Zagreb School of Animated Film

The Zagreb City Museum also has a superb display on the Zagreb School of Animated Film.  A film studio for animated films was established in Zagreb in 1956. Success came quickly and Samac/ Lonely Guy, a short by Vatroslav Mimica won the Grand Prize at the Venice Film Festival in 1958By 1959, at the Cannes Film Festival, George Sadoul was already writing of the Zagreb School of Animation, with comic-strip artists Adrija Maurović and Walter Neugebauer providing a central influence and offering a particular direction. In 1962 the studio won an Oscar for Surogot/ Surrogate by Dušan Vuckotić, the first non-American Oscar recipient.

Apart from the photographs and original drawings, which were used in films produced by some of the most famous artists from the Zagreb school, the fantastic display at the Zagreb City Museum also shows some of the original celluloids from the Professor Balthazar animated television series which ran from 1967 to 1968 and was an international success.

 

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Oscar for The Surrogate

 

The traditional mode of filming was to draw the first sketches on the basis of a script and a storyboard, produce them on a drawing board, and then transfer them to celluloid with a rostrum camera (above). Twenty four drawings, one per frame, were required for a second of animated film (see examples below from Surrogate).

The reason for posting on this is that I was thrilled to see the rostrum camera (above) and thought some of you might be as well and also because I wish more people would visit the City Museum of Zagreb. It’s a great place.

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José Arroyo

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