January 01, 2011

The End of Russian Animation?



Yuri Norshteyn offers a cutting observation on the state of modern Russian animation: “The country killed animation and left.”

This is not a pithy appraisal from an uninterested observer. Norshteyn is arguably Russia’s most famous director of animated films. He produced, among others, The Tale of Tales, which a 1984 international survey named “the best animated film of all times and nations.” His earlier classic, Hedgehog in the Fog (1975), received a similar moniker in 2003. And Norshteyn is influential: Japanese Director Hayao Miyazaki, for example, maintains that he decided to become an animator after seeing Hedgehog in the Fog. And yet, even Norshteyn cannot access the funding needed to bring his work to the screen. He has been working on The Overcoat, based on the short story by Nikolai Gogol, for more than 20 years.

Apparently, now is not the best time for creating masterpieces in Russian animation.


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