Jirí Trnka

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Trnka, Jiří


Born Feb. 24,1912, in Plzeň; died Dec. 30,1969, in Prague. Czechoslovak animated film director. People’s Artist of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic (1963).

Trnka began his career in 1928 in J. Skupa’s puppet theater. During World War II (1941–45) he worked as an artist in the National Theater in Prague. After the war, Trnka was one of the founders of puppet cinema. He directed the animated films Špaliček (1947), Prince Bajaja (after the work by Němcová, 1950), Old Czech Tales (after Jirásek, 1953), The Good Soldier švejk (after the novel by Hašek, 1955), and The Gurvinek Circus (1955). He was also famous as an illustrator of children’s books.

Trnka was awarded the State Prize of the Czechoslovak Social ist Republic (1954) and the Peace Prize of the Czechoslovak So cialist Republic (1958).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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His works included an innovative animation film by the Hungarian cartoonist Jiri Trnka titled Why is the Unesco?
Building on Czech traditions of puppet animation established by the likes of Jiri Trnka and Bretislav Pojar, Filip Posivac and Barbora Valecka's short "Deep in Moss" premiered on Czech internet TV platform Stream.cz.
The section on Russian and Eastern European animation history reviews historically significant animators such as Ladislaw Starewicz, who is recognized as Russia's first animator, and Czech stop-motion animator Jiri Trnka, whose puppets have also been internationally acclaimed.
Paradoxically, however, at that time he received commissions from leading Czech and Slovak film directors and created music for Karel Kachyna (Suffering, Coach to Vienna, Night of the Bride, etc.), Jiri Trnka (The Cybernetic Grandma), Karel Zeman (The Stolen Airship) and Martin Holly (Raven's Road).
"They are based on found photography and draw on sources as various as Victorian postcards, police mugshots and nature photography, as well as the animations of Jiri Trnka and the stories of Francesco Stefani and Alice Munro.
Sponsored by governments in Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and the U.S.S.R., Jiri Trnka, Dusan Vukotic, Alexander Petrov, Karel Zeman and others made wonderfully artistic work.