Czech Animator Zdenek Smetana Dies at 90

Courtesy of ANIFILM.CZ

He had 400 films to his name, including four feature-length pics.

Zdenek Smetana, a prominent Czech animation director, died Thursday in Prague. He was 90.

Smetana died of a longtime undisclosed illness, his family told the local news agency CTK.

He was born in Prague in 1925 and began working in animation as part of the group Bratri v triku in the mid-1940s.

In the early 1960s, Smetana worked on several episodes of the Tom and Jerry franchise, directed by Gene Deitch at Prague studio Rembrandt Films.

Smetana had 400 films to his name, including four feature-length pics. In his native country, he was mostly known for the long-running TV show Vecernícek, which focused on cartoon bedtime stories for children.

Smetana's films won over 50 festival awards, including the jury prize at Cannes for his 1980 animated short Krychle (Cubes).

Two years ago, he received a lifetime achievement award at the Czech animated film festival Anifest.

Smetana gradually scaled down his animation work in the late 1980s, focusing more on graphic art.

 

 

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