Aleksandr Ptushko

Apr 19, 1900 - Mar 6, 1973

Aleksandr Lukich Ptushko was a Soviet animation and fantasy film director, and Meritorious Artist of the RSFSR. Ptushko is frequently referred to as "the Soviet Walt Disney," due to his prominent early role in animation in the Soviet Union, though a more accurate comparison would be to Willis O'Brien or Ray Harryhausen. Some critics, such as Tim Lucas and Alan Upchurch, have also compared Ptushko to Italian filmmaker Mario Bava, who made fantasy and horror films with similarities to Ptushko's work and made similarly innovative use of color cinematography and special effects. He began his film career as a director and animator of stop-motion short films, and became a director of feature-length films combining live-action, stop-motion, creative special effects, and Russian mythology. Along the way he would be responsible for a number of firsts in Russian film history, and would make several extremely popular and internationally praised films full of visual flair and spectacle.
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