71-year-old Moscow-based Soyuzmultfilm Studios still remembers glorious days. Over 500 employees including top Soviet film directors worked here. They released great animation films, which were of great success and still growing demand.
According to the poll made by 140 animators and film critics all-over the world at Tokyo Animation festival Laputa in 2003, Yury Norshtein’s Hedgehog In A Fog (1975) and The Tale Of Fairy Tales (1979) have become champions among the world’s best animation.
Now it’s a survival time for Soyuzmultfilm Studios: obsolete equipment, shabby premises. The staff is only about 50 with real enthusiasts among talented animators. Many top professionals
have retired or work in Hollywood or found a well-paid job to produce TV commercials in Russia. Some of popular animation characters have become commercial brands, like Chebby in Japan.
Among the recent Soyuzmultfilm highlights is an 80-min Nutcracker And Mouse King directed by Tatyana Ilyina. One more full-length animation Gofmaniada by Stanislav Sokolov is being shot with the puppets made by a famous Russian painter and sculptor Michael Shemyakin.