Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Jiří Trnka

Jiří Trnka (1912-1969) was a Czech puppet animator/director, children book illustrator and fine artist. Some people called him the Walt Disney of Eastern Europe, even though the content of their films differed greatly. Trnka’s work often deals with social-political themes and therefor goes beyond entertainment.
I am absolutely in awe of this artist. Everything he did was an intense labor of love, but also a reflection of post WW II in Eastern Europe.
Michael Sporn, who is so terribly missed within the animation community, has posted a lot of great material on Trnka’s life and work:
I will have more on Trnka in the future, today I just want to show a few of his incredible book illustrations. These images take you to different worlds, full of wonder and surprise.

What a masterpiece!!!

Trnka, genius, one of a kind!


  1. Very attractive illustrations. It makes me want to check out some more of Trnka's work, both in animation and illustration.

  2. Thanks for your post on Trnka! I watch his work on YouTube, and enjoy it very much! One of them was "The Hand", and the other, "Cybernetic Grandmother". Long ago, I read about Trnka in L. Bruce Holman's Book "Puppet animation in the Cinema" . It's a great read for a fan of stop motion animation.

  3. My goodness the one of the couple on the horse was beautiful. But the mermaid illustration reminded me of the old artwork from the 40s Disney did for Little Mermaid.
    Speaking of Little Mermaid, I recall you animating King Triton. There was this scene I remember where Triton was talking to Sebastian about the lucky boy that Ariel was in love with. In the scene I remember his hand gesture where he twirls his trident while looking at it.
    Did you use that same sequence when Jafar hypnotized the sultan to get his ring?

    1. They are similar, but I never thought about those two scenes together. To me that kind of action suggests a sort of playful attitude toward the conversation partner.

    2. It works pretty well though. I was wondering do you have any blog entries about concept art from Maleficent's dragon sequence?
      The reason why I ask is I am working on concept designs for a dragon and I keep looking at the sequences involving that scene in the movie. I'm curious on what the original sketches the nine old men worked on till they were able to find the final product.

    3. Just go to Blog search, top left, and type in what you are looking for.