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Mole (in the Czech original called Krtek, or, for little mole, Krteček) is an animated character in a series of cartoons created by Czech animator Zdeněk Miler. The premiere of the first short film with Mole took place at the Venice Film Festival in 1957.[1] Since its inception, the cartoon has gained enormous popularity in many Central European countries, as well as India, China, Kazakhstan, Croatia, Finland, Russia, Ukraine, Iran, Iraq, and Japan.

Mole
Wuppertal Langerfeld - Katholische Grundschule Windthorststraße 05 ies.jpg
A painting of Krtek on a primary school in Wuppertal, Germany
First appearance1956
Created byZdeněk Miler
Voiced byZdeněk Miler's daughters

HistoryEdit

Krtek was first seen in 1956 in Prague, when Miler wanted to create a children's cartoon about how flax is processed. He wanted a strong Disney influence to the cartoon by choosing an animal for the leading role, and decided to pick a mole after stumbling over a molehill during a walk. The first film, called "Jak krtek ke kalhotkám přišel" ("How the mole got his trousers"), had its premiere at the Venice Film Festival in 1957, where it was awarded two Golden Lions. Production for further episodes started in 1963 and since then, around 50 episodes have been created.

The first episode of the cartoon was narrated, but Miler wanted the cartoon to be understood in every country of the world, so he decided to use his daughters as voice actors, reducing the speech to short non-figurative exclamations in order to express the mole's feelings and world perception. Miler's daughters also became the bottleneck of the creation process as they were the ones who got to see the whole film first, thus Miler was able to decide whether the message of the movie was able to get to children or not.

In the United Kingdom, the cartoons were transmitted by the BBC with English narration by Colin Jeavons.[2]

Recent DevelopmentsEdit

Inclusion on US Space Shuttle flightEdit

On May 16, 2011 a plush toy of Krtek was present on board the Space Shuttle Endeavour, where it accompanied the U.S. astronaut Andrew Feustel, whose wife is of Czech ancestry, on the STS-134 mission.[3][4][5]

US toy market plansEdit

In May 2012, Bloomberg announced that Apple Inc. is planning to help Krtek enter the $21 billion U.S. toy market for the first time.[6][7] Exporting the six-decade-old “Little Mole” through new media is a first step toward establishing the most popular Czech animated icon in America to spur sales of books, movies, and toys. Coloring books about the Mole have been very popular with young children.

MascotEdit

Mole was the mascot for the 2015 European Athletics Indoor Championships in Prague, and was subsequently used to promote the Federation's Athletics for Children programme.[8]

Alfa Romeo Racing partnershipEdit

On May 23, 2019 Alfa Romeo Racing, a Formula One team, announced Krtek as the new team partner. Frédéric Vasseur, principal of the team, said that the goal of the partnership is to capture the imagination of hundreds of thousands of children and get them closer to the sport using Krtek's big follower base all over the world. Mole's iconic figure is appearing on the sidepods of the cars for the rest of the 2019 season.[9]

MusicEdit

Music plays an important role in the cartoons, since the characters almost never utter more than emotional sounds, the most common of which is "Hello!" ("Ahoj" in Czech). The original series' music uses acoustic and electric musical instruments, rather than synthesized ones.

Composers:

FilmographyEdit

  • From 2002–2004, a set of 60 DVDs entitled "Nejlepších večerníčků" (Best Bedtime Stories) was released, some of which included Krtek animations. Included in the list below are the DVD numbers for films in this set.

