Reviving the First Ukrainian Cartoon Character: 90 Years of Ukrainian Animation

Reviving the First Ukrainian Cartoon Character: 90 Years of Ukrainian Animation

2017 marks 90 years since the first (but now lost) Ukrainian animated film The Tale About a Straw Bull-Calf by Viacheslav Levandovskyi came to screen in 1927.

The grassroots initiative “90 Years of Ukrainian Animation”, created by animation enthusiast and journalist Ivan Kapitonov (check out his blog in Ukrainian, with many interesting film links), amassed an impressive group of 20 animators from all over Ukraine  to revive the character of the first Ukrainian cartoon.

While preparing other activities for IAD I had an idea to ask several animators I knew to create videos in honor of the anniversary. This group of animators decided that they would like to do a collaborative work, which would show the connection between the history and contemporary animation. Thus the idea to revive the character of the long lost first Ukrainian animated film was born - Ivan Kapitonov

Complete credentials: Andrew AJ (Kyiv), Svitlana Dakhina (Світлана Дахіна) (Kharkiv), Borys Denysevych (Борис Денисевич) (Kyiv), Alexander Dya (Kyiv), Roman Dzvonkovskyj (Lviv), Maria Fediuk (Bohorodchany), Konstantin Fedorov (Kyiv), Yurii Gergel (Юрій Гергель) (Rivne), Andrew Gurniak (Андрій Гурняк) (Lviv), Oles Iusypchuk (Kosiv), Mykola Kovtun (Kyiv), Yana Ku (Kyiv), Taras Pidhirnyak (Radyvyliv), Oleksii Pshenychniuk (Олексій Пшеничнюк) (Zhytomyr), Stas Santimov (Dnipro), Nikita Savenko (Kyiv), Igor Shurpan (Zhytomyr), Leonid ShastiaVsereduninas Tuvoniuk (Lutsk), Tania Yasinchuk (Таня Ясінчук) (Chortkiv), Журавель Юрій Zhuravel Yuriy (Rivne). Ukrainian text read by Oleksa Melnyk (Олекса Мельник). English text read by Dimitry Skaz Rasskazov, Omikron studio. Music by Vladislav Muzychenko. Film editor — Maria Fediuk.

The initiative has been very active throughout 2017. Past activities included an online flashmob "My Favorite Cartoon" #УлюбленийМультик (March 2017), and an online factsheet of 90 facts about Ukrainian animation (for Linoleum festival).

Retrospective screenings, such as the Dovzhenko Centre-organized  premiere of first Ukrainian Sound Cartoons  have also been helped by the initiative.

Scholarly research, also an indispensable tool in this case, is also available. Anastasiia Kanivets writes about the perception of Walt Disney by Ukrainians in the 1930s and the 1960s. You can also read the publication of memories of Alla Orshansky about her father, director of Ukrainian animation, Tsezar Orshansky.

Retrospective notes on Ukrainian animation throughout each respesctive decade is available online (start from 1920s) - full project to be completed by the end of 2017.


Find more info at the official Facebook page.

90 years of Ukrainian animation initiative: Ivan Kapitonov (author, coordinator), Iryna Kapitonova (assistance, English translation), Liliia Ivolha (graphic design). Translation into Hebrew: Yefim Brantman, Olga Denisenko.  Retrospective screenings of Ukrainian animation were held in Kyiv, Zhytomyr, Chernihiv, Kosiv. Screenings in Kolomyia, Khotiv, Berdiansk, Chervonohrad and New York are also being planned, in cooperation with local film clubs and activists. Films for the retrospective were provided by Dovzhenko Centre, Ukranimafilm studio (successor of the Kyivnaukfilm fiction animation department), and independent animators.


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