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Hermína Týrlova


Director and animator Hermína Týrlová (1900-1993) is one of the most important figures of Czech animation of the second half of the 20th century. After ground-breaking beginnings in the inter-war era and in the early 1940s, she significantly contributed to the foundation of Czech animated film. She excelled in the ability to appeal to the world of the youngest audiences - her talent to tune in to children's fantasy places most of her work among internationally appraised treasures of world animation.

The so-called Czech school of animated film, represented also by the first films of Karel Zeman and Jiří Trnka, was from the start characterised by searching for new technological methods and new themes for artistic expression, by respect for the author’s style, and by drawing inspiration from the nation’s culture and art. In the first post-war years, these three personages became the pillar of Czech animation where they created good conditions for other puppet filmmakers.

Hermína Týrlová won her exceptional place in world animation thanks to the attention she paid to the emotional effect the material of the puppets and objects created, which she used as an important element of her artistic expression. The world of animated cloths, wool yarns, glass beads, and wooden toys and puppets inspires children’s imagination to this day. It appeals to audiences that have not yet lost their curiosity and enthusiasm to discover their surroundings. She tries to convince them that any small object can contain a story or become a hero. Anyone can bring it to life using playfulness and imagination. Most of Hermína Týrlová’s films are for the youngest children, and are full of almost naive kindness and smiles. The happy ending of every film contains a moral lesson: evil is punished, the rascal reforms, and the brave hero gets the princess or at least approval or recognition. Týrlová’s main objective was to appeal to children’s imagination through film. Her films still have this effect on most young viewers today, and that is sometimes more important than the ability to make children laugh.

Biography by Michaela Mertová, from the Národní filmový archiv