Dusan Vukotic Birth: February 7, 1927 in Bileca, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Death: 1998 (age 71) in Zagreb
Artist, Animator and Writer/Director of animation
Despite his educational background in architecture, Vukotic pursued cartooning and animation. After working for the few years that Duga Film was active, he helped to found the Zagreb Film Studio. The bulk of his career and his remaining life was spent there writing, creating, and directing animated films. He is considered to be the founding father of the Zagreb School of Animation, and his work has had a significant influence over the Croatia and Yugoslavia’s animation industry, as well as Zagreb animation’s style and worldwide reception.
Studied architecture at Zagreb Technical University (though went on to be a cartoonist afterward).
After his studies at Zagreb Technical University, he became a cartoonist for the satirical magazine, Kerumpuh.
In 1950, he joined Duga Film (founded by the Yugoslavian government), effectively entering the animation field. With the company, he helped to animate five black-and-white films, which became the start of animated film production in Croatia and Yugoslavia. In 1951, he made his directorial debut with How Kico Was Born. Duga Film was closed in 1952 after an economic crisis.
In 1954, he partnered with Nikola Kostelac and former Duga Film animators to produce fifteen short color commercials.
In 1956, they, along with the heads of Zagreb Film, founded the Studio for Animated Film (Zagreb Film Studio), headed by Vukotic himself. He worked there for four decades, helping to shape their style and spread their worldwide influence. Also during this time, he wrote, produced, and directed a series of cartoon shorts, winning dozens of film festival awards. His work contributed much toward boosting Yugoslav animation’s international reputation.
After around 1960, he focused less on short films and worked more on full length features. He also took up teaching film in Zagreb during his later years. He retired from the company in the early 1990s, but continued to produce work.
Comments on Style
His animated films are by many considered to be unique, individual, and artistic. He uses a “reduced” style of animation that greatly contrasted Disney during a time where Disney dominated the industry. He is well known for his unique sense of style and appeal, which creative uses of line, shape, color and timing in animation.
He supported heavily individualistic styles and doing things different from the “norm” in order to promote a level of uniqueness and the ability to stand out from the crowd, so to speak.
His first animated film was A Big Rally (1950). He was a member of Montenegrin Academy of Sciences and Arts after 1973. At the time of his death, he was preparing for the production of a major new science fiction animated feature.
Director (53 titles)
1993 Dobro dosli na planet Zemlju (short)
1989 Animated Self-Portraits (short)
1983 Gavrilovic II
1981 Visitors from the Arkana Galaxy
1979 Karlovac (documentary)
1977 Operation Stadium
1975 Skakavac (short)
1974 Gubecziana (documentary short)
1973 Dal capo al fine
1973 Man: The Polluter
1972 Rani srednji vijek (documentary short)
1971 Zastava 101 (documentary short)
1969 Opera Cordis (short)
1969 1:10 (documentary short)
1969 Duel (documentary short)
1969 Evin dodir (documentary short)
1969 L.M. Beat (documentary short)
1969 Magicni ekran (documentary short)
1969 Romansa (documentary short)
1969 Slike sa izlozbe (documentary short)
1969 Zasjeda (documentary short)
1969 Na krilima ljubavi (documentary short)
1969 Romeo (documentary short)
1969 Ars Gratia Artis (short)
1968 Mrlja na savjesti (short)
1966 Sedmi kontinent
1962 Igra (short)
1961 Prvi maj 1961 u Zagrebu (documentary short)
1961 The Substitute (short)
1960 1001 crtez (short)
1959 Krava na mjesecu (short)
1959 Piccolo (short)
1959 Rep je ulaznica (short)
1958 Koncert za masinsku pusku (short)
1958 The Avenger (short)
1958 Veliki strah (short)
1957 Ali Baba (short)
1957 Cowboy Jimmy (short)
1957 Carobni zvuci (short)
1956 Zdravstvena stanica (documentary short)
1956 Nestasni robot (short)
1955 Dimnjacar (short)
1955 Djecja radost (short)
1955 Na terasi (short)
1955 Kucno vatrogastvo (documentary short)
1955 A Visit from Space (short)
1955 Kod zubara (short)
1955 Parada (short)
1954 Vajda: kroz cijeli svijet (short)
1954 Varteks: velika trka (short)
1952 Zacarani dvorac u Dudincima (short)
1951 Kako se rodio Kico (short)
Show ShowWriter (44 titles)
Show ShowArt Department (11 titles)
Show ShowAnimation Department (10 titles)
Show ShowEditor (6 titles)
He is considered the founding father of the Zagreb School of Animation.
He was an award winning writer, producer, and director of cartoon animation. He produced over 600 animated films and won over 400 international awards during his career.
His animated short, Ersatz (1961), became the first non-American cartoon to win an Academy Award.
Ersatz (video): http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x86bb6_ersatz-par-dusan-vukotic_shortfilms
Croatian wikipedia article (Google translate – Croatian to English): http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=hr&u=http://hr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Du%25C5%25A1an_Vukoti%25C4%2587&ei=6zKvTuKBNITYiQLf1rT8Dw&sa=X&oi=translate&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CCYQ7gEwAQ&prev=/search%3Fq%3DVukotic,%2BDusan%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Doff%26biw%3D1503%26bih%3D614%26prmd%3Dimvns
“Who’s Who in Animated Cartoons” by Jeff Lenburg
Contributors to this Listing
Animators Hall of Fame