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NEWS x MUSE Hannah Fletcher talks with Disney Legend Andreas Deja about his lates work the hand-drawn animated short MUSHKA which was shown to people in attendance at San Diego Comic-Con 2023.

MUSHKA tells the story of the Ukrainian girl Sarah who raises a Siberian tiger during the 1970s. She calls him Mushka, when she discovers an “M” shaped birthmark on the tiger cub’s forehead. The word Mushka is a Russian term of endearment, like sweetheart.

As the tiger grows into adulthood, Sarah finds out that a few shady people in the village plan to kill and sell him for profit. In an effort to save him she takes Mushka deep into the forest to the same spot where she found him as an orphaned cub. Sarah hopes that her tiger will stay in the forest and learn how to be a wild animal, far away from any humans.

Other characters in the film include Sarah’s grandmother, her father as well as Alex, a local Siberian boy.

The story’s theme can be summed up like this: Having to let go of someone you love is the hardest thing, but life has a way to provide hope and happiness again.

Learn more about the short film by visiting