In the western blocks, there was funding for the animation studios, mostly from NFB and the U.S. the U.S funded Great Britain to make promotional political works, promoting the Marshall plan. Due to the economic situation, the western blocks were able to create colorfully and Disney-like animations, along with creating new techniques such as stereoscopy, pixilation, and direct sound. In the eastern blocks, there was more of a restricted animation. They had animations made for propoganda. China in the late 1960s economy was so bad to the point where animation almost stopped because they couldn’t fund it. Although this was the case in china, the soviet union funded their animators to create films made to promote soviet ideology. They even created a more minimalistic modern style to the Disney style that many countries used.
Journal Entry – Week 8
It would be a problem nowadays, they wanted him to use his greatest talent but not in what he wanted like the vase and the hand turned it into a pointing hand. Like when he was in jail, everything was fine while he was making art. It’s like it was a style of being able to have control over everything and manipulate everything at will.
The Hand in the movie can be seen as an authoritative figure who wants to take control and commands the main character to make “the hand” but the main character is pushing it away and trying to be happy with what he is doing which is making a flowerpot. I think the film was seen as subversive by the communist government at the time because of the main character who tries to be independent and do what he wants and refuses to do what “the Hand” commands him to do and when the hand finally takes control, the main character is shown as a puppet that can represent or portray how the people in the country might be feeling with the government at the time. The main character constantly pushes and refuses the hand which can be taken as a sign of defying authority.
The reason why I think the film was seen as subversive by the communist government is because the Czech communist party has hinder Trnka’s creativity.
Both the Capitalist and communist nations produced propaganda via animation but in different ways. For example, nations such as China and the USSR used stop motion and a wealth of other kinds of animation while places like the US and UK only used Stop motion and Cel animation. These animations about Communism in a positive light tend to be like children’s books, to discuss it in a beautiful and sometimes cute way. The nations under Capitalism tend to be very blunt and not as cute. Sort of like watching a short from the USSR would be like watching an animated short from Sesame Street from the 90’s while the US would be more like the Superman cartoon, or any cartoon targeted to boys or young men from that era. If anything, I would expect to see the cartoons from the USSR or China in an art gallery, but the US cartoons would be a lot like watching G.I Joe.
Respond to at least 1 prompt on this page (you are welcome to respond to more). For instructions on how to submit a journal entry, please follow these instructions. FORMATTING FOR THIS WEEK: Use the title format “[FirstName] [LastName] W8” and select the Category “Journal Entry – Week 8”
After WWII the world could be divided (broadly) into two worldviews: that of the Western (capitalist) and Eastern (communist) blocks. How were these differences expressed in animation? What were some of the thematic, aesthetic, and financial differences between Western and Eastern national productions?
The Czech government refused to distribute Jiří Trnka’ s short film “The Hand” (1965). Why do you think the film was seen as subversive by the communist government at the time?