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The Socialization of a Bull?
The bizarre, utterly inventive film premiered in 1998. It wasn’t a major box-office success, but it was recognized by the critics, winning a prestigious Prešeren Fund Award and was recognized with a prize at the Leipzig Film Festival. Perhaps most significantly, The Socialization of a Bull? finally put Slovenia on the world map of animation. Foto: Emotionfilm
Zvonko Čoh
One of films’ authors, Zvonko Čoh, had worked on several animated shorts. Foto: Ziga Zivulovic jr./BoBo

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Slovenia’s Animation Duo

Slovenia Revealed
25. September 2017 ob 07:13
Ljubljana - MMC RTV SLO

Compared to many other post-Communist countries, including neighboring Croatia, Slovenia does not have a long tradition of animated films. But in 1998, when the Trey Parker - Matt Stone sensation South Park was sweeping the globe, another animator duo made history in Slovenia with an unusual and inventive cartoon titled The Socialization of a Bull?

One of films’ authors, Zvonko Čoh, had worked on several animated shorts. His creative partner, Milan Erič, was an accomplished artist who had worked with Čoh on an animated short in the early 1980s. At the end of the decade, the duo decided to tackle a more ambitious project: Slovenia’s first feature-length animated film. In the end, The Socialization of a Bull? took more than a decade to complete.

During the production process, Čoh and Erič were joined by Ivo Štandeker, a war correspondent and a comic strip enthusiast. His unique brand of humor added spice to as story set in a universe far, far away, where a medical accident causes a member of the royal family to undergo reverse evolution, turning him into a bull, who is then sent to Earth.

The production of the film was beset by trouble. The process itself was painstaking: some 20,000 images had to be drawn by hand, and the team had few assistants. Štandeker, who had helped with both the writing and the animation was killed in 1992 while covering the war in Bosnia. Financial difficulties even led the creators to add a question mark to the film’s working title – a bit of punctuation that was kept when the cartoon premiered.

The bizarre, utterly inventive film premiered in 1998. It wasn’t a major box-office success, but it was recognized by the critics, winning a prestigious Prešeren Fund Award and was recognized with a prize at the Leipzig Film Festival. Perhaps most significantly, The Socialization of a Bull? finally put Slovenia on the world map of animation.

Jaka Bartolj
Slovenia Revealed
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