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Old 02-08-2020, 07:49 AM
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Best European cartoons.


Usually, when people talk about animation, they either talk about American cartoons or anime. But what about Europe? Surely, Europe has put out some good cartoons as well.

What are the best European cartoons? Either shows or movies is fine.
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Old 02-08-2020, 08:33 AM
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I love Russian animation. I think it started when I saw the movie The Little Humpback Horse on television years ago.

Here it is in Russian. The one I saw was dubbed, with Jim Backus providing the voice for the king.

Then I saw Ballerina on the Boat, which is also charming, but animated in a different style. Loved this one, too.
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Old 02-08-2020, 08:42 AM
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Does claymation count? Aardman Animations and their movies are quite well-known, and not only in Europe.
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Old 02-08-2020, 08:44 AM
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Does claymation count? Aardman Animations and their movies are quite well-known, and not only in Europe.
I know them from the Angry Kid series. It used to be on Atomfilms.
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Old 02-08-2020, 09:17 AM
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The Secret of Kells
Song of the Sea
The Breadwinner
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Old 02-08-2020, 09:49 AM
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Fantastic Planet. I think I saw it 3 times when it came out. I was 11 and I was amazed that animation was being used to tell a serious story.
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Old 02-08-2020, 09:55 AM
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I love Russian animation. I think it started when I saw the movie The Little Humpback Horse on television years ago.

Here it is in Russian. The one I saw was dubbed, with Jim Backus providing the voice for the king.

Then I saw Ballerina on the Boat, which is also charming, but animated in a different style. Loved this one, too.
Don't forget Three from Prostokvashino !
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Old 02-08-2020, 10:00 AM
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The Asterix cartoons from France.

Russian cartoons are indeed very good. There's a series called Prostokvashino that I used to watch with my daughter when she was little. The writing was clever and very funny, enough for both children and adults to enjoy.
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Old 02-08-2020, 10:22 AM
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There was an afternoon PBS show in the late 1970s called International Festival of Film. At least half of the content seemed to be European and its those shorts from two now extinct countries that made the greatest impact on me; Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia. The ones from Zagreb Studios were particularly memorable. If anyone can find a video of [I][Homo Augens/I] online, please post a link here. I haven’t seen it in over 40 years and it still gives me nightmares.
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Old 02-08-2020, 11:25 AM
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Two great ones from France:

The Painting where the characters in an unfinished painting are alive and go seeking the artist to finish it up. Here's the trailer. Visually beautiful.

Phantom Boy, about a boy with the ability to leave his body and who helps bring down an evil crime lord. Trailer
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Old 02-08-2020, 11:51 AM
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Elmer J. Fudd,

The cartoon short that you mention (Homo Augens) was in a TV series called International Festival of Animation, not International Festival of Film. Maybe you have been looking for the wrong title for the series. Perhaps you can find a videotape or DVD or something for the entire series somewhere rather than just that one cartoon. It looks like there are many other good cartoons in the series.
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Old 02-08-2020, 11:59 AM
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Elmer J. Fudd,

The cartoon short that you mention (Homo Augens) was in a TV series called International Festival of Animation, not International Festival of Film. Maybe you have been looking for the wrong title for the series. Perhaps you can find a videotape or DVD or something for the entire series somewhere rather than just that one cartoon. It looks like there are many other good cartoons in the series.
Yeah, I just had a brain fart when I typed that. Here is the closest thing to series guide I’ve been able to find:
https://m.imdb.com/review/rw3012541/?ref_=m_tt_urv
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Old 02-08-2020, 12:13 PM
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The Triplets of Belleville is an animated French movie from 2003 that was nominated for a best animated feature Oscar (Finding Nemo won that year). It's about a woman who raised her grandson to become a bicycle racer. When he's kidnapped during the Tour de France, she goes on a mission to rescue him. Very funny, stands up to repeat viewings.

