[[caption-width-right:184:Holding a chicken is the ''least'' bizarre thing he ever did!]]

Jan Švankmajer (born September 4, 1934) is an internationally acclaimed and influential UsefulNotes/{{Czech|Republic}} animator and film director. His works are often surreal and make use of live-action, cut-outs, {{stop motion}}, claymation and puppet animation. He has both made short films and full length films.

Švankmajer works within national Czech(oslovakian) traditions such as fairy tales, puppet theatres and the surreal stories of Creator/FranzKafka and Creator/KarelCapek. His films are often strange, dark and disturbing, but also have a DarkComedy side to them. Still, they are highly original and the creativity is impressive. Because Švankmajer worked under the Communist regime his films remained unknown in the West until the 1980's. Even worse, the government banned him in 1972 from making films, and many of his later films were suppressed.

Since then, Švankmajer has been discovered and praised by film and animation fans alike. People like Creator/TerryGilliam, Creator/TimBurton and Creator/TheBrothersQuay have been influenced by his work. His best known film is probably ''Film/{{Alice}}'' (1988), which has become a cult classic and was reviewed by Oancitizen for ''WebVideo/BrowsHeldHigh''.

!! Among his films are:
* ''Film/{{Alice}}'' (1988)
* ''Faust'' (1994)
* ''Film/ConspiratorsOfPleasure'' (1996)
* ''Film/LittleOtik'' (2000)
* ''Lunacy'' (2005)
* ''Film/SurvivingLife'' (2010)

!!This animator/director's work provides examples of:

* AnimalMotif: Chickens.
* AnimateInanimateObject: The director often animates lifeless things or objects, especially animal skeletons and stuffed animals.
* AnthropomorphicFood: In the short ''Meat Love'' (1989), two pieces of meat romantically dance with each other, but are cooked anyway in the end.
* BigEater (and ExtremeOmnivore:) The two customers in the "Lunch" segment of ''Food'' are so starved that they eat everything in their vicinity.
** Also, Little Otik.
* BizarreTasteInFood: Creatures, animals and humans often devour strange inedible things, including each other.
** The central theme of the short ''Food''.
* BloodlessCarnage: ''Virile Game'' can be best described as soccer players killing each other in various violent yet bloodless ways.
* BodyHorror: Švankmajer often makes strange new biological creations in his stop motion animation of skeletons.
* TheCity / GhibliHills: Two of Švankmajer's most frequent exterior settings (although interior scenes are far more common.)
* [[StopMotion Claymation]]: One of the techniques he used.
* DerangedAnimation: Owns this trope!
* EatenAlive: A frequent theme.
* EatingShoes: Two customers in a restaurant in ''Food'' start eating everything in their vicinity, including their own shoes, because their waiter refuses to take their order.
* EatTheCamera: Švankmajer often use close-ups of human mouths, mostly when they are eating something or when they are narrating a story.
* ExtremeOmnivore: Everything will eat anything!
* FairyTaleMotifs: He derives many stories from Czechoslovakian folk tales.
* {{Faust}}: He adapted the story for his film ''Faust''.
* LeFilmArtistique
* IAteWhat?: In his short ''Food'', characters eat various things that in reality are unedible.
* ItKindOfLooksLikeAFace: Švankmajer likes constructing faces or otherwise human shapes with other objects, for instance stones and pebbles.
* MadeOfPlasticine: A lot of the violence in his works can be described this way, but ''Virile Games'' in particular shows faces getting smashed, mutilated, and splattered like they were made of clay (which they were, but still).
* MarionetteMotion: Various objects are animated in an often eerily unnatural way.
* MusicVideo: He animated the music video for Music/HughCornwell's "Another Kind of Love."
* PostModernism: There's a blurring line between reality and fiction in his entire oeuvre.
* ScaryTeeth: Objects, animals and humans with big, japing jaws full of teeth are omnipresent in his animation.
* StealthPun: ''Meat Love'' is about two uncooked pieces of steak having sex before being grilled. [[spoiler:It's a display of raw emotion]].
* StopMotion: His profession.
* SurrealHorror: Do we need to describe this?
* SurrealHumor: His most recent movie ''Film/SurvivingLife'' offer lots of examples of this.