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Eduard Nazarov, an acclaimed artist, book illustrator, and animation director, passed away yesterday in Moscow. Nazarov, closely associated with Fyodor Khitruk,  was involved in several of his projects, including Winnie the Pooh (1969-1972). In the 1990s, he became one of the co-founders of the SHAR studio, and later supervised a highly successful Mountain of Gems animated series based on folk tales of peoples of Russia.  Nazarov is best-known as the creator of such classics as Once Upon a Dog / Once There Was a Dog (1982), a tragicomic story adopted from Ukrainian folklore about an old dog expelled by his owners, and Travels of an Ant (1983), a small ant’s quest to find his home. His beloved works feature a distinct visual style and combine lyricism with a mellow sense of humor.

Travels of an Ant (Путешествие муравья)

Soyuzmultfilm 1983

Anatoly Petrov was an influential Russian animator who recently passed away. He worked on many famous pieces including The Musicians of Bremen and Vovka in a Far Away Land. In 1968 he started a career as a director and filmed several shots of Merry Go Round series. One of his best films is Polygon (1977) based on the story by the Soviet sci-fi writer Gansovsky about an engineer who created a manless tank that finds enemies by the sense of fear.

Polygon with English subtitles

The photographica technique employs two celluloid layers for each character and creates a 3D impression. No computers were available when this highly realistic cartoon was shot.

Sergey Kozlov, an acclaimed children’s author from Moscow, Russia, passed away at the age of 70. He was well-known for the script he created for the Yuriy Norshteyn’s masterpiece Hedgehog in the Fog.  Sergey Kozlov created scripts for more than a dozen of Soviet and Russian cartoons. He began his career as a poet and later published several popular children’s books. RIP

Hedgehog in the Fog 1975

Strange Vat 1983