A Town Called Panic - Belgian stop-motion animation where all of the characters are plastic toys. The three main characters are a cowboy named "Cowboy," an Indian named "Indian," and a horse named "Horse," all of whom share a house in the countryside. Of the three, Horse is the adult. This movie is full of manic, over-the-top action. The most-repeated line in the movie is, "Oh, no!" Very silly and very funny.
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Old 02-08-2020, 12:18 PM
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No love for Allegro Non Troppo?
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Old 02-08-2020, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by teela brown View Post
I love Russian animation. I think it started when I saw the movie The Little Humpback Horse on television years ago.

Here it is in Russian. The one I saw was dubbed, with Jim Backus providing the voice for the king.

Then I saw Ballerina on the Boat, which is also charming, but animated in a different style. Loved this one, too.
My favorite Eastern block cartoon is Worker And Parasite .
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Old 02-08-2020, 01:21 PM
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My favorite Eastern block cartoon is Worker And Parasite .
I'll just assume you mean "Nu, pogodi..."
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Old 02-08-2020, 02:08 PM
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It always seems to me like stop-motion animation used to be a really big thing in Eastern Europe, probably because I remember stuff like for example the czech TV series The Octopuses from the Second Floor that featured life action combined with somewhat spooky stop-motion octopods.

One of the famous names of czech stop-motion was movie director and animator Hermína Týrlová.

Here is a link to one of her short movies, "Little Blue Apron":
https://ulozto.cz/file/DSMP4TZXu/blu...o-language-avi

Last edited by Sandwood; 02-08-2020 at 02:09 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 02-08-2020, 02:27 PM
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No love for Allegro Non Troppo?
Ah, bellissimo!

"Frisney did THIS????"
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Old 02-08-2020, 03:52 PM
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I grew up watching Il était une fois…,
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Old 02-08-2020, 05:03 PM
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I grew up watching Il était une fois…,
Me too! I loved it as a child and continued to watch when I was a teenager, although it was targeted at kids. Learned a lot from it.
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Old 02-08-2020, 05:13 PM
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TinTin.

When The Wind Blows. The Plague Dogs. The Animals of Farthing Wood. Watership Down. Danger Mouse. SuperTed. Bananaman.

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Does claymation count? Aardman Animations and their movies are quite well-known, and not only in Europe.
If we're doing claymation, Pingu. And, of course, The Magic Roundabout.
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Old 02-08-2020, 05:57 PM
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If we're counting claymation, and if we're counting the UK as part of Europe, I think The Tree Officer counts. (The youtube version is kind of low-res, but the wit and attitude of the film shines through.)

Jan Svankmajer's work is freakily awesome. Here are some examples of his short films:

Lunch

Et Cetera

Dimensions of Dialogue


There's this series of animations of Hungarian folk tales that have some cool animation. Here's one of those videos: The Pussycat Princess.

Last edited by Scribble; 02-08-2020 at 05:59 PM.
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Old 02-08-2020, 06:52 PM
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... and if we're counting the UK as part of Europe...
Last time I checked, the UK wasn't its own continent yet, so yes we do.
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Old 02-08-2020, 07:16 PM
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TinTin.

When The Wind Blows. The Plague Dogs. The Animals of Farthing Wood. Watership Down. Danger Mouse. SuperTed. Bananaman.



If we're doing claymation, Pingu. And, of course, The Magic Roundabout.
...The Snowman, Father Christmas, the Waterbabies, Shaun the Sheep, Willo the Wisp... There's loads and loads of British animation.

Good calls.

I'd particularly recommend The Plague Dogs, though not if you've recently lost a pet and don't want to cry. Watership Down is a true classic, though I guess not everyone's seen it yet (and of course there was a remake recently).

When the Wind Blows is one of the best films made about nuclear war. Very gentle, but again not to be watched unless you want a bit of a downer.

Recently, I'd recommend the various Julia Donaldson adaptations, such as The Highway Rat and The Gruffalo. They're based on books that every parent of a child in the UK aged up to about 25 will know, and many grandparents and the kids too, of course, and they're gorgeous. They're made by Magic Light Pictures in London and some of them have been nominated for Oscars. I don't know how successful the books were in the US, but they are very good, and the adaptations seem to appeal to little kids and their families.