Short filmsEdit

Episode English title Czech title Year Duration NV DVD #*
00. How Mole Got His Trousers Jak krtek ke kalhotkám přišel 1957 11:51 1
01. Mole and the Car Krtek a autíčko 1963 14:30 19
02. Mole and the Rocket Krtek a raketa 1965 08:40
03. Mole and the Transistor Set Krtek a tranzistor 1968 08:10 10
04. Mole and the Green Star Krtek a zelená hvězda 1969 07:30 10,1
05. Mole and the Chewing Gum Krtek a žvýkačka 1969 07:20 10
06. Mole in a Zoo Krtek v Zoo 1969 06:05 10
07. Mole as a Gardener Krtek zahradníkem 1969 06:55 10,1
08. Mole and the Hedgehog Krtek a ježek 1970 08:25 10
09. Mole and the Lollipop Krtek a lízátko 1970 08:00 10,1
10. Mole and the TV Krtek a televizor 1970 05:30 10
11. Mole and the Umbrella Krtek a paraplíčko 1971 07:10 10,1
12. Mole as a Painter Krtek malířem 1972 09:35 19
13. Mole and the Matches Krtek a zápalky 1974 05:30 19
14. Mole and the Music Krtek a muzika 1974 05:15 19
15. Mole and the Telephone Krtek a telefon 1974 05:25 19
16. Mole as a Chemist Krtek chemikem 1974 05:30 19
17. Mole and the Carpet Krtek a koberec 1974 05:40 19
18. Mole as Watchmaker Krtek hodinářem 1974 05:25 19
19. Mole at Christmas Krtek o Vánocích 1975 05:45 19
20. Mole as Photographer Krtek fotografem 1975 05:45 19
21. Mole and the Egg Krtek a vejce 1975 05:35 19
22. Mole and the Bulldozer Krtek a buldozér 1975 05:43 19
23. Mole in the Desert Krtek na poušti 1975 05:52 19
24. Mole and the Carnival Krtek a karneval 1975 05:25 19
25. Mole and the Coal Krtek a uhlí 1995 04:10 33
26. Mole and His Friends Krtek a kamarádi 1995 05:18 33,1
27. Mole's Weekend Krtek a víkend 1995 05:05 33
28. Mole and the Robot Krtek a robot 1995 05:00 33,1
29. Mole's and the Celebration Krtek a oslava 1995 05:04 33
30. Mole and the Little Ducks Krtek a kachničky 1995 05:00 33
31. Mole and the Subway Krtek a metro 1997 05:00 44
32. Mole and the Mushrooms Krtek a houby 1997 04:28 44
33. Mole and the Little Mouse Krtek a myška 1997 05:19 44
34. Mole and the Little Hare Krtek a zajíček 1997 05:11 44
35. Mole and the Mother Krtek a maminka 1997 05:20 44
36. Mole and the Flood Krtek a potopa 1997 05:04
37. Mole and the Snowman Krtek a sněhulák 1998 05:09 44,1
38. Mole on Vacation Krtek a dovolená 1998 01:15
39. Mole and the Flute Krtek a flétna 1999 05:05 50,1
40. Mole and the Spring Krtek a pramen 1999 05:33 50
41. Mole and the Grumbler Krtek a šťoura 1999 05:21 50
42. Mole and the Swallow Krtek a vlaštovka 2000 04:25 50
43. Mole and the Little Fish Krtek a rybka 2000 05:02 50
44. Mole and the Little Frog Krtek a žabka 2002 05:20 50,1

FilmsEdit

English title Czech title Year Duration NV DVD #*
Mole in Town Krtek ve městě 1982 28:31 33
Mole in a Dream Krtek ve snu 1984 28:09 33
Mole and the Medicine Krtek a medicína 1987 28:08 44
Mole as a Movie Star Krtek filmová hvězda 1988 27:47 44
Mole and the Eagle Krtek a orel 1992 28:05 50
Mole and the Clock Krtek a hodiny 1994 28:04 50

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "iMDB.com".
  2. ^ BBC Genome website - Radio Times listings
  3. ^ Halousek, Milan (April 3, 2011). "Into Space with Mole". Czech Space Office. Archived from the original on July 21, 2011. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
  4. ^ "Flying to Space with the Little Mole (Do kosmu s Krtkem)". Do kosmu s Krtkem. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
  5. ^ Rousek, Leos (March 22, 2011). "Space Shuttle Stowaway Is a Commie Mole". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
  6. ^ "Apple to help Czech cartoon character Krtek enter U.S. market, Bloomberg reports". Yahoo Finance. May 16, 2012. Retrieved May 18, 2012.
  7. ^ Ponikelska, Lenka (May 16, 2012). "Apple Helps Czech Mole Enter $21 Billion U.S. Toy Market". Bloomberg. Retrieved May 18, 2012.
  8. ^ "Thursday news briefing — Jan.8, 2015". Prague Post. January 8, 2015. Retrieved March 5, 2015.
  9. ^ "Little Mole goes from stars to cars with Alfa Romeo Racing". Sauber Group. Retrieved May 28, 2019.

External linksEdit