Surogat (The Substitute)

In 1961, a cartoon by Dušan Vukotić entitled Surogat (The Substitute) was released. This short, seemingly simple film was made in modest conditions at the Zagreb Film Cartoon Studio, but it nevertheless achieved great success.

In the 1960s, the world's leading cartoonists such as Disney created films of superior aesthetic quality. However, Surogat suddenly appeared in Croatia, a two-dimensional film in which geometric shapes such as squares, circles and triangles predominate. Surogat showed that aesthetics is not the most important component of a cartoon, but that the message is what viewers should focus on.

The film shows a triangular man coming to the beach where he simply blows everything he needs - from a beach ball to a real living partner. Hence the name of the film - the word surrogate (Surogat) means a replacement, or a substitute for something real, authentic. Surogat was created at a time when surrogates began to appear en masse in the world, that is, products similar to the original, but of lower quality and lower prices. The film is also said to have "predicted a time when the line between reality and a virtual surrogate for reality is being lost".

Surogat was the first animated film outside the United States to be awarded the Oscar for Best Cartoon, and Dušan Vukotić, along with Branko Lustig, is the only Croatian director to be awarded an Oscar. Apart from the Oscars, the film has been awarded numerous other prizes at film festivals in San Francisco, Cork, Belgrade, Bergamo and elsewhere, and holds the title of the most awarded film produced in Croatia to this day.

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