Full Name:

Fyodor Savelyevich Khitruk

Occupation / Title:

, ,

Date of birth:

01/05/1917

Date of death:

03/12/2012

Birthplace:

Tver, Russia

Biography


Fyodor Savelyevich Khitruk was born May 1, 1917 in Tver, Russia. He was born into a well-off Jewish family in Russia in the middle of the Russian revolution. After watching Walt Disney Studios’s “Three Little Pigs” in 1933, he was driven towards the world of animation. In 1938, he got a job in the art department at Soyuzmultfilm, where he spent the rest of his career directing animations.

Khitruk’s first animation as director was Story of One Crime in 1962.

A significant portion of Khitruk’s animations often tackled the social aspects and issues of life in the Soviet Union. He also directed cartoons for children, and the most famous of his works were the Vinni Pukh animation trilogy, which is a Russian spin on A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh books. His version of the titular bear was drastically different aesthetically. Instead of being animated plush animals, the characters were designed to look as if they were actual living creatures, and Christopher Robin was noticeably absent in Khitruk’s version.

His last film was The Lion and the Bull in 1983, and in 1993, he established an animation school and studio called SHAR Studio along with famous Soviet animators Yuri Norstein, Andrey Khrzhanovsky and Eduard Nazarov.

Khitruk died at the age of 95 in Moscow on December 3, 2012.

Khitruk won numerous awards at several film festivals domestically and globally and was awarded several prestigious titles posthumously.

Family and early life


Khitruk married Maria Motruk, an animator who worked on most of Khitruk’s films, and they had a son, Andrey Khitruk. Motruk passed away in 1984.

Personal style


Story of One Crime established a new era of animation aesthetics and storytelling in Soviet Union animation, which before the animation’s release were largely imitations of Walt Disney cartoons.

References:


Bergan, Ronald. “Fyodor Khitruk obituary.” The Guardian, 2012.

Collier, Kevin Scott. “Russia’s ‘Winnie-the-Pooh’ Animated Series.” Cartoon Research, 2018.




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