Legendary Russian Animation Studio Marks 75th Anniversary In Crisis

MOSCOW — Top employees at Soyuzmultfilm, Russia’s oldest animation studio, have appealed to the Russian government for help as the company marks it 75th anniversary, RFE/RL’s Russian Service reports.

A group of Russia’s leading animators sent an open letter to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his government on June 9 urging it to support the studio “financially and morally.”

The authors of the letter expressed their concern over the dire financial situation faced by Soyuzmultfilm, in particular, and the animation industry in Russia, in general.

In their letter, the animators urged the government to take special control of the situation facing the industry.

An author of the letter, actor and animator Yury Nortshtein, told RFE/RL that he and his colleagues decided to use the 75th anniversary of the studio — which was on June 10 — to remind Putin and his government about the drastic situation faced by the studio.

According to Nortshtein, Soyuzmultfilm is not able to create new animated movies due to numerous economic and financial problems.

“The legendary studio is currently involved [only] in selling off the distribution rights to show the old Soviet-era cartoons, but this situation has to be changed,” Nortshtein told RFE/RL.

In the 75 years of the company’s existence, Soyuzmultfilm animators created scores of Soviet-era blockbusters such as “Red Flower,” “Maugli,” “You, Wait!” “The Kid And Karslon,” “The Musicians of Bremen,” and many other animated films that remain popular in Russia and other post-Soviet countries.

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