Peter and the Wolf

Suzie Templeton

Poland, 2007


The film was produced by Lodz SE-MA-FOR in cooperation with the British studio BreakThru Films and Norwegian Storm Studio, 2007, Poland

The film won the Academy Award in 2007 for Best Animated Short Film. The first frames of Peter and the Wolf are an overture that introduce the viewer to the climate and the theme of the film. We can see a small, wooden house by the forest, surrounded with a high fence, and in the middle of a blizzard. In the background we can hear wolves howling and can see a man with a gun watching out for wolves and mending the fence. There is Peter, a boy with sad face and eyes, watching him through the window. In those first film frames we also get to know the second main hero. In contrast to Peter, who is closed behind the fencing and guarded by his grandfather, the wolf wanders around the woods unhampered and enjoys freedom. The threat posed by evil people also lurks for the boy in a nearby town. Lonely Peter makes friends with a goose and a bird with an injured wing. His dream is to discover the intriguing world hidden behind the tall fence that he observes through little holes. One day he steals the key and together with his friends sneaks out to the other side where they happily skate on a frozen lake.  The grandpa is angry and takes Peter home. The boy leaves his friends by the lake to watch them from behind the closed gate with longing. He soon notices a wolf but cannot help the goose escape from his claws. Overwhelmed with pain and fury, the boy decides to face the dangerous enemy – after many attempts he manages to catch the wolf in a net. This confrontation leaves bloody scars on Peter’s face in the shape of the predator’s claws. However, Peter doesn’t allow his grandfather to shoot the wolf but he decides to sell the animal. But when he finally manages to close the deal with the circus’ owner, the hunters approach the cage. The boy recalls harm they did to him and decides to make an unexpected decision. He is no longer a shy, scared boy – his peers that bullied him in the past now look at him with respect. Peter opens the cage’s door; they eye each other up and down with the wolf and together walk past the gathered people to let the animal come back to the forest.


Suzanah Clare Templeton (born 1967 in Hampshire, England) is a British animator. Her film Peter and the Wolf has won several awards, including the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 2008.

Raised at Highfield in Southampton, she began work as an animator as a child with her older brother. The two children created special effects for her brother’s home films.Having only a slight interest in animation as a child, Suzie graduated with a degree in the sciences from University College London. Templeton was given an image of Nick Park’s Wallace and Gromit by her mother, which inspired her to begin work with sculpture, models, and puppets for stop motion animation. Began her professional career in animation after attempting enrolment at the Surrey Institute of Art and Design (now known as the University for the Creative Arts in Farnham) at the age of 28. After finishing with a BA in animation there, she moved on to the Royal College of Art (RCA), graduating in 2001. Templeton was attracted to the model making and creative process of stop motion due to the solitary and slow process of the medium. At the RCA, she was able to craft her abilities in three dimensional work and story telling. Not only did she build on her technical abilities, but she also found her own voice and tone in the medium. She began with the impression that she’d work on cartoons (such as Wallace and Gromit) to appeal to commercial interests for jobs and work. However, her films have taken a dark and difficult approach. Animation had become an outlet for her darker emotions, rather than appealing to the masses.

Templeton completed two projects at RCA, her first short film Stanley (1999) and her graduate project Dog (2001) both winning numerous awards. After graduating from RCA, Templeton began work on a modern interpretation of Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf. Templeton was approached by film maker and producer Hugh Welchman and conductor Mark Stephenson asking her to create an animated sequence to be played during a live orchestral performance. Templeton began work on the film alone in her own home. After understanding how large of a piece the film actually was, she moved to a Polish studio. The production of the film took over two hundred people and over five years to complete. The film was released in 2006 and is the winner of multiple awards, including the Academy Award for Best Short Film in 2008. In October 2008 Templeton has joined the roster of animation directors at Tandem Films. Templeton has also mentioned that her next project may be another short film based on Lauren Child’s children’s book The Pesky Rat. She is also currently working on a feature film, however she declines to disclaim any information regarding the subject or producer. She is also writing a feature film.


  • Stanley (1999)
  • Dog (2001)
  • Peter and the Wolf (2006)


Director: Suzie Templeton

Script: Marianela Maldonado; Suzie Templeton. The film is the adaptation of Siergiei Prokofiev’s symphonic fairy tale Peter and the Wolf

Cinematography: Hugh Gordon; Mikołaj Jaroszewicz

Editing: Tony Fish

Music: Siergiej Prokofjew

Color: Color

Duration: 30’

Cast: Puppet animation


The engaging animation with its fairy-tale atmosphere is also open to interpretation. It is a tale of growing up and the protagonist’s evolution, the strength of friendship, respect for the natural environment, as well as psychoanalytical, Jungian tale about various elements of human nature: the primeval and wild power and the way leading to its discovery and acceptance.

Both the power of the message, distinctive music as well as realistic but poetically dreamlike setting and artistic puppets create a magical atmosphere of a tale from contemporary but remote Russia. It is the atmosphere of a real fairy tale where the beauty of the story is harmonized with its noble message and can fascinate not only young viewers.

Iwona Hałgas,





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