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Soviet Animation and the Thaw of the 1960s

Soviet Animation and the Thaw of the 1960s

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Soviet Animation and the Thaw of the 1960s

Not Only for Children

By Laura Pontieri

With 110 illustration, 95 in colour.

Publication date: 2012
Total pages: 256
ISBN: 9780 86196 705 6
Price: £ 22.50


Soviet Animation and the Thaw of the 1960s: Not Only for Children shows how a new phase in Soviet animation that emerged during the 1960s was at the same time a product of the post-Stalin Thaw, and a means for pressing the pace of liberalization and helping foster the new spirit and new aesthetics of that era.

After presenting a brief overview of the production of animated films from its origins until the late 1950s, the book analyses the various factors that took Russian animation from being, during the Stalin years, an artistic form dedicated to children, to becoming a medium that addressed an adult public.

Successive close analyses of key films track the progression of the new trends in animation over the course of the 1960s, starting with the early attacks on social ills, followed by covert and even open dissent, and culminating in a move away from the political to give expression to the artist's subjective world.

The book draws on extensive archival research which has enabled the author to reconstruct the dynamics within the Soviet animation studio Soiuzmul'tfil'm, and to explore the relationships between the animators and the political establishment.

The book not only offers a thorough study of Soviet animated films of the 1960s, but it also uses the world of Soviet animation as a lens for viewing the particular historical moment of the Thaw from a fresh and less conventional point of view.


Chapter 1. From Propaganda to Children’s Films: The Earliest Beginnings and the Stalin Era of Soviet Animation

Chapter 2. Russian Animation of the Thaw in its Socio-Political and Cultural Context

Chapter 3. Case Studies: Early 1960s

Chapter 4. Russian Animation in the Second Half of the 1960s: Between the Khrushchev’s Thaw and the Brezhnev Stagnation

Chapter 5. Conclusion: The Beginning of New Tendencies



Laura Pontieri (Ph.D., Yale University) currently teaches Russian and Soviet cinema at the University of Toronto. She has published several articles and reviews on Russian animation. Her primary areas of interest are cinema, animation and theatre of the former-Eastern European countries.

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