 1951. It was­n’t a long nov­el, run­ning just a lit­tle more than 100 pages. But it car­ried more than its weight. The nov­el, Hem­ing­way’s last major work, won the Pulitzer Prize for Fic­tion in 1953. It con­tributed to Hem­ing­way receiv­ing the Nobel Prize in Lit­er­a­ture in 1954. And it soon entered the Amer­i­can lit­er­ary canon and became a sta­ple in class­rooms across the Unit­ed States and beyond.

A good 60 years lat­er, the novel­la still cap­tures our imag­i­na­tion. Just this week, a Ger­man artist Mar­cel Schindler released “ein Stop-Motion-Film” inspired by The Old Man and the Sea. The ani­ma­tion bears some sim­i­lar­i­ty to the art­ful videos released by RSA dur­ing the past two years, and per­haps some­what appro­pri­ate­ly it’s all set to the tune “Sail” by AWOLNATION. It works if you’re being lit­er­al about things.

Of course, you can’t talk about ani­mat­ing The Old Man and the Sea with­out refer­ring back to Alek­san­dr Petro­v’s 1999 mas­ter­piece that won the Acad­e­my Award for Short Film. To make the film, Petrov and his son spent two years paint­ing pas­tel oils on a total of 29,000 sheets of glass. Below, you can see how the 20 minute film (added to our Free Movies col­lec­tion) turned out.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.