Soyuzmultfilm (Союзмультфи́льм) is a Russian animation studio now owned by the Ministry for Culture of Russia. It was the largest and most influential animation studio of the Soviet Union
's existence and has made at least 1500 animated films or shorts. Soyuzmultfilm was also noted for its variety of animation styles.
It was founded in 1936 as Soyuzdetmultfilm but was renamed to Soyuzmultfilm the next year. In 1954, it made its own puppet division, allowing it to release stop-motion works.
During the Perestroika years, Soyuzmultfilm suffered an economic crisis due to underfunding and new management. During that period, it was turned into an enterprise in 1989, being leased for 10 years.
Soyuzmultfilm was in deep trouble in the 1990s. It lost its puppet division to the Russian Orthodox Church, which destroyed their works, and they have trouble receiving profits from Films by Jove, their first attempt at exporting their works.
Soyuzmultfilm went to several legal processes in the second half of the 1990s and eventually split into two separate companies. They are "Soyuzmultfilm Film Fund", which has the rights of all pre-split works, and "Film Studio Soyuzmultfilm", which will develop new projects.
Soyuzmultfilm's works have been somehow a part of modern Russian culture and were household names in there. There were several exports that helped international recognition but it remains unknown in the United States due to the Cold War
and despite efforts by "Films by Jove". Soyuzmultfilm's works remained to be revered in Russia, often more than imported Western Animation