Introduction

While Czech animation is considered one of our showcases, not many people really know what animation is and how it works. Most people are familiar with TV bedtime stories and a few classical and contemporary films but do not see the difference between a cartoon, stop-motion or a computer-based animation.

But animation is an immense universe full of astonishing nooks and crannies and colourful worlds, inhabited by a myriad of the weirdest characters. And in the background of these worlds, a number of invisible giant creatures – animators – toil slowly and patiently, trying to connect pure fantasy with technology and craft. In their hands, an ordinary pencil or a mouse turns to an omnipotent tool of the creators of new universes. Hidden even deeper in the shadows of their studios, directors, screenwriters, editors, sound technicians, cinematographers and many other strange human beings supervise everything what is going on.

Let’s set out on an expedition to the depth of this universe, to discover its magic worlds, both hidden and clearly visible. We are overjoyed when, right in front of our eyes, static, or even dead things suddenly come alive in a wonderful illusion of movement, an illusion created by a series of many static images changing at a cosmic speed to become a single living unit perceived by the audience as a story.

We will show you different ways to animate drawings, puppets or computer data and tell you what the Gods of this animated world – animators, or people who bring everything to life – need to be eventually able to say, “Get up and walk.” Would you like to hold a camera in your hands? Go on, take it. Would you like to learn more about that weird rhythm of a world where it is not a second but rather a quarter of a second which makes a difference?  This is your chance.

Jan Bubeníček, curator of the exhibition