Another good London studio makes Sarah and Duck. Don't judge it by the first picture you see, because the characters themselves are animated in a very simple way, but the backgrounds are luscious, like a work of art, and the stories are bizarre.

There's also The Mysterious Cities of Gold, which was a Franco-Japanese production and looks like anime. It was HUGE among 80s kids in England. Might not count since it doesn't see particularly European, but it was great, so I'm going to include it anyway.

Poland is a hotbed for animation, but a lot of it is really weird (or they work for major studios and don't get credited as a European production). I'd have to ask my daughter for recommendations.

On a different tack, one very old German/British animator I love is Lotte Reiniger, who was one of the pioneers of silhouette animation. Here's an example from 1955.
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Old 02-08-2020, 07:19 PM
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TinTin.

When The Wind Blows. The Plague Dogs. The Animals of Farthing Wood. Watership Down. Danger Mouse. SuperTed. Bananaman.



If we're doing claymation, Pingu. And, of course, The Magic Roundabout.
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Last time I checked, the UK wasn't its own continent yet, so yes we do.
British animations tend to be more likely to have already been seen in the US, though, so although I took the chance to big up some shows and films I like, I'm not sure if they're what the OP was going for. I mean, it's not like he's unlikely to have heard of Wallace and Gromit, for example.

(I'm not actually a big animation fan, but my daughter, who's 21 and an animation student, is, so I've watched a lot).
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Old 02-08-2020, 07:53 PM
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I just remembered a sweet one: Ernest & Celestine.
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Old 02-08-2020, 08:04 PM
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Last time I checked, the UK wasn't its own continent yet, so yes we do.
I've known people in the UK to use the term "Europe" to refer to that set of countries on the western part of the Eurasian continent, mainland only, so not including the UK. I could imagine a British doper saying, "Hey! This thread is about European animation. Why are people bringing up stuff from my country?"

Last edited by Scribble; 02-08-2020 at 08:06 PM.
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Old 02-08-2020, 08:13 PM
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Masha and the Bear, a Russian cartoon that's very popular.
https://www.youtube.com/user/MashaBearEN
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Old 02-08-2020, 08:16 PM
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I just remembered an older animated series that my Italian roomie really loved:

La Linea by Osvaldo Cavandoli.

Very well-known in Italy of course, but around the 1980s and 1990s it was also used by TV networks in other countries around the world as a sort of filler in between their regular shows and movies because the episodes are quite short.

La Linea - Episode 1 (YouTube)

Last edited by Sandwood; 02-08-2020 at 08:18 PM. Reason: fixed link
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Old 02-08-2020, 08:30 PM
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Some international classics from my childhood:

Barbapapa (French)

Mr. Rossi Looks For Happiness (Italian, the music was great)

Calimero (Italian)
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Old 02-09-2020, 12:19 AM
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There's also The Mysterious Cities of Gold, which was a Franco-Japanese production and looks like anime. It was HUGE among 80s kids in England. Might not count since it doesn't see particularly European, but it was great, so I'm going to include it anyway.
[/url]
Loved MCoG when I was a kid, but it is definitely anime. The French half of the production mostly provided a) money and b) the basic plot/story (it was loosely based on a French book). All the key production staff were Japanese and the show was produced and aired in Japan before it was dubbed/edited for French TV.

However, MCoG was such a hit in France, that about ten years ago, an all-French production team made a SEQUEL. I've seen clips on YouTube, but I don't think it's ever been released in English.
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Old 02-09-2020, 02:57 AM
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Masha and the Bear, a Russian cartoon that's very popular.
https://www.youtube.com/user/MashaBearEN
Masha is the Russian equivalent of Goldilocks.

Back in the '90s I had some videos of The Flumps (UK) that my daughter loved to watch. My nephew in Moscow (age 2) now loves Bob the Builder (also UK). I suspect he'll learn to speak English with a British accent.
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Old 02-09-2020, 02:59 AM
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My daughter is a genuine bilingual. She grew up with English animated series that were not translated into Romanian. When she was about 3 years old, for example, she watched The Secret Show, a British production. It did not run in Romania, but I bought all the DVDs I could find.
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Old 02-09-2020, 03:24 AM
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My daughter is a genuine bilingual. She grew up with English animated series that were not translated into Romanian. When she was about 3 years old, for example, she watched The Secret Show, a British production. It did not run in Romania, but I bought all the DVDs I could find.
My bilingual daughter learned English from me and a Canadian nanny, so she's always spoken it with a North American accent. But she was always very sensitive to other ones (I used to teach at a language school where a lot of the teachers were from the UK and Ireland). At home, we always listened to the BBC World Service and she would ask me things like "Why does she say 'cah' instead of 'car'?" and "What does 'meah' mean?" (As in "Arnold Schwartzenegger went from being a meah [mere] body builder to Governor of California.")
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Old 02-09-2020, 03:35 AM
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My nephew's parents are Russian, but they both speak excellent English with just a trace of an accent. I wish learning Russian had been as easy for me as learning English is going to be for him.

Until she came to live with me at 2 1/2 (at the request of her mother, who was caring for her diabetic father), my daughter spoke Russian almost exclusively. She understood English because I had always spoken it to her, but she could hardly speak it at all.

At the end of two months, she spoke English perfectly. It was like talking to another adult.
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Old 02-09-2020, 12:50 PM
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Recently, I'd recommend the various Julia Donaldson adaptations, such as The Highway Rat and The Gruffalo. They're based on books that every parent of a child in the UK aged up to about 25 will know, and many grandparents and the kids too, of course, and they're gorgeous. They're made by Magic Light Pictures in London
Note that not all of them are "made in London"- some are made in South Africa.
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Old 02-09-2020, 08:10 PM
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Loved MCoG when I was a kid, but it is definitely anime. The French half of the production mostly provided a) money and b) the basic plot/story (it was loosely based on a French book). All the key production staff were Japanese and the show was produced and aired in Japan before it was dubbed/edited for French TV.

However, MCoG was such a hit in France, that about ten years ago, an all-French production team made a SEQUEL. I've seen clips on YouTube, but I don't think it's ever been released in English.
I've seen the 2012 MCOG in English (we have the DVD, but I don't know if there's an American DVD version). Wikipedia claims it was made in England, which surprises me. The 2016 season was made in France but has been released in English too. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_My...2012_TV_series)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_My...2012_TV_series)

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Note that not all of them are "made in London"- some are made in South Africa.
Magic Light Pictures also claim they made The Highway Rat and the others on that page (so does Wikipedia) and say that they're a British company. Confusing. Maybe they were a co-production. https://www.magiclightpictures.com/
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Old 02-10-2020, 05:25 AM
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Magic Light Pictures also claim they made The Highway Rat and the others on that page (so does Wikipedia) and say that they're a British company. Confusing. Maybe they were a co-production. https://www.magiclightpictures.com/
They're the main production company, so they paid for it and made production decisions, probably some editing. But the actual animation work for the ones done by Triggerfish was done locally. I know this because some of those animators are my friends or acquaintances. The Environment Supervisor for Highway Rat/CG Supervisor for Zog was in my AfrikaBurn camp, for instance.

Last edited by MrDibble; 02-10-2020 at 05:29 AM.
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Old 02-10-2020, 05:36 AM
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The Wikipedia article on Triggerfish lists all their TV specials as "for Magic Light Pictures". You decide whether that means they're British or South African or both. I consider them "made in South Africa", myself, as that's where the animation was done.
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Old 02-11-2020, 01:11 PM
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They're the main production company, so they paid for it and made production decisions, probably some editing. But the actual animation work for the ones done by Triggerfish was done locally. I know this because some of those animators are my friends or acquaintances. The Environment Supervisor for Highway Rat/CG Supervisor for Zog was in my AfrikaBurn camp, for instance.
My daughter knows some of the Magic Light people, and I'm fairly sure they did do some of the animation. I'd consider it to belong to both countries, really.
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Old 02-11-2020, 04:30 PM
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The English-translated version of The Snow Queen stuck with me for years after catching it on TV as a young lad in the early '70s.
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