Riga animation studios

23 avril 2004
01m 44s
Ref. 00319


Summary :

The "Riga Film Production" animation studio produces cartoons in collaboration with France and Belgium. He's the one that produced most of Michel Ocelot's film "Kirikou and the Sorceress" as well as Sylvain Chomet's "The Triplets of Belleville".

Media type :
Broadcast date :
23 avril 2004
Source :


The rich tradition of Latvian animation, has for a long time been represented by the director and scriptwriter Arnolds Burovs (1915-2006), who animated image by image, since 1966, puppets and figurines (Cosette, 1977, The Little Brother, 1987). His heirs of studio AB, like Nils Skapans or Janis Cimermanis, the director of Rescue Team (1992) and the Three Musketeers (2005), picked up the torch with the same demands for quality.

On the cartoon side, it's the Rija studios that dominate, giving us film-makers like Vladimir Lesciov (Insomnia, 2004) and introducing, thanks to the producer Vilnis Kalnaellis, a policy of collaboration with French teams. This was translated into the exceptional critical and public success of films like Kirikou and the Sorceress (Michel Ocelot, 1998) and Les Triplettes de Belleville (Sylvain Chomet, 2003). The use of Latvian artists was more a financial than artistic logic, since the use of Eastern European or Asian artists allowed the reduction of production costs.

Thierry Méranger


Catherine Matausch
One week away from the entrance into the European Union of ten new countries, our stop today, in Latvia, a small country that's very dynamic. An illustration, Pascal Verdeau and Tahar Nasri help us discover the studios that are famous for having created "The Triplets of Belleville", a much talked about animated film.
Pascal Verdeau
He's a hurried young man, fragile like a comic strip character, who manages an exceptional troop of cartoonists.
Vilnis Kalnaellis
Here's the room where we create the animations of our cartoons.
Pascal Verdeau
A former beaux-arts student, Vilnis has relied on meticulous know-how to which he's contributed a modern touch, 3D animation. But also a bit of unrestrained fantasy and imagination. The result: successful coproductions with Belgium and France and a cult film.
Vilnis Kalnaellis
It remains one of our greatest works, and a tremendous job with French film-maker Michel Ocelot.
Pascal Verdeau
Ninety percent of these drawings were made in the Riga studios, a harmonious coproduction where knowledge was shared.
Vilnis Kalnaellis
Michel Ocelot has brought us more rigour in the drawings since he comes from an academic school that doesn't exist here. Each month, he verifies our work. He was a good teacher and I think he was proud of us.
Pascal Verdeau
From "Kirikou and the Sorceress" to "The Triplets of Belleville", the Riga studios are part of the great tradition of cartoons, but also of cinema in general. The great Einsenstein was a native of Riga.