After my last bout of research I decided to look at my other options, in this case, what other animals could I potentially feature in my animation? I still really like the premise behind my animation, that of a Russian animal being visited by its American nephew. To keep this dynamic I looked at both native Russian animals as well as their cousin species from America.
The animal I decide on will obviously need to be carnivorous and my first idea when considering potential new animals was to return to my very first thought of using wolves. The eurasian wolf is native to Russia and is a subspecies of the grey wolf which can be found in North America, similarly, the coyote is also native to North America, it’s not as closely related but I like that disconnect and I feel it would strengthen the narrative by emphasising the visitor.
There are also more exotic animals native to Russia, siberian tigers for example, however the only animal that I can think of that would even come close to an apt American comparison is the common house cat. As adorable a contrast as that may be, I feel that in this instance, it is a step too far removed.
Perhaps even more exotic is the eurasian lynx and their American cousins, the bobcat. Whilst beautiful creatures, I feel that they’re not iconic enough. I don’t believe audiences will recognise the link between the music and the animals’ country of origin, at least not as immediately as I’d like for such a short piece.
In the end, whilst the wolves would be suitable, I can’t help myself but return to the idea of using bears. They’re definitely iconic enough, both in Russia and the USA and overall just seem to fit the narrative better in my eyes, I’ll admit there may be an over-attachment to my initial concept but I do believe bears add more to the narrative than wolves do. Even by dropping the idea of circus bears (which we discovered didn’t add much to the presentation anyway) I still believe bears are iconically Russian and will reinforce the narrative that I wish to portray.