Anatoly Prokhorov, a key figure in commercial and auteur-driven Russian animation since the 1980s, died from leukemia on Sunday. He was 72.
In recent decades, Prokhorov found global success as the creator of Kikoriki (known as Smeshariki in Russia), a kids’ animated series that proved a hit in its home country and abroad. The show, which was chiefly Flash-animated, inspired three cg features and a range of other spin-offs. Episodes have been broadcast in the U.S. on the network The CW, under the name GoGoRiki.
But Kikoriki is only one part of an unusually rich and varied legacy. As a creator and producer, Prokhorov was equally influential in mainstream and auteur animation; as a critic and public intellectual, he would theorize about the differences between the two.