Melnitsa Animation Studio

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Melnitsa Animation Studio
Industry Animation
Motion pictures
Founded 1999; 18 years ago (1999)
Headquarters Saint Petersburg, Russia
Products Animated films
Number of employees
325 (2014)

Melnitsa Animation Studio (Russian: Студия анимационного кино «Мельница», "melnitsa" meaning "windmill") is one of the largest animation studios in Russia. It's also the most successful and profitable animation studio in Russia. Deutsche Welle called the studio the Walt Disney of Saint Petersburg.[1] Alongside its animation projects, Melnitsa has an effort devoted to creating digital special effects for both animation projects and live-action films.


The studio traces its roots to several animated projects in the late 1990s, including television commercials, the short film Die Hard by Konstantin Bronzit (Grand Prix of the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, 1998), and the animated series "Global Bears Rescue" and "Technology", created for Poseidon Film Distributors Ltd.

In 1999, Melnitsa was formally established with backing from STV Film Company's Sergey Seliyanov and led by Aleksandr Boyarskiy.[2] STV Film Company retains a 50% share of the studio.[3] The newly formed studio's first project was Adventures in Oz (Приключения в Изумрудном Городе) for NTV-film (НТВ-кино), a four-part animation released in 2000.

In 2001, Melnitsa released its first 3D-animated project - the short film Good Morning (С добрым утром) by Denis Chernov. In 2002 Melnitsa released two short films by the famous animator and director Konstantin Bronzit: There Was an Old Lady for Scholastic Entertainment and the 3D-animated film The God (winner of a number of international festival awards).[citation needed]

In 2000, Melnitsa began work on the feature-length animated film Little Longnose (Карлик Нос) directed by Ilya Maksimov, based on the fairy tale of Wilhelm Hauff. The film premiered on March 20, 2003, reportedly becoming one of the first Russian animated feature film released to theatres in nearly 40 years.[4]

On December 23, 2004, the feature film Alyosha Popovich and Tugarin Zmey (Алёша Попович и Тугарин Змей) was released, directed by Konstantin Bronzit. The film was completed on a $4 million budget, and took in about $1.7 million at the box office.[5][6] This marked the beginning of Melnitsa's "The Three Bogatyrs" trilogy, and two more films were planned over the next several years.

On January 2005, at the 10th Open Russian Festival of Animated Film in Suzdal, the new short film by Konstantin Bronzit premiered, called Cat and Fox (Кот и Лиса). Work on it had been finished in November 2004.[citation needed] Bronzit's film, based on a national Russian tale, was part of the huge government-sponsored project by Moscow-based Pilot studio called "Gora Samotsvetov" (Гора самоцветов)[1]. The project, when complete, will consist of 52 13-minute films based on fairy tales from all of Russia's nationalities.

On March 15, 2006, the second film in the "3 Bogatyrs" trilogy was released, called Dobrynya Nikitich and Zmey Gorynych (Добрыня Никитич и Змей Горыныч), directed by Ilya Maksimov. It came on the heels of the animated blockbuster Prince Vladimir, which was released on February 22, 2006.

Luntik, an animated series launched in 2007, gathered a total of over 2 billion views on YouTube.[7]

The third film in the trilogy, Ilya Muromets and Nightingale the Robber (Илья Муромец и Соловей Разбойник), was released on July 7, 2007, grossing $10 million on a $2 million budget and setting a record for Russia's domestic animation industry,[8] later surpassed by the studio's Three Heroes on Distant Shores earning $26 million in 2012.[9] The 2013 film Three Warriors On Far Shores again established a new record for Russian animation, grossing $31.5 million.[7] The release of Krepost in 2015 led to some controversy in Poland, as it depicted a 17th century battle between Russian and Polish armies.[10]

The studio's 2007 short film Lavatory – Lovestory was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film, followed by a nomination for We Can't Live Without Cosmos in the same category during the 88th Academy Awards in 2016.[11]


Short Film[edit]

Year Production
2015 We Can't Live Without Cosmos
2007 Lavatory Lovestory
2003 The God

Full length[edit]

