Kanga, Roo and Dingo the Dog
Ilja Novák | Czechoslovakia | 42 min
Ilja Novák | Czechoslovakia | 42 min
různí / various | 67 min
Nick Park | United Kingdom, United States, France | 2000 | 84 min | ZDARMA / Free Entry
různí / various | 49 min
While some animated fairy-tales are rather serious, scary and educational, others aim to entertain children, make them laugh and provide the relaxation. This programme includes such films, chosen with regard to the festival’s theme of humour in animation and, as is customary for us, quality.Masters of animated comedy are represented by, for instance, Aardman Animations, makers of Shaun the Sheep and the popular Wallace and Gromit. The films are made using claymation; they play with various film genres and are full of original gags. Humour is definitely present in the Czech (Czechoslovak) fairy-tales included here. An utterly unique phenomenon is shown by the adventures of two clumsy tinkerers Pat and Mat – this programme includes one of the newer episodes. Witty, gentle humour is the trademark of the lesser-known fairy-tale How the Elephant Feared Vaccination, based on a story by Miloš Macourek.
Adventures and exciting new discoveries can be found everywhere. You just have to look!
Enjoy nine fun, colourful animated films brought to you by the interfilm Berlin distribution in cooperation with KUKI Young Short Film Festival Berlin.From painting with snails to a magical magnifying glass; an enchanting bicycle race through a forest, pen friends in faraway places, crazy umbrellas and funny birds – these films tell of friendship, clever ideas and small challenges in hilarious, inventive and sweet ways. An unforgettable cinema experience – not just for kids!
Václav Bedřich | Czechoslovakia, West Germany | 1986 | 50 min
různí / various | 52 min
While some animated fairy-tales are rather serious, scary and educational, others aim to entertain children, make them laugh and provide the relaxation. This programme includes such films, chosen with regard to the festival’s theme of humour in animation and, as is customary for us, quality.Masters of animated comedy are represented by, for instance, Aardman Animations, makers of Shaun the Sheep and the popular Wallace and Gromit. The films are made using claymation; they play with various film genres and are full of original gags. Humour is definitely present in the Czech (Czechoslovak) fairy-tales included here. An utterly unique phenomenon is shown by the adventures of two clumsy tinkerers Pat and Mat – this programme includes one of the newer episodes. Witty, gentle humour can be found in an episode from the sporadically broadcast series The Kitten from Kocourkov. Jiřina Pěčová, editor of this humorous fairy-tale, is this year’s recipient of Anifilm’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Jiří Trnka | Czechoslovakia | 1954 | 12 min
Bořivoj Zeman | Czechoslovakia | 1954 | 98 min
různí / various | 75 min
There are often situations we can’t control in life. The possibilities for an ordinary person to react are limited. Paradoxically, one effective psychological defence is joy. Even in the most terrifying moments, humanity has been able to laugh at its fate and animators have been proving this for decades.
This paradox is most noticeable in anti-war films. During the Second World War, laughter, or perhaps ridicule, was used as a weapon. In the United States, it was Donald Duck who fought against the Nazis, in Prague it was the Springman. A more cunning strategy (i.e. ignoring everything) was used by the heroes of the Cold War in a brilliant piece by the National Film Board.Military conflicts often trigger migration and it’s often hard to deal with the consequences thereof without losing one’s detached view. But there are naturally many problems that need to be properly ridiculed. Sometimes, you just live in the wrong place (at the end of the world, in the wrong country etc.) or you’re just trying to take a nice picture. In this case, relief from the senselessness of the world, from its small-mindedness and dullness can be provided only by Dadaism from the Pythonesquely subversive Terry Gilliam.
Eastern Promises is a new section of Anifilm, mapping the remarkable work created on Europe’s eastern borders. For obvious reasons, this year’s first stop explores Ukrainian animation. In the last seven years or so, Ukrainian filmmakers have started to appear increasingly often in the selections of prestigious festivals. They are also successful online as in addition to films, they often focus on gif art, jingles, music videos etc.One of the most prominent representatives of this trend is our juror, Stas Santimov. This programme includes every music video and film he has ever made. When compared to others from the new generation of Ukrainian animators, his vision is probably the darkest, underscored by his passion for morbid and macabre sceneries. When his nightmares come to life, there’s naturally not much space for light colours and shades. But they have a place in the work of most of his peers, such as Oksana Kurmat and Mykyta Lyskov. Thanks to his masterpiece Deep Love, which has gained a new life in recent months thanks to its clear political undertones, he has become the standard bearer of new Ukrainian animation. One important figure, who has based her style on striking colours and wacky character stylisation, is US-based Nata Metlukh. She revels in bizarre and absurd situations distortedly reflecting our society. The biggest festivals have been screening her films for years (two of her films are competing in this year’s Anifilm competition). Anna Dudko, meanwhile, inclines to the use of nature motifs. Her older film and several films by other Ukrainian authors are included in our block for children. Slava Ukraini!
