for the first time!
Rembrandt Films is happy to announce the release on DVD of every NUDNIK cartoon ever made.
In 1958 William L. Snyder of Rembrandt Films convinced Gene Deitch to travel to Prague for three weeks to help finish a few of Snyder’s projects that needed an American touch. Yes, Prague Czechoslovakia in the heart of the Cold War. Gene had already made his name at UPA and Terrytoons, but this was something different. He had never even owned a passport.
Just before the nervous animator departed, Snyder told him, “There is a little girl there who you are going to love.” Little did Gene know how prescient that phrase would be, and that 10 days would turn into 55 years and counting.
But this is not about the love story between Gene and Zdenka; it is about their creation in the Kratky animation studio in Prague of the hapless hobo, NUDNIK.
Who and what is a NUDNIK you might ask? According to Gene, it is a word his mother used that he thought was funny. But to us it represents Murphy’s Law. Whatever can go wrong with NUDNIK, will go wrong. Whether it is shutting down the power of an entire city by flicking the wrong switch, or just getting gum stuck on his shoe, NUDNIK is a character we can’t take our eyes off of.
Although the NUDNIK cartoons, like NUDNIK himself, always seemed to fall short of stardom, he was given a standing ovation at the animation festival in Annecy, France, and the first episode was nominated for an Academy Award. NUDNIK is Gene’s favorite creation, and he has a lot to choose from. He directed everything from the Oscar-winning animated short, Munro, to Popeye and Tom and Jerry cartoons, to films based on award-winning children’s books like Where the Wild Things Are. He is also the creator of the iconic cartoon series, Tom Terrific.
But NUDNIK remains Gene’s masterpiece. NUDNIK Revealed!, in both book form and this new DVD, is the unveiling of every NUDNIK cartoon ever produced and then some – all preceded by explanations from Gene about their creation. The films reveal Gene Deitch at his gag-creating best and demonstrate his brilliance with a pen. They also include an unforgettable blues score.
NUDNIK is unique; hapless and heart-wrenching in a way you can’t help but adore. When everything else is going wrong in life, NUDNIK is there to show you it can always be worse.