510 pages of Finnish animation history is now in one volume and published in a party held in Helsinki on Thursday afternoon 16th of October in 2014.
Researcher, teacher, and animator herself also, Tuula Leinonen has done an enormous job in selecting and editing interviews, articles, pictures and other materials, to the brick size book. The book is published by the Aalto ARTS Books. Leinonen teaches at the Aalto University and next year she is going to finish her doctoral thesis on the same matter.
The book consists of ten chapters from early experiments to the computer era. The first chapter describes pioneer work by the cartoonist Eric Vasström to Holger Harriviita, who did animations with wooden puppets already in the 1940s war time. Commercial animation is presented by the early founders from St. Petersburg born Ernst Roose, who set up Vistakuva, to the Californian Bob Balder, that got invited to Helsinki to found FA-Animation.
Cut-out animations evoke nostalgia among the children of the 1960s and 1970s; the book covers those from early sketches to the more recent and extremely colorful imagery by Antonia Ringbom (centre in the picture left). Antonia still works on new animation projects, like clay animation expert Tuula Pukkila, puppeteer Katariina Lillqvist and Marjut Rimminen, who came to the publishing party from London, where she has made her animation career.
It is not only the animators who get credit in the book but also producers Claes Olsson (right in the picture left), educators and distributors. Even sound art gets its own chapter.
For the younger generation of animators the animation work does not necessarily mean freelancing endless hours with handicraft or hand-drawing. Those who have been educated in animation schools, that Finland has had many since the mid 1990s, there has been jobs offered by game companies. Rovio Entertainment alone has over one hundered full-time employees in its animation department making it one of the biggest animation studios in Northern Europe.