Gene Deitch | United States | 1987 | 8 min
Czech Republic | 2003 | 6 min
Pavel Koutský | Czech Republic | 1993 | 6 min
Václav Blín | Czech Republic | 2002 | 3 min
Lucie Štamfestová | Czech Republic | 2004 | 8 min
Magdalena Hejzlarová | Czech Republic | 2017 | 5 min
Gene Deitch | United Kingdom | 1973 | 7 min
různí / various | United States | 83 min
Bugs Bunny was partly inspired by a rabbit from Disney’s The Tortoise and the Hare, because all Hollywood cartoons were influenced by Disney. But when Bugs appears in a cartoon based on the same fable, it is more cynical and violent than Disney ever was.
Directors at Warner Bros. had more influence over their cartoons than Disney allowed. Bob Clampett’s A Gruesome Twosome and Friz Freleng’s Putty Tat Trouble created very different cartoons with the same writer, Warren Foster, and the same story of two cats trying to catch Tweety.
Other studios tried to copy Looney Tunes. Voice actor Mel Blanc and director Frank Tashlin made one of the best imitations, The Fox and the Grapes, whose story of repeated failure was itself copied by Warner Bros. in the Road Runner series.
Even United Productions of America, which made Warner Bros. look old-fashioned with ambitious films like Rooty Toot Toot, was influenced by the stylised movement and period flavour of Chuck Jones’s The Dover Boys.Finally, three different approaches to Daffy Duck: An antagonist in You Ought to Be in Pictures, a World War II hero in Plane Daffy, and in Duck Amuck, a cinema everyman tormented by his creator.
různí / various | 65 min
Fairy-tales are excellent source material for parodies in every art form. Not even animated films, which automatically equal fairy-tales in the eyes of many, could miss out on the opportunity to revise fairy-tale motifs. It’s actually an immensely popular pastime enjoyed by new as well as established directors. The first example in our programme is from the 1930s and fairy-tales still weren’t spared.
They’re full of allegories and many serious analyses try to interpret them. They often invite filmmakers to desecrate them. Subliminal, brutal and often sexual motifs hidden in fairy-tales provoke filmmakers, who – in a spirit of postmodernism – use these very motifs in their reinterpretations. Sometimes, with notorious stories, they just increase the pace, other times they play with colours and Little Red Riding Hood becomes a murderous monster or at least a karate master. How would fairy-tale characters end up if they grew old? Not even this is taboo for animators. As we’re in animation and the magical world of fairy-tales, black humour can always get blacker.The fount of material to be ridiculed will not dry up as there are still plenty of ‘serious’ animated fairy-tales and animators from ‘the other side’ are already sharpening their teeth. One thing is for sure – it won't be pretty. A fairy-tale can turn into horror with a wave of a magic wand.
Mike Mort | United Kingdom | 2018 | 89 min | EN
Forget Chuck Norris, here comes Chuck Steel! The best cop to ever walk the goddamned planet! Chuck Steel is a fearless, no-nonsense hero taken right from 1980s B-movies and series (and C-movies, or any other letter of the alphabet, for that matter). Chuck has everything that a proper ‘80s cop needs – big muscles, a big mouth, big guns (lots of them), an uncompromising attitude and major trauma. A year ago, he lost his wife. But like his boss says: ‘1985 is over, this is 1986!’ And in 1986, there’s no time for sentimentality. Chuck and his constantly dying partners have to get to the root of something very strange. The city is swarming with peculiar deaths and injuries. The hospital, for instance, accepts a woman slowly turning into a revolting creature of the night – something between a boozer and a vampire. Although the danger of vampires decimating the drunken population of the city seems at first to be the utter poppycock of an ancient geezer – a monster hunter – Chuck is eventually forced to admit that something strange is going on. Will he manage to save the world from the legacy of Transylvanian vampires who have been pushed to the edge of the society, hoping for a triumphant return to power led by their master? Or will he end up sucked dry, like a cheap wine box? This wild ride will chew up every film cliché and scheme and please viewers with an obvious passion for film oddities.
