When Nikita Khrushchev in 1956 proclaimed the end of the personality cult of Joseph Stalin, he started a process of political and cultural renewal in the country. Even though animators still needed a while to free themselves from the long tradition of “Éclair”, from the 1960s onwards, animation films gain completely new qualities..
Young animation directors developed their own distinctive styles and approaches in the following years. One of the most political was Andrei Khrzhanovsky, whose surrealist film The Glass Harmonica (1968) was severely cut by censors, but shelved nevertheless. Anatoly Petrov is known as the founder of the cinema journal Vesyolaya Karusel (click for Youtube search) that gave an opportunity to many young directors to make their first own films
(an excerpt from wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Russian_animation)
We recommend the article at
Russia beyond the headlines,
with some of our favourites.
Together with Alex Desyatnik, we have chosen a surprise selection for you. Ranging from artful folly to profound, and sometimes propaganda. Not as crude as Disney, mind. The screening includes about half a dozen short movies, with an introduction and the opportunity for debate between them. Where necessary, the cartoons are subtitled. If you have your own fond memories to contribute, share them with us. We may include them for the next episode.