Jiri Trnka


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6.7 The Czech Year (1947)
6.8 The Emperor's Nightingale (1948)
6.5 Bajaja (1950)
6.0 Old Czech Legends (1953)
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Influenzato dal puppeteer Josef Skupa e al tempo stesso impiegato come illustratore di libri di favole, Jiri Trnka ricopri` dopo la seconda guerra mondiale un importante ruolo che gli consenti` di dare un'impronta personale al disegno animato Cecoslovacco, indirizzandolo cioe` verso il recupero di temi folkloristici nazionali. Al tempo stesso, dedicandosi piu` ai pupazzi, elaboro` un gusto raffinato e quasi barocco nella realizzazione tanto delle marionette quanto degli sfondi su cui esse si muovono. Le scenografie sono infatti paesaggi minuti e colorati, intensamente fiabeschi fino al limite della fantasia onirica.

His first shorts include Zviratka a Petrovsti/ Animals and Bandits (1946) and the surrealistic satire Darek/ The Gift (1946).

The 75-minute stop-motion animated puppet movie Spalicek/ The Czech Year (1947) in six episodes, which ostensibly chronicles one year of a Czech village, was devoted to traditional legends and songs, drenched in blinding light games, with a gay spirit of simple daily life and a touch of harmless superstition.

The 72-minute Cisaruv Slavik/ The Emperor's Nightingale (1948), adapted from Hans Christian Andersen, mixed puppets and live children in a lavish setting.

This was followed by three shorts with animated puppets: Roman s Basou/ Story of a Bass (1949), adapted from Anton Chekhov; Certuv Mlın/ The Devil's Mill (1939), adapted from a Czech fairy-tale, and Arie Prerie/ Song of the Prairie (1949), a parody John Ford's western Stagecoach.

The medieval "opera" Bajaja (1950), based on two stories by Bozena Nemcova, added the music of Vaclav Trojan (set to lyrics by Vitezslav Nezval).

He continued to experiment new techniques in his shorts: O Zlate Rybce/ The Golden Fish (1951), Veselı Circus/ The Merry Circus (1951), Dva Mrazici/ Two Little Frosts (1953).

Stare Povesti Ceske/ Old Czech Legends (1953) returned to the format of Spalicek: several episodes devoted to traditional legends and songs. It is perhaps his most baroque work, with majestic sets and a lively crowd of characters.

He then made an animated version of Jaroslav Hasek's "Osudy Dobreho Vojaka Svejka/ The Good Soldier Svejk" (1923) and made one last full-length film: Sen Noci Svatojanske/ A Midsummer Night's Dream (1959), adapted from William Shakespeare.

The shorts Kyberneticka Babicka/ The Cybernetic Grandma (1962) and Ruka/ The Hand (1965) were his virtuoso swan songs.

He died in 1969.

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