Born in Milan in 1938, from an early age, Bruno Bozzetto showed a great passion both for design and for the cinema, and this inevitably led to an interest in cinematic animation. Having made his first short film at the age of only 20, in 1960 he founded Bruno Bozzetto Film and from that moment his activities advanced along two distinct but complementary paths, that of television advertising and that of feature films, earning money with the first in order to finance the second. Using this method, in 1965 Bozzetto turned into one of the greatest European artists in cinema animation, after working for three years to create his first feature film, West and Soda, considered by many critics to be the absolute masterpiece of Italian animated film. Half a century (in fact a little bit more) from when it was made, this extraordinary film has not lost an iota of its freshness, and indeed today it is easier to recognize its uniqueness, which consists also in his having anticipated themes and solutions that would come to be seen again in so many subsequent productions, most of them foreign. The story of the sweet Clementina, who tried in every way possible to repel the advances of the brute named Cattivissimo, and who would be saved by a lone rider named Johnny, other than anticipating the Spagetti Western, «did not resemble anything previously seen (not only in Italy), would not have anything comparable follow it, and still amazes us with its continuous displacements and changes of register and rhythm», to quote the words of the cinema historian Paolo Mereghetti. He continues: «It is simultaneously a parody, a quote, a homage and a reinterpretation with surreal glimpses of the most classic form of the Western: Bozzetto intuits the imminent twilight of the genre and corrupts it with bizarre inspirations to construct a homage to his teachers: Walt Disney, Warner cartoons, the abstract games of Norman McLaren and the experiments of the Zagre Studio.