Garth Jennings | United States | 2021 | 110 min | ZDARMA / Free Entry
různí / various | Czechoslovakia, Czech Republic | 51 min
Throughout her career, editor Jiřina Pěčová, the recipient of this year’s Anifilm Lifetime Achievement Award, has focused primarily on animated films for children. She has worked on many popular classic Czech (and Czechoslovak) Bedtime Stories. This programme presents a selection of several episodes of various Bedtime Stories complemented by the short film Kitchen Tales. You will find out how the Top-Hat Rabbits skate, how Firefly was born, how Amelia the Forest Sprite reversed a brook and how Sophie became a zoo manager.Kitchen Tales is a short puppet film made by Vojtěch Domlátil, a graduate of the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague. In this original fairy-tale the kitchen of a forgetful grandma comes to life. Saltshaker, Sugarbowl and the rest are set to fix what she’s accidentally forgotten while the sulky rapper Tartar hides in the fridge.
různí / various | 40 min
The programme titled Adventures of Mischievous Animals includes a popular Finnish series that has been broadcast by Czech Television, so children may have already seen it. The programme is intended for the youngest children; the stories are humorous, simple and have no dialogue.Pikkuli is a playful series that stars a small, carefree bird. His stories need no words and are presented in rich colours in a way even the smallest children understand. The series is based on books for children by the same authors.
Directors: Metsämarja & Antti Aittokoski, Finland, 2015
Vicky Jenson, Andrew Adamson | United States | 2001 | 90 min
různí / various | 70 min
Ilja Novák | Czechoslovakia, Czech Republic | 56 min
The most prominent personality of Studio Prometheus, the Ostrava branch of Krátký Film Studio, was graphic artist and director Ilja Novák. This year’s festival theme of Animation & Humour represents an ideal opportunity to screen his films. Almost all of them aim to make the viewers laugh. But, as is typical for Czech animation, they’re not straightforward slapstick. In addition to using ubiquitous irony, Novák’s films move along two often intersecting lines. The first represents black humour, as we can see in Merry Christmas, or Charlie’s Winter Adventure. The second represents satire, very concrete and biting for its time. Perfect examples are His Excellency and What is Your Opinion, Baron?, a film which was heavily censored. In addition to harsh criticism, Novák’s films stand out from the rest of domestic production thanks to their artistic expression. Although very different in stylisation, in some moments Novák’s films are reminiscent of animation used by Igor Ševčík and Pavel Koutský. Novák doesn’t work in one layer, but his movements and editing using image transformations are typical for total animation. To re-introduce the slightly forgotten work of the Ostrava native, we will screen Kanga, Roo and Dingo the Dog and a wacky series ignored by television channels, Lux and Delux.
různí / various | United States | 71 min
Each cartoon in this programme highlights an aspect of animated filmmaking. But first, Porky’s Preview shows what cartoons would be like with an amateur in charge of all departments.
Director Friz Freleng, a master of animation timing, gets laughs in Little Red Riding Rabbit just by having Bugs Bunny open doors in synchronisation with music. Music is even more important in Mouse-Warming, where Carl Stalling’s song quotations convey the emotions of silent characters.
Frank Tashlin shows off his mastery of camera angles in Porky Pig’s Feat, and in Claws for Alarm, backgrounds designed by Maurice Noble enhance comedy and horror.
In Draftee Daffy, notice how different Daffy looks and moves depending on which animator is drawing him. Russian Rhapsody showcases character design, with dozens of unique gremlins based on the Warner Bros. studio staff, and the avant-garde Now Hear This is a showcase for sound designer Treg Brown.
Tedd Pierce shows in High Diving Hare that a writer can spin endless variations on the same basic joke. Last but not least, voice actor Mel Blanc voices four completely distinct characters in the very first Foghorn Leghorn cartoon.
Bill Plympton | United States | 1997 | 75 min
Trey Parker | United States | 1999 | 78 min
různí /various | 93 min
Midnight films frequently offer various kinds of humour. No wonder. Humour, although perhaps a little twisted, is an inseparable part of films for shock-proof audiences. Putting aside pure horrors, humour is present in all midnight shorts and is often extreme, properly wacky and duly racy.You will not be spared when you watch this programme. We begin with a quirky debut by the phenomenal destructor of 3D, David O’Reilly. A get-together by the fire will quickly turn morbid in Timber. Matouš Valchář and his puppet Xmas Story about Saleswoman will introduce some unrefined punk style. You can enjoy disgusting absurdities in Ice Cream, The Tongueling and BAKA!! rivalling the frantically loony films Hot Dog Hands and Roommates. Czech authors are represented in the programme by the parody Hurray for the Princess!!!, a series of morbid situations in Chrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr and the iconic horror parody Bloody Merry Christmas.
