The state of Russian animation

An NTD report on the crisis in animation production in Russia, a nation that once had a thriving animation industry which could churn out funny movies even amid the horrors of socialism. Some of their techniques even influenced Miyazaki. Today the Russians still love their old animations, and some new ones such as the fairy-tales mega-series Gora Samotsvetov, but there’s a lack of talent (partly due to the long-term compounded effects of corruption and nepotism in government, and consequent lack of support for the industry) and a law banning TV advertising to kids (which makes producing for TV unprofitable in the face of cheap high-quality Western and Japanese imports).

For a more in-depth treatment on the crisis, earlier this year Russian Life magazine had an eight-page article titled “The End of Russian Animation?” (it’s behind a paywall), which opened with…

“If the artists themselves are to be believed, Russian animation is in its death throes. After barely surviving the turmoil of the Soviet breakup, this beloved art form can no longer count on state support, nor can it embrace advertising [due to laws against advertising to kids], making its future uncertain at best.”