Classics of Hungarian Animation

The history of Hungarian animation stretches back over 100 years. So-called ‘trick film’ production turned professional in the mid-1930s (Coloriton Studio was the best-known workshop at that time). Talented animation artists (for example, Jean Image, born Imre Hajdú) who emigrated from Hungary for reasons to do with politics or livelihood, became renowned representatives of universal animation history abroad. After WWII, the finest animation films of the 1950s were reworkings of children’s tales made by Gyula Macskássy, revered as the father of Hungarian animation. Animation film production that reached a peak (both in terms of quantity and quality) during the 1960-80s and was largely conducted at Pannónia Film Studio is often called the golden age of Hungarian animation. Whereas series film production starting in the 1960s, and feature film production getting off the ground in the 1970s established the financial foundations for Pannónia, it was thanks to short films that animation film art underwent a renewal in the 1960s. The intellectual caricature parable became the dominant genre of a decade, while the innovative design language of Neo-Avantgarde painting, West European advertising graphics and East European poster art also influenced more experimental-type animations. Similarly to what happened in feature films, there was increasing demand for the direct portrayal of social topics in animation films as well during the 1970-80s, as a result of which more artists began using documentary methods.