Katarína Kerekesová, Ivana Šebestová | Slovakia, Czech Republic | 2022 | 65 min
Denisa Grimmová, Jan Bubeníček | Czech Republic, France, Poland, Slovakia | 2021 | 87 min | UK | EN sub
The story behind the film Even Mice Belong in Heaven began in 2010 when director and graphic artist Denisa Grimmová came up with the idea to adapt Iva Procházková’s successful book into a puppet film. Its originality lies, among other things, in its approach to death, which the author can present to children with ease and playfulness.
The creative team approached the book with great ambitions, screenwriters added plotlines and characters and this Czech production became a co-production between four countries. After almost ten years of preparation, development, filming and post-production, viewers can look forward to a thrilling adventure set predominantly in the afterlife. Two animals, considered by their close friends to be weirdoes and outsiders, Quickfeet the mouse and Whitebelly the fox, have an accident and run into each other in animal heaven. Despite being arch-enemies in life, together they set out on a journey to overcome old sorrows, find a new beginning and develop an eternal friendship. The film offers not only an original story full of intense emotions but also an unforgettable spectacle enhanced by the puppet design, decorations, setting and meticulous animation.
různí / various | 52 min
The academic year 2021/22 marks the 70th anniversary of the Animation Studio at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague (UMPRUM). In collaboration with the National Film Archive, many short films that haven’t been seen on the big screen since their completion have been digitally restored. The showcase includes genuine rarities such as Václav Mergl’s Chameleon, Vratislav Hlavatý’s Hey Hop and Svatopluk Pitra’s Hat in the Bush. The last two films are screened in a revived premiere. The selection also reflects this year’s festival theme of humour.
What does the taxi driver Ruslan experience during his endless shift? Six episodes using various film and television genres portray stories from his life. Each episode was directed by two directors who were in charge of the story, animation and artistic design. Join us on a wild ride through a wide range of animation and artistic approaches. The series was made as exclusive content for Czech Television’s online broadcast. We will also screen bonus episodes.
Xi Chen | China | 2021 | 84 min | EN
Jason Loftus | Canada | 2022 | 86 min | ZH | EN, CS sub
Lucija Mrzljak | Estonia | 2016 | 7 min
Lucija Mrzljak | Estonia | 2016 | 3 min
Morten Tšinakov, Lucija Mrzljak | Estonia | 2018 | 16 min
Lucija Mrzljak | Estonia | 2019 | 5 min
Lucija Mrzljak, Morten Tšinakov | Estonia | 2020 | 16 min
Kaspar Jancis, Ülo Pikkov, Priit Tender | Estonia | 2005 | 75 min
Bill Plympton | United States | 1987 | 3 min
One of Plympton’s early successes, Your Face is based on unbelievable metamorphoses of the human face. The director utilised the medium of animation (and the possibilities of hand drawing) to the fullest. This inventive and ruthlessly satirical pun with superb animation was nominated for an Oscar in 1988.
Bill Plympton | United States | 1989 | 5 min
No smoker should miss another of Plympton’s early successes, 25 Ways to Quit Smoking. However, non-smoking viewers might be entertained even more. Using his specific style and unscrupulous methods, he offers the most absurd ways to quit smoking, which are possible only in animated films.
Bill Plympton | United States | 2004 | 5 min
In addition to interpersonal relationships, Plympton’s animated films often focus on man’s best friend – the dog. In his rendition, though, these pets often don’t look or act like dogs anymore. Despite this, his first 'wacky' dog film, Guard Dog, was nominated for an Oscar.
Bill Plympton | United States | 2006 | 6 min
Plympton followed up on the success of his first dog film with a similar film. This one is called Guide Dog, and is once again full of irony. A slobbering, chunky dog resembling a pig applies for a job as a guide dog. He doesn’t seem suited for it, however.
Bill Plympton | United States | 2008 | 6 min
In this film, our luckless canine (anti)hero applies for a job with the fire brigade. Unfortunately, his clumsiness and talent ruin everything and the drool everywhere complicates things. But he’s trying so hard to be useful! The film once again boasts unmistakeable drawing and lively animation.
