Hedgehog in the Fog is a 1975 Soviet animated short film directed by Yuriy Norshteyn. It is a highly well regarded work for many good reasons.
The plot here is deceptively simple, but metaphorical. The little hedgehog goes to see his friend the bear with whom he counts the stars regularly. But on the way he wanders into the mist and encounters some interesting phenomena. When he gets back, the bear is happy because he couldn’t imagine his life without that routine of counting stars whereas the hedgehog is sad as he has experienced something different and reminisces of it. Now, that metaphor I honestly did not get and had to read it on the internet written by someone else, but once I understood it, it made the movie all the more powerful and meaningful to me. And although that ending seemed a bit too short, it was still one of the best scenes of the film.
The animation is gorgeous. The character designs take some time getting used to, but the effects of the fog are phenomenal and its very dark imagery is absolutely beautiful to watch. It has such an eerie, atmospheric quality to it and there were a couple of pretty creepy moments here. The film definitely has a strong atmosphere wonderfully conveyed through that terrific animation. The score is also really strong and I liked the minimal use of dialogue quite a bit here. Its dreamlike, almost otherworldly feel definitely leads to an unforgettable experience. And although it is seemingly simplistic and difficult to understand, once you do, it will make this journey all the more rewarding.