Penguin Random House: Anna Karenina


Made by Catherine Prowse and Ada Wikdahl.

Featured on the Vintage Random House blog CMYK.

A trailer for Tolstoy's seminal Russian novel, Anna Karenina, created for Penguin Random House.

As it is highly unlikely that a new reader picking up the book today is unaware of what is arguably literature's most famous death, we played on the audience's expectations by juxtaposing the sound of a train gaining momentum with images of sophisticated social settings. The objects in the theatre, dinner party, and bedroom dressing table started to rattle and crash, as if the train was coming to destroy Anna's elegant way of life.



We contrasted the passionate red of the train with the cold, unappetising blues of the sterile interior city scenes. We wanted to bring out the contrasts in the novel: city artificiality and rural authenticity, passion and repression, tradition and modernity.



Our production design involved extensive research into contemporary design. Architectural elements from the Sanduny Baths in Moscow, nineteenth century china patterns and cookery books, and photographs of imperial Russian opera costumes all served as inspiration for the visual language of the film. Every item in the animation was hand made out of paper.