The Hungarian School of Animation
'Folk motives into fine art symbols.'
Happy Thursday! In this issue of Animation Obsessive, we dive into the vibrant history of Hungarian animation.
Back in June, we wrote about Hungary’s Rabbit with Checkered Ears — an extraordinary TV cartoon. Our research for that piece turned up a quote from the show’s co-creator, Zsolt Richly, that told us we needed to dig deeper.
Richly was one of the artists who took Hungarian animation to the world level, side by side with the very directors who overshadowed him (like Marcell Jankovics of Son of the White Mare fame). But Richly was fine in the shadows, as he said in 2002:
It … doesn’t bother me that my feature-length film, Háry János , is credited — in print — to Marcell Jankovics. In my opinion, such a mistake is a testimony to the strength and distinctiveness of the Hungarian school of cartoons and cartoon art; nothing else.
But what is this Hungarian school of cartoons — or magyar rajzfilmiskola, in Richly’s words? We’ve written a lot about the Zagreb School of Animation from Yugoslavia, but Richly’s quote was the first time we’d seen a similar term applied to Hungary. It piqued our interest.
Today, we’re taking a closer look at the history of animation in the so-called “Hungarian style.” Enjoy!