Elbert Tuganov established the Nukufilm puppet animation studio in Estonia in 1958. Tuganov was actually born in Baky, Azerbaijan and lived in Germany until 1939, but he came to Estonia for his family and to serve in the Estonian army. Tuganov began working at Tallinnfilm, the state funded film studio in Estonia, in 1946. From there he began making some of the first Estonian animated films in 1957. Tuganov had never animated before and did not know much about the art form, so it is understandable that his early films were quite experimental. Tuganov grew as an artist with experience and from viewing Jiri Trnka's puppet films. Tuganov established animation as an integral part of Estonian culture and showed its political potential with his film Inspiratsioon (1975). This short was a time-lapse film of the Estonian Song Festival. The film was extremely nationalistic and helped inspire a revolution against the oppressive Soviet Union. Tuganov is the father of Estonian animation, which has developed into some of the most highly celebrated animation in the world.

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