Year Title cartoon Director Author(s) script Production Designer Budget Fees
2003 «Little Longnose (Карлик Нос)» Ilya Maksimov Aleksander Boyarsky Aleksandra Averianova $2,5 million $569 837
2004 «Alyosha Popovich and Tugarin Zmey» Konstantin Bronzit Aleksander Boyarsky
Maksim Sveshnikov
Ilya Maksimov
Konstantin Bronzit
Ol'ga Ovinnikova $4 million $1 730 000
2006 «Dobrynya Nikitich and Zmey Gorynych» Ilya Maksimov Aleksander Boyarsky
Maksim Sveshnikov
Ilya Maksimov
Ol'ga Ovinnikova $4,5 million $3 620 000
2007 «Ilya Muromets and Solovey-Razboinik» Vladimir Toropchin Aleksander Boyarsky
Maksim Sveshnikov
Ol'ga Ovinnikova
Oleg Markelov
$2 million $9 739 679
2008 «The Tale of Soldier Fedot, The Daring Fellow» Lyudmila Steblyanko Lyudmila Steblyanko
Roman Smorodin
Anastasia Vasil'eva $2 586 097
2010 «Three heroes and Shamahanskaya queen» Sergey Glezin Alexander Boyarsky
Ol'ga Nikiforova
Ol'ga Ovinnikova
Elena Lavrent'eva
Oleg Markelov
$2,5 million $19 010 585
2011 «Ivan Tsarevich and the Grey Wolf» Vladimir Toropchin Alexander Boyarsky Marina Kudryavtseva $3 million $24 830 497
2012 «Three heroes on distant shores» Konstantin Feoktistov Alexander Boyarsky Lidiya Savina $3,5 million $31 505 876
2013 «Ivan Tsarevich and the Grey Wolf 2» Vladimir Toropchin Vladimir Toropchin
Alexander Boyarsky
Svetlana Sachenko
Svetlana Degtyarёva $20 962 988
2015 «Three heroes. Horse Course» Konstantin Feoktistov Alexander Boyarsky
Svetlana Sachenko
Svetlana Degtuarёva $3,5 million $19 390 136
«Krepost(Fortress)» Konstantin Feoktistov Alexander Boyarsky Oleg Markelov $1 176 906
2016 «Ivan Tsarevich and the Grey Wolf 3» Vladimir Toropchin $10 271 463
2017 «Three Heroes and the King of the Sea» Konstantin Feoktistov Aleksander Boyarsky
Svetlana Sachenko
Alena Tabunova
$4 $14 134 274
2017 « Fantastic Journey to OZ » Vladimir Toropchin Aleksander Boyarsky
Darina Shmidt
Anatolii Sokolov $3 068 073

In Production[edit]

Full length[edit]

Year Title cartoon Director Author(s) script Production Designer Start of production
2017 «Three Heroes and the Princess of Egypt[12]» Konstantin Feoktistov

Serial cartoons[edit]

Title cartoon Start of production Information
ru:Приключения Лунтика и его друзей
Since August 2014 In production 8 season

Serial cartoons[edit]

Year Title cartoon Directed by of the animated series The main authors of the script (as at 2014) Production Designer Number of seasons Number of series
2005—present «Luntik»
ru:Приключения Лунтика и его друзей
Darina Shmidt Darina Shmidt
Fёdor Dmitriev
Elena Galdobina
Mariya Domogatskaya
Anna Sosnora
Alexandr Mal'gin
Svetlana Sachenko
Tatiana Gorbushina
Marina Komarkevich (1-2 seasons)
Tatiana Klein (2-6 seasons)
Irina Fёdorova (5-6 seasons)
Vita Tkachёva (7 seasons: series 2012)
Ekaterina Maksimenko (since 7 seasons)
7, in production 8 season 440+
2011—2012; 2014 «Unbeatables» Elena Galdobina Elena Galdobina
Fёdor Dmitriev
Anna Sosnora
Tatiana Gorbushina
Alexandra Shoha
Ludmila Steblyanko (1-100 series)
Alesya Barsukova (90-129 series)
Marina Makarova (since 130 series)
2 142

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Walt Disney of Saint Petersburg". Deutsche Welle. March 22, 2016. Retrieved March 31, 2017. 
  2. ^ Giannalberto Bendazzi (6 November 2015). Animation: A World History: Volume III: Contemporary Times. CRC Press. p. 194. ISBN 978-1-317-51988-1. 
  3. ^ "Мультяшки на миллиард: кто зарабатывает на героях российских мультфильмов". РБК. Retrieved 4 April 2017. 
  4. ^ "Alosha Breaks Toon Records in Russia". Animation Magazine. 11 February 2005. Retrieved 4 April 2017. 
  5. ^ "Алеша Попович и Тугарин Змей — кассовые сборы — КиноПоиск". КиноПоиск (in Russian). Retrieved 4 April 2017. 
  6. ^ Birgit Beumers (2011). Directory of World Cinema: Russia. Intellect Books. p. 269. ISBN 978-1-84150-372-1. 
  7. ^ a b "Russian Animation Rises From Ashes of 1990s". Moscow Times. Retrieved 4 April 2017. 
  8. ^ "Is Russian ani ready to rise? Stay tooned". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 4 April 2017. 
  9. ^ Barraclough, Leo (8 September 2014). "Russian Cinema: Toon Boom Echoes, But Not Far Enough". Variety. Retrieved 4 April 2017. 
  10. ^ "Rosjanie przygotowali kolejną antypolską produkcję. Tym razem indoktrynują dzieci". (in Polish). Retrieved 4 April 2017. 
  11. ^ "Russian cartoon competing for Oscars". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 4 April 2017. 
  12. ^ "Three Heroes and the Princess of Egypt". CTB. Retrieved March 31, 2017. 

External links[edit]