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Russian animation. Cartoons are almost equally loved by children and adults alike. For many Russians, Russian cartoons are still associated with Soviet animation, because most of Russia's production of animation for film|cinema and television were created during Soviet times.

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Cartoons are almost equally loved by children and adults alike. For many Russians, Russian cartoons are still associated with Soviet animation, because most of Russia's production of animation for film|cinema and television were created during Soviet times


The first animator in Russia was Aleksander Shiryayev, who was a principal dancer at the Imperial Russian Ballet, as well as a teacher and choreographer. He made a number of pioneering puppet-animated ballet films between 1906 and 1909. He only showed them to a few people, and they were forgotten until their re-discovery in 1995.


 The second person in Russia to independently discover animation was Ladislas Starevich, who was of Polish descent and is therefore also known by the name of Wladyslaw Starewicz. Being a trained biologist, he started to make animation with embalmed insects for educational purposes, but soon realized the possibilities of his medium to become one of the undisputed masters of stop motion later in his life. His first few films, made in 1910, were dark comedies on the family lives of cockroaches, and were so revolutionary that they earned Starevich a decoration from the Tsar. Starevich's 41-minute 1913 film The Night Before Christmas was the first example of the use of stop motion and live action in the same scene.


After the October Revolution, only by the mid-to-late-1920s could Soviet authorities be convinced to finance experimental studios.These were typically part of a bigger film studio and were in the beginning most often used to produce short animated clips for propaganda purposes


In 1934, Walt Disney sent a film reel with some shorts of Mickey Mouse to the Moscow Film Festival. Fyodor Khitruk, then only an animator, recalls his impressions of that screening in an interview in Otto Alder's film The Spirit of Genius. He was absolutely overwhelmed by the fluidity of the films' images and enthusiastic about the new possibilities for animation that Disney's ways seemed to offer.

Higher officials shared this impression, too, and in 1935, the Soyuzdetmultfilm-Studio was created from the small and relatively independent trickfilm units of Mosfilm, Sovkino and Mezhrabpromfilm in order to focus on the creation of Disney-style animation, exclusively using cel technique.


From Khrushchev Thaw to Perestroika

Khitruk changed the animation style to something that resembled what the United Productions of America was doing, and for the first time since the avantgarde years, he was able to tackle a contemporary story.He's revolutionary approach paved the way for a vast number of young animation directors that in the following years developed their own distinctive styles and approaches.

The 1970s saw the birth of the Soviet Union's most popular animation series, Nu, Pogodi! (Just you wait!), directed by Vyacheslav Kotyonochkin. These seemingly simple miniatures about a wolf chasing a hare through Soviet-style cartoon worlds owe a great deal of their popularity to the cunning subtexts built into their parts.


One of the most famous Russian animators is Yuriy Norshteyn. His films Little Hedgehog in the Fog (1975) and Tale of Tales (1979) show not only technical mastery (although not smooth animation), but also an unrivaled magic beauty. Tale of Tales was elected best animation film of all time during the 1984 Olympic Arts Festival in Los Angeles, and again in 2002.


In the Soviet Union, three Winnie-the-Pooh, (transcribed in Russian as "Vinni Pukh") (Russian language: Винни-Пух) stories were made into a celebrated trilogy[28] of short films by Soyuzmultfilm (directed by Fyodor Khitruk) from 1969 to 1972.

Винни-Пух (Winnie-the-Pooh, 1969) – based on chapter 1

Винни-Пух идёт в гости (Winnie-the-Pooh Pays a Visit, 1971) – based on chapter 2

Винни-Пух и день забот (Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day, 1972) – based on chapters 4 and 6.

Films use Boris Zakhoder's translation of the book. Pooh was voiced by Yevgeny Leonov. Unlike the Disney adaptations, the animators did not base their depictions of the characters on Shepard's illustrations, creating a different look. The Soviet adaptations make extensive use of Milne's original text, and often bring out aspects of Milne's characters' personalities not used in the Disney adaptations.


Cheburashka , also known as Topple in earlier English translations, is a character in children's literature, from a 1966 story by Soviet writer Eduard Uspensky. He is also the protagonist of the stop-motion animated films by Roman Kachanov (Soyuzmultfilm studio), the first film of which was made in 1969

Cheburashka (Russian: Чебурашка) is an iconic Russian classic cartoon character, that later also became a popular character in Russian anecdotes (along with his side-kick, Krokodil Gena). According to the creator of the character, Eduard Uspensky (1965), Cheburashka is a funny little creature, unknown to science, who lives in a tropical forest. Cheburashka accidentally gets into a crate of oranges, eats his fill, and falls asleep. The crate is eventually delivered to a grocery store in an unnamed Russian city (hinted to be Moscow), where the rest of the main story unfolds.


The kid and Carlson: cartoon Collection (1957-1970)

Based On the tale of Astrid Lindgren film Director Boris Stepantsev took dilogy about the adventures of «the best in the world» Carlson and his friend's kid, who for many years to come down with screens, continuing to fascinate young spectators and their parents...


After the end of the Soviet Union, the situation for Russian animators changed dramatically. On one hand, State subsidies diminished significantly. On the other hand, the number of studios competing for that amount of money rose a good deal. Most of the studios during the 1990s lived on animation for advertisement and on doing commissioned works for big studios from America and elsewhere. Nevertheless, there were a few very successful international co-productions, e.g. Aleksandr Petrov's (former Sverdlovsk Film Studio animator) Oscar-winning The Old Man and the Sea (1999, from Ernest Hemingway's novel) or Stanislav Sokolov's The Winter's Tale (1999, from William Shakespeare's play) that earned the director an Emmy.


As Russia's economic situation became increasingly stable, so did the market for animation, and during the last three years a number of feature-length animation films from Russian studios have emerged (e.g. Melnitsa Animation Studio's Little Longnose, 2003, from Wilhelm Hauff's fairy tale, and Solnechny Dom Studio's 2006 Prince Vladimir, based on early history of Rus' – the highest-grossing Russian animated film to date). While the Russian animation community is yet far from reaching the splendor it possessed before the end of the Soviet Union, a significant recovery is being made and it is becoming more and more clear that the revived Russian animation industry will be very different from what it was in the late 1980s. According to Andrei Dobrunov, head of Solnechny Dom, several Russian studios are currently working on some ten animated feature films.


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