Mole (Zdeněk Miler character)

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Mole
A sculpture of Krtek in Fairy Tales Garden (Ogród Bajek) in Międzygórze, Poland
A painting of Krtek in the Fairy Tales Garden (Ogród Bajek) in Międzygórze, Poland
First appearance 1956
Created by Zdeněk Miler
Voiced by Zdeněk Miler's daughters

The Mole (in the Czech original called Krtek, or, for little mole, Krteček; Slovak Krtko) is an animated character in a series of cartoons, created by Czech animator Zdeněk Miler in 1956. Since its inception, the character won itself an enormous popularity in many Central European countries, as well as India, China, Russia and Japan.

History[edit]

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") was released in 1956. 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. They 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.

It took me a long time to realize it, but when I draw Krtek, I was drawing myself.

—Zdeněk Miler

Recent Developments[edit]

Inclusion on US Space Shuttle flight[edit]

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.[1][2][3]

US toy market plans[edit]

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.[4][5] 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.

Music[edit]

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:

Filmography[edit]

  • From 2002-2004, a set of 60 DVDs entitled "Nejlepšich večerničků" (Bedtime Stories) were released, some of which included Krtek animations. Included in the list below are the DVD numbers for films in this set.

Short films[edit]

Episode English title Czech title Year Minutes NV DVD #*
00. How The Mole Got His Pants Jak krtek ke kalhotkám přišel 1957 11:51 1
01. The Mole and the Car Krtek a autíčko 1963 14:30 19
02. The Mole and the Rocket Krtek a raketa 1966 08:40
03. The Mole and the Transistor Set Krtek a tranzistor 1968 08:10 10
04. The Mole and the Green Star Krtek a zelená hvězda 1969 07:30 10,1
05. The Mole and the Chewing Gum Krtek a žvýkačka 1969 07:20 10
06. The Mole in a Zoo Krtek v Zoo 1969 06:05 10
07. The Mole as a Gardener Krtek zahradníkem 1969 06:55 10,1
08. The Mole and the Hedgehog Krtek a ježek 1970 08:25 10
09. The Mole and the Lollipop Krtek a lízátko 1970 08:00 10,1
10. The Mole and the TV Krtek a televizor 1970 05:30 10
11. The Mole and the Umbrella Krtek a paraplíčko 1971 07:10 10,1
12. The Mole as a Painter Krtek malířem 1972 09:35 19
13. The Mole and the Matchbox Krtek a zápalky 1974 05:30 19
14. The Mole and the Music Krtek a muzika 1974 05:15 19
15. The Mole and the Telephone Krtek a telefon 1974 05:25 19
16. The Mole as a Chemist Krtek chemikem 1974 05:30 19
17. The Mole and the Carpet Krtek a koberec 1975 05:40 19
18. The Mole and the Egg Krtek a vejce 1975 05:35 19
19. The Mole at Christmas Krtek o Vánocích 1975 05:45 19
20. The Mole as Photographer Krtek fotografem 1975 05:45 19
21. The Mole as Watchmaker Krtek hodinářem 1975 05:25 19
22. The Mole and the Bulldozer Krtek a buldozér 1975 05:43 19
23. The Mole in the Desert Krtek na poušti 1975 05:52 19
24. The Mole at a Carneval Krtek a karneval 1976 05:25 19
25. The Mole and the Charcoal Krtek a uhlí 1995 04:10 33
26. The Mole and His Friends Krtek a kamarádi 1995 05:18 33,1
27. The Mole's Weekend Krtek a víkend 1995 05:05 33
28. The Mole and the Robots Krtek a robot 1995 05:00 33,1
29. The Mole's Birthday Party Krtek a oslava 1995 05:04 33
30. The Mole and the Little Duck Krtek a kachničky 1995 05:00 33
31. The Mole in the Underground Krtek a metro 1997 05:00 44
32. The Mole and the Mushrooms Krtek a houby 1997 04:28 44
33. The Mole and the Little Mouse Krtek a myška 1997 05:19 44
34. The Mole and the Little Hare Krtek a zajíček 1997 05:11 44
35. The Mole and the Mother Krtek a maminka 1997 05:20 44
36. The Mole and the Flood Krtek a potopa 1997 05:04
37. The Mole and the Snowman Krtek a sněhulák 1998 05:09 44,1
38. The Mole at the Beach Krtek a dovolená 1998 01:15
39. The Mole and the Flute Krtek a flétna 1999 05:05 50,1
40. The Mole and the Source Krtek a pramen 1999 05:33 50
41. The Mole and the Grumbler Krtek a šťoura 1999 05:21 50
42. The Mole and the Swallow Krtek a vlaštovka 2000 04:25 50
43. The Mole and the Little Fish Krtek a rybka 2000 05:02 50
44. The Mole and the Little Frog Krtek a žabka 2002 05:20 50,1

Films[edit]

English title Czech title Year Minutes NV DVD #*
The Mole in Town Krtek ve městě