A poetic view of Russian animation and of cultural and social transformations Russian society has been gone through. It is about multi faceted and humorous animation, almost never exposed to western eyes.


(as Masha Zur),


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Credited cast:
Garri Bardin ...
Iosif Boyarskiy ...
Fyodor Khitruk ...
Eduard Nazarov ...
Yuriy Norshteyn ...
Himself (as Yuri Norstein)
Aleksandr Tatarskiy ...
Masha Zur Glozman ...
Herself - Interviewer (as Masha Zur)


In 1935, three Walt Disney films were screened in Moscow. Fyodor Chytruk, then a young art student, saw these films and didn't believe his eyes; he was convinced that he had seen a miracle unfolding before him. What he didn't know was that one day he himself would become one of the greats of Russian animation. Through his personal story, we discover a magical art form that remained closed behind the Iron Curtain for decades. Compared to the other arts - especially literature and theater - the animated films, considered a children's art form, passed relatively easily through the strict censorship of the Soviet Union. Like all Soviet institutions, the animation studios Soyuzmultfilm enjoyed full government support, a fact that provided the artists with generous production budgets as well as distribution in 112,000 cinemas around the USSR. This situation allowed for the development of a tradition of animation style that was not only for children. Magia Russica moves between the sights ... Written by Yonathan Zur

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Release Date:

5 October 2004 (Israel)  »

Also Known As:

Волшебная Русь  »

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Did You Know?


Garry Bardin: If you are not a romantic, and you don't have a sense of humor, you have nothing to do in Russia.
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Features Tale of Tales (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

Finding Magia Russica
6 June 2010 | by (Monaco) – See all my reviews

I saw this film in an Animation Film festival a few years ago and thought it was excellent. I think its a very beautiful, heart warming, informative and intelligent documentary. I didn't know much about Russian Animation (though I was studying animation at that time) and it opened up for me a whole new world of beauty and wisdom. I tried to find it on DVD for a long time but it seemed to be unavailable. Lately i found the website of the film makers, where they are selling the DVD of this film. the website can be found by writing "ymfilms" (the company's name) in search engines. I saw that the first reviewer wrote that it is difficult to find a copy (and I also had a hard time finding it) so I thought it will be useful to comment that now its available.

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