Czech Animation Festival

Gosh, there are so many great places to start.

While considering what to post first, I was struck with the vast amount of really great work out there.  How could I possibly just choose one artist, one book, one film?

That may sound trite.  But that’s how I think.  Tritely.

I chose Jiri Trnka, for several good reasons:

1. He’s the Czech Uncle I never had.

2. He was an illustrator AND an animator.

3. The man’s work is matchless.

Here are some selections of his illustration (he illustrated more than 130 books during his career).

Trnka_3147463_orig

(Trnka, Andersen Fairy Tales, 1969)

08-Jiri-Trnka--illus.-for-H.C.Andersen-Fairy-Tales--1959

(Trnka, Andersen Fairy Tales, 1969)

06-Jiri-Trnka--Fireflies--1969

(Trnka, Fireflies, 1959)

05-Jiri-Trnka--Fireflies--1969

(Trnka, Fireflies, 1959)

03-Jiri-Trnka--Fireflies--1969

(Trnka, Fireflies, 1959)

Notice the colors.  And the textures.  And the composition.  And the details.  These images are so rich, you almost don’t need the stories behind them.  They become stories of their own.

When you have a few minutes to spare, do a Youtube search of Jiri Trnka’s animation work.  It’s just as startling and eye-catching as his book illustration.

You can see how the meticulous detailing carries over into Trnka’s animation in these stills:

jiri_trnka_2012_article

(Trnka, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 1959)

Trnka_bajaja_2

(Trnka, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 1959)

the-hand-4_1965-jiri-trnka

((Trnka, The Hand, 1965)

My all-time favorite is The Hand.  It’s one of the greatest stop-motion films ever made, and still universally relevant to creative people.

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