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 Fyodor Khitruk

Born:   May 1, 1917
Deceased:   December 3, 2012

Master of Russian Animation


Russian animators title 2007 the year of Fyodor Khitruk. The great master, who has brought up not only several generations of animated film artists, but all Russian viewers as well, turned 90 years old on May 1, 2007.

Fyodor Khitruk became the progenitor of author’s animation. Diverging from the “naturalistic” Disney-like canons that were reigning in the 1950-60s in Soviet animated cartoons, he created his own style, which was laconic yet multi-level, non-trivial and vivid. It is difficult to overestimate the meaning of creations of Fyodor Savelyevich Khitruk in the history of national and world animation, to which he devoted all his life (with an exception of the years of the Great Patriotic War when he volunteered to the front and returned to Moscow only after the Victory over fascism).

Fyodor Savelyevich Khitruk was born in Tver on May 1, 1917. He studied at Stuttgart Arts and Crafts College and later on at an art college in Moscow.

Istoriya odnogo prestupleniya Khitruk started his creative path in 1937 at Soyuzmultfilm Studio where he participated as an animator in making of over 200 films. His excellent debut in film directing, Istoriya odnogo prestupleniya (Story of One Crime) (1962) brought worldwide acclaim and lots of awards to the author. Following the best traditions of domestic animation he at the same time stood out as an innovative artist enriching it with new depictive methods, imagery and ideas.

“Animation that used to be only an entertaining art at present is becoming more and more intellectual, whereas numerous topics and issues previously considered the privilege of feature and documentary cinema are successfully used by animators nowadays. I am sure that the possibilities of this kind of cinema are practically inexhaustible” –Fyodor Khitruk said in an interview for ITAR-TASS.

Kanikuly Bonifatsia He is the director of outstanding “adult” films such as the social satire of bureaucrats Chelovek v ramke (Man in the Frame) (1966), the philosophic parable Ostrov (Island) (1973) about the loneliness of a man in modern society, the biographical film Junger Mann namens Engels - Ein Portrait in Briefen, Ein (1970), based on drawings and letters of young Engels, the parody Film, film, film (1968), and the anti-war film Lev i byk (A Lion and a Bull) (1984).

Vinni Pukh Films addressed to children were created by Fyodor Khitruk in quite a different manner. Among them there is Toptyzhka (1964), Kanikuly Bonifatsia (Vacations of Bonifacius) (1965), as well as the generally beloved amusing trilogy about Vinni Pukh and his friends (1969-1972). According to the director, he endeavoured to evoke in kids the purest and the most generous feelings, such as love, compassion and support.

The gifted film director taught students of the Moscow studio school “ShAR” established by him together with Andrey Khrzhanovskiy, Eduard Nazarov and Yuriy Norshteyn. Gradually, however, the artist withdrew from teaching activity. For several years Fyodor Khitruk was one of the leaders of the International Animated Film Association (ASIFA). Mr. Khitruk is the owner of dozens of festival awards and the honorable president of the two animation festivals held in Russia.

Fyodor Khitruk has created only 15 not very long animated films, which, however, became not just an integral part of national animation, but went down in history of each of us, whereas inhabitants of the Planet Khitruk go on multiplying with every new viewer.


Tags: Fyodor Khitruk Russian cinema Russian animators Russian animation  

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