Aleksandr Ptushko  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Aleksandr Lukich Ptushko (Александр Лукич Птушко; April 19, 1900 in Lugansk, currently Ukraine--March 6, 1973 in Moscow, Russia) is a Soviet animation and fantasy film director. Ptushko is frequently (and somewhat misleadingly) 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. 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 (including the first feature-length animated film, and the first film in color), and would make several extremely popular and internationally praised films full of visual flair and spectacle.

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