Monday, September 08, 2014

Animation in the Era of Putin

Although we don't hear much about it, Russia creates a fair amount of animated product.

The russian animation sector is booming. Some 30 toon studios operate in the country, including Melnitsa Animation Studio, Riki Productions and Wizart Animation, and there are a range of high-quality animated features in the pipeline.

The government is a major source of funding, with up to 900 million rubles ($25 million) allocated to the sector a year, of which $14.5 million is assigned to features. The television channel 2×2, which is dedicated to animated shows, is another major source of funding.

Much of the output is for TV, with 15 Russian toon series on air last year. ... Some of these, like SKA St. Petersburg’s “Kikoriki,” have then been spun off as feature films. The second “Kikoriki” movie, “Kikoriki: Legend of the Golden Dragon,” is now in production, with a theatrical release set for autumn 2015. Like the first pic, it will be shot in stereoscopic 3D.

Between three and five Russian animated feature films are released in theaters a year, and there are usually one or two releases of compilations of animated shorts in theaters also. Box office for Russian animated features has doubled over the past five years. Much of this rise can be attributed to the success of Melnitsa, whose film “Three Heroes on Distant Shores” earned a record $26 million last year. ...

Some Russian cartoons get exported. I've had phone calls and visits from Russian animation artists who've worked on CG television animation that has been translated and distributed abroad. There's a global appetite for animated shorts and animated features, and Russia has a long history with animation.

They produced their own Frozen fifty-seven years ago.


Chris Sobieniak said...

Speaking of Russia, here's a film someone over there put together a few years ago I thought looked rather neat. Sadly not translated, but love the visuals!

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