Bill Plympton | United States | 2009 | 5 min
In the fourth instalment of the ‘dog’ series, our unlucky hero falls in love with a beautiful, carefully groomed female. How can this slobbering chunkster win her love and attention? Will it help if he fights off an attack by an aggressive dog, or will playing a violin concerto improve his chances? Either way, Plympton’s dog’s efforts always end in disaster.
Bill Plympton | United States | 2017 | 6 min
After eight years, in 2017 Plympton returned to his favourite Oscar-nominated, drool-soaked dog, to torment him a little more. This time, the unfortunate dog becomes an airplane pilot. Those who have seen the previous films can certainly guess how the dog will pass this uneasy test. Or perhaps he will fail?
Bill Plympton | United States | 2011 | 5 min
Plympton’s satirical ‘dog’ series, full of black humour, elicited responses from viewers and other animators as well. Guard Dog Global Jam is a collaborative effort by 70 artists to recreate Plympton’s famous Guard Dog short. Plympton’s canine (anti)hero is portrayed in many ways, using a variety of animation techniques and artistic styles.
Bill Plympton | United States | 2018 | 2 min
Many filmmakers have had the honour of animating The Simpsons’ couch gag. On this occasion, Plympton revived his ideas from his 1980s film Your Face and, using his specific and unmistakeable style, played with the face of the Simpsons’ patriarch.
Bill Plympton | United States | 2005 | 7 min
Love can take many forms. Sometimes, lovers are separated by a long distance and their relationship is impossible – just like in this atypical and parodic love story of a fan and a flower. This disturbing film, animated with a pulsating line, is once again full of black humour.
Bill Plympton | United States | 2012 | 9 min
Young, earnest Tiffany makes her fashion debut in an attempt to be the most unlikely of supermodels and rejoin her beloved male model, Conrad. This unusually long ‘short’ (by Plympton’s standards) is characterised by having a more straightforward narrative without losing anything of the author’s typical stylisation.
Bill Plympton | United States | 2010 | 6 min
A tragicomic film about the strength of the bond between a mother cow and her calf, the power of advertising and the purpose of life. Using irony and caustic humour, Plympton once again takes aim at American society. The calf is hypnotised by a billboard and this fascination proves to be a determining factor in its life.
Jared Bush, Byron Howard | United States | 2021 | 110 min | ZDARMA / Free Entry
Marcus H. Rosenmüller, Santiago López Jover | Austria, Germany | 85 min | DE | EN, CS sub
The makers of this satiric film managed to transfer beer bellies, pig eyes, droopy faces, double chins and many other imperfections to the big screen with incredible believability. They were helped by iconic Austrian caricaturist Manfred Deix, whose work served as an inspiration for the film. We join his childhood alter ego in a small Austrian village in the 1960s where the locals would like to have everything in proper order. Woe betide anyone who would defy their extremely Catholic and far-right morale! The film’s young protagonist, son of the local innkeeper, would prefer to think (and, God forbid, perhaps even live) a little differently. His young eyes can see everything the adults contentedly ignore. He is unable to understand what others so loudly proclaim. The object of the boy’s desire, a girl named Mariolina, and his artistic talent eventually become the source of a public nuisance. We witness him fight for his life and the life of his chosen one with all the trouble that growing up in the horrendous town of Siegheilkirchen puts in their way.
Katarína Kerekesová | Slovakia | 2019 | 65 min
Ilja Novák | Czechoslovakia | 48 min
Mark Osborne, Stephen Hillenburg | United States | 2004 | 87 min
The festival theme of Animation & Humour naturally has to take us deep underwater to Bikini Bottom. As a reminder of the legendary series created by Stephen Hillenburg for Nickelodeon, we chose the first feature film based on the series. It was made 18 years ago, but its energy, humour and superb animation are still on point. It’s still great entertainment for multiple age groups and still the best feature version of the genius surrounding the tirelessly optimistic and workaholic yellow sea sponge, SpongeBob SquarePants. The film’s open-minded humour oscillates on the axis of infantile – Dada – extremely clever. And as a bonus, there is David Hasselhoff himself!
Trouble starts when Plankton enacts a plan to discredit his business nemesis Mr. Krabs, steal the Krabby Patty secret formula and take over the world by stealing King Neptune’s crown and framing Mr. Krabs for the crime. SpongeBob and Patrick team up to retrieve the crown from Shell City to save Mr. Krabs from Neptune’s wrath and their world from Plankton’s rule.
Steve Box, Nick Park | United Kingdom | 2005 | 85 min
György Kovásznai | Hungary | 1980 | 76 min
Bill Plympton | United States | 2013 | 76 min
Ilja Novák | Czechoslovakia | 56 min