Dinov, Todor

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DINOV, Todor

Animator. Nationality: Bulgarian. Born: Greece, 1919; grew up in Sofia, Bulgaria. Education: Studied art in Sofia; studied under Ivanov-Vano at the Institute of Motion Picture Arts, Moscow, two years. Career: Caricaturist and journalist; 1953—first animated film, Marko the Hero; 1969—directed first live-action film; taught visual communications, University of Sofia.

Films as Animator:


Junak Markos (Marko the Hero)


The Little Guardian Angel




Story of a Twig


The Lightning Conductor


Jealously; The Apple


The Daisy


Ikonostast (co-d live-action)


Prometheus XX


Chain Reaction


Lamjata (live-action)


Perpetual Motion


Baruten Bukvar (live-action)


The Rain of Paris


Grehut na Malitsa


By DINOV: articles—

Kinoiskustvo, vol. 19, no. 2, 1964.

Image et son (Paris), June/July 1971.

Cinema TV Digest, Spring 1973.

Bulgarian Film (Sofia), no.4, 1984.

On DINOV: articles—

Kinoiskustvo, vol. 19, no. 7, 1964.

Iskusstvo Kino (Moscow), no. 4, 1966.

Bulgarian Film (Sofia), no. 6, 1968.

Bulgarian Film (Sofia), no. 8, 1979.

Bulgarian Film (Sofia), no. 4, 1985.

Kino (Sofia), June 1994.

* * *

Todor Dinov is reputed to be the veteran of Bulgarian animation from its birth in the mid-1950s. He studied figurative art in Sofia in his formative years and was among the students selected to continue their studies in Moscow. There he found a place in the Institute of Motion Picture Arts where he learned his technique and approach to animation from the great Russian master, Ivanov-Vano for two years. Ivanov-Vano's influence has prevailed all through Dinov's life, though Dinov was able to expand his interests over a much broader field. He had a period in journalism, acted as a caricaturist for a local newspaper, and published satirical magazines. One of the later ones, A Propos, a collection of drawings and articles by well-known humorists, enjoyed an international success in 1983. Nevertheless, Dinov achieved his reputation through his animated films.

Dinov's first production, Marko the Hero, was made in the Sofia Animated Film Studio in 1953. While he understands how to appeal to the public, he never compromises his serious outlook and his belief that good will eventually overcome bad. He has also been consistent with his visual style. His work is graphically pleasing without being revolutionary and experimental beyond the reach of his audience. As the Bulgarian animation studio expanded and the second generation of animators emerged, including Donyo Donev and Stoyan Dukov (eventually they were known as the Three Big Ds), Dinov took time off to try his skills as scriptwriter and as director of live-action films, as so many animators have done when the opportunity arises. Possibly more than others of the former Eastern Bloc, Dinov has succeeded with some of his live films and has become established as one of the popular Bulgarian directors, as well as a supremely talented animator.

—John Halas