Book for Animation Gourmets
Midhat Ajanović, 2004, Animation and realism, Zagreb: Croatian Film Clubs’ Association.
When writing about a book of studies by Midhat Ajanović on animated film, Marušić points out the author’s literary talent and a small number of animated film specialists in the world. The expression realism Ajanović inventively uses as a catalyst of analysis, not as an introduction into dry theorizing. After introductory observations on the problem of realism in animated, feature and documentary film, Ajanović calls the worldview of Disney’s animated films realism, approaching the opus of a great American author with commendable measured tone. The author explains Zagreb School of Animated Film in the contexts of social and political lines of force and connects it directly to Central European context (the fact that Marušić does not agree with and claims that Dragić and Dovniković have a different source of humor and irony than Trnka and Švankmajer). In the chapter on Grierson, Ajanović comes to the phenomenon of National Film Board from Montreal, an institution that, by a combination of circumstances, had one of the most important influences on artistic animation self-confidence. Here we discover that animation on the American continent is in fact generated by the state, no matter how much we think of it as the area of absolute ’private’ initiative, and Marušić particularly likes Ajanović’s analysis of Canadian generation, the members of which are his friends (I. Patel, J. Weldon, L. Smith, C. Leaf...). But Marušić thinks that the most interesting chapter of this valuable book is the one in the genesis and rise of Japanese animated films, the only ones on the global market that successfully resist American market machinery.