Karel Zeman was a wizard of stop-motion animation, a god in the pantheon of special effect artists. Widely recognized as the Czech Méliès, he directed many fantasy films, both short and feature-length combining live-action footage with animation.
Through his filmmaking, Zeman brought such fantastical stories as Jules Verne’s books and Baron Munchausen’s adventures to life, in addition to Krabat and A Thousand and One Nights. Furthermore, one of his most famous films, Journey to the Beginning of Time, features a variety of prehistoric creatures as a group of teenage boys travel back in time.
In 2013, an interactive museum dedicated to Zeman’s cinematic fantasy opened in Prague near the popular Charles Bridge. Visitors are first welcomed by the little ballerina from the 1949 short film Inspiration, which was beautifully animated using glass figurines.
The exhibit goes on to showcase an extensive collection of props and costumes, along with clips of Zeman’s films playing constantly to illustrate the scene. Each room is also designed to emulate the sets, so visitors can feel as if they’re in the movies themselves.