In 1963, aspiring Japanese animator Kihachiro Kawamoto traveled from Japan to Prague to study stop motion animation under Czech animator Jiří Trnka’s direction. According to an interview for Midnight Eye, the young Kawamoto sent Trnka a letter “and waited for over 6 months” for the reply and an invitation to come to Prague to learn from Trnka. Kawamoto spent over a year in Czechoslovakia studying puppet animation at Trnka’s studio.
Trnka likewise influenced Jean Cocteau, Jan Švankmajer (who produced a couple of films for Trnka’s studio), and the Quay Brothers (who purportedly learned puppet animation technique from a couple of Trnka’s protégés). (more…)