newspaper No. 100 from December 28th 1946
The name of Walt Disney- the creator of the American trick-film
is well known. Also well known is the great significance of the trick film as a
means for entertainment, education and propaganda. Could not we also make trick films in
Bulgaria? One Bulgarian the teacher and artist from Sofia Todorov-Jarava- is trying
to do that. Our reporter met the invention of the Bulgarian Walt Disney
What type of films are mostly liked?
The Americans are very fond of the different types of polls. In the states there is
one special institute- GALLUP, which does polls of the public opinion on different
questions ant then publishes the results. At one such poll to the question:"What type
of films do you like most?", there was a rather unexpected answer. The movie-lovers
answered that they like best not the films by a famous director, but
trick-films by Walt Disney. Probably everyone, who has been to the cinema, has seen before
the showing of the main film, how the famous Disney characters-Mickey Mouse, Donald
Duck,etc.come to life on the big screen .
In Bulgaria, too are produced trick-films
Could trick films be also produced in Bulgaria? Certainly, says the Bulgarian Walt
Disney- Dimitar Todorov-Jarava, who has already achieved successful results in this field.
They say that Disney had huge studios, an army of painters and millions of dollars
capital, etc. The painter Todorov does not have all these things, but he has plenty of
ideas and zeal to work.
The essence of the work
" The first part of my work consists of making of a doll-my main
character" says the painter Todorov. "Lets say that I want to make a film
about a boy playing ball. I put the boy doll on a special stand and with the help of
springs and levers I can make real every movement. I take photos on the film reel of the
movement of the doll according to the screenplay. I put this reel onto a magnifying
projection apparatus and the obtained pictures in colour onto celluloid sheets (scripts) .
I take photos of the pictures on the celluloid sheets (scripts), placed over another
celluloid sheet (script), together with the décor at which the action takes place and
then again I take photos on the film reel. My trick film is already finished.
The studio of the Bulgarian Walt Disney
Our conversation takes place at the modest "studio" of the Bulgarian Walt
Disney. Black windows. On a small stage, on a special stand -a small doll, made of wood,
wire and fabric. A small camera, with which are taken photos of the dolls movement.
In a separate with carton small room- a table, on which the painter sketches the movements
of his character-the doll. The studio represents at the same time and the cinema hall in
which Todorov shows his pictures of the characters. In the darkness the only thing that
stands out is the small white screen. The Bulgarian Walt Disney starts spinning the
projection apparatus. The screen comes to life. The small duck is playing with the ball.
With the movement of the head and the neck the duck follows the ball and hits it with the
beam. On the film reel there is only the duck, there is no décor, because these are only
preliminary pictures of the doll. What is now to be done by the painter is the sketching
of the different movements and to give them flexibility. In such a way the movements shown
by pictures on celluloid will again be taken onto the film reel and the film will be
When coming out of the room-the studio, we notice an enclosed by carton smaller room
with a closed door.
"This is my secret- the secret of giving flexibility of the movements of my
characters" says the Bulgarian Walt Disney, smiling.
Did Walt Disney start his work like that ? Were Mickey Mouse ,Donald Duck and the
others characters from the trick-films born in such a cold room- "studio"?
Dimitar Todorov was born in Shoumen in 1901. He went to school in Yambol and later
entered the Academy of arts in Sofia. A teacher by profession. An illustrator of child
magazines for many years. How did the idea of making trick movies occur to him? In 1938 he
got a patent for one invention- paper film reel. Later came the idea to sketch on
celluloid sheets (scripts). The war stopped him from finishing the begun work .
2 500 photos and 1000 pictures
"Why do you first take photos of the movements of the doll and you dont
start sketching right away?"
"I think that also the American trick-films of Walt Disney are not done directly
from separate pictures, but the doll is used. In such a way is saved a lot of work"
continues the Bulgarian Walt Disney, "besides, the human hand could never exactly
reproduce the different movements of a character from a trick-film. For a 300m film, which
is shown for 15 min, I must to make around 2500 photos of the doll", goes on with his
explanations the painter. " Also necessary are another 1000 pictures to give the
final touch to some of the movements."
The future of the Bulgarian trick-film
So far the work of the painter-pioneer in this field are not left unnoticed.
Alexander Vazov- the chairman of the section for cinema at the Chamber of the national
culture, has approved Todorovs idea and has given him moral support and valuable
instructions . the management of the Chamber of the national culture is also benevolent
towards Todorov work and has granted him a modest material help. With loans from
here and there the diligent and inventive painter managed to make a "studio", if
we could call like that the simple, cold as a fridge room, where he sits for hours ,with
his coat on, sketching the different movements of his characters, which could maybe
tomorrow come alive on the screen. In order to finalize his first trick-film, the
Bulgarian Walt Disney needs 45 days, 4 painters for the making of all the pictures,
around 400 000 leva. Will he find all this? We think that he will. Maybe
the Bulgarian trick-film could not compete with the American one, but if it is
successfully produced, it could well serve as a means for education, propaganda, useful
activities and entertainment. The Bulgarian trick-film has a future. The beginning must be
The small screen, onto which are first shown the trick films. In the down corner one of
the "actors is watching with an great interest
The painter Todorov- Jarava at his working desk, putting the final touch to the
movements of his actors