29 March 2011

Slovenian Animation

And Animation Week continues!  Today's featured country is Slovenia.  It was not the easiest country for me to track down animators, but I needed a challenge to polish off the rust. This overview of Slovenian animation helped me find some good animators to post on.  The internet may be the best thing to have happened to my research.  Read after the jump for more on Slovenian animators!

The first animator is Miki Muster.  He is well known as a cartoonist and illustrator, but he also has a fair amount of animations available on YouTube.  The ones I viewed (which are linked to in this post) struck me as very similar to DDR-era cartoons.  I did not get the same artistic depth as the Czech animators yesterday, but they're still nice animations for children.  Puščica and Zimska zgodba are two good examples of his work and give you a nice feel for the wordless animations.  The one that surprised me was Kurir Nejček (1961) because of the ending––I don't want to spoil it.  The caption underneath says (in Slovenian): "The cartoon 'Courier Nejček' is about the shepherd and partisan courier Nejček, who watched cattle on the mountainside during the day and saw the Nazi movement. At night he informed the partisans on what he saw.  The film was made in honor of the 20th anniversary of the uprising of the Yugoslav people."  It would be slightly traumatic for a child if it were made into a full length film, but I was still surprised to see the unromanticized death in the animation.  Straight shooting, I guess.  I do think children will love the bravery of Nejček and it is indeed admirable.

Bojan Jurc is the next animator.  He did cartoons based on proverbs, but found success with Medved Bojan (Bojan the Bear).  I don't think Bojan looks very much like a bear, but that's not the point.  Bojan has adventures by painting what he needs (Harold and the Purple Crayon, anyone?) and Motorizacija is a good example of a typical cartoon with Medved Bojan.  There are many more in the right hand column to view.  It's another cute cartoon like Muster's and appropriate for children.  His primary color paint pots do teach children the basics of pigment mixing, which is subtle and very cool, so I like that aspect as well.

Marja Manček is the next animator.  He is famous for the Hribci series ("Hillbillies") and the only video I could find is on what I believe is the Chinese knock-off of YouTube.  But come on, it's called YouKu.  I suppose I never really thought about whether or not China would endorse post-Soviet entertainment; perhaps this find is an indication.  In any case, it's a cool find.  I couldn't find any more videos of his work (sadly) and I also have run out of time!  Tune in tomorrow for some more animation, though I haven't decided where from yet.