The death of director-animator Leonid Shvartsman has been announced by Soyuzmultfilm’s press department.
He passed away at the age of 102.
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The reason for death is being investigated, but no information on the time of death has been released.
He is credited with creating Cheburashka’s visual appearance because he sculpted and animated the figure himself.
Shvartsman is well-liked in the United States and Europe, and he even has a cult following in Japan as the creator of the character. Hayao Miyazaki stated that he began animating again after seeing his work on The Snow Queen.
Vladimir Putin recognized him in a letter on his 100th birthday as a patriarch of the school of national animation and a guy with an unusual skill. He celebrated his 100th birthday in Moscow, and the animation studio where he had worked for years congratulated him.
He was 102.