Database for Animation Studies


Learning from the Golden Age of Czechoslovak Animation: The Past as the Key to Unlocking Contemporary Issues

Can Czech animators resurrect the Golden Age of Czech animation or will they succumb to the changes of an open market economy? The post-1989 privatization of animation studios and subsequent withdrawal of government funding are commonly considered as one of the most significant factors contributing to the current decline of Czech animated films. This article argues that a number of additional factors associated with the post-1989 change of political regime have impacted on Czech animation production. These factors include: (1) the change of themes due to the removal of the communist regime as the common antagonist; (2) the fragmentation of the Czech audience due to the importation of animated films from the west and new methods of distributing content; and (3) economic censorship pressuring artists and producers to ensure financial success. In examining the history of the Czech animation industry during and after the communist regime, the authors present an outline of the conditions of the Prague Spring in 1968, during which the Czech animated films further elevated their international reputation and experienced exponential growth. In contrast to these conditions, this article highlights the contemporary issues that are affecting Czech animation studios today.

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Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal
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