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Ptushko, Alexander

Born: 1900 (Soviet Union) Died: 1973
One of the most influential animators in the history of film, Ptushko's career began in the Soviet silent era and continued into the early 1970s. He worked in genres normally ignored in the Soviet Union - fantasy, fairy tale, science fiction, surrealism, and even horror. A Ukrainian, Ptushko started his film career in 1927 by animating puppets for short films, and soon he was providing special effects for features such as Dovzhenko's Aerograd. His first feature-length film, The New Gulliver (1935), was one of the first animated films ever made, employing stop-motion puppetry and live action. Continuing with the ornately imaginative The Stone Flower and Sadko, Ptushko created unforgettable fantasies that are still emulated in the work of Tim Burton, Terry Gilliam, and Jan Svankmajer. He outfitted each frame with meticulously handcrafted figures, costumes, and sets. His late films, especially Ruslan and Ludmila, are among his best-- and most delirious-- elasticizing traditional narrative and real space along with the walls and sky.

Filmography (as director unless otherwise stated)

  • Ruslan and Ludmilla/ Ruslan i Lyudmila, 1972; (also screenwriter)
  • Spirit of Evil/ Viy, 1967; (screenwriter, special effects director only)
  • The Tale of Tsar Saltan/ Skazka o tsare Saltane, 1966; (also screenwriter)
  • Story About the Lost Time/ Skazka o poteryannom vremeni, 1964
  • Scarlet Sails/ Alyye parusa, 1961
  • The Day the Earth Froze/ Sampo, 1959; (credited as Gregg Sebelious in US version)
  • The Epic Hero and the Beast/ Ilja Muromets, 1956
  • Sadko , 1953
  • The Encounters/ Tri vstrechi , 1948;
  • The Stone Flower/ Kamennyj tsvetok, 1946,
  • We Will Come Back/ Sekretar rajkoma, 1942; (special effects director only)
  • Lad from Our Town/ Paren iz nashego goroda, 1942; (special effects director only)
  • The Golden Key/ Zolotoj kljuchik, 1939; (also producer)
  • The Dog and the Cat/ Shunn u Katun, 1938; (screenwriter only)
  • Skazka o rybake i rybke, 1937
  • Vesyolye muzykanty, 1937
  • The New Gulliver/ Novyj Gulliver, 1935; (also screenwriter, special effects director)
  • Aerograd, 1935; (special effects only)
  • Vlastelin byta, 1932;
  • Kino v derevnyu, 1930
  • Krepi oboronu, 1930
  • Sto priklyucheni, 1929
  • S
  • hifrovanny dokument, 1928
  • Sluchay na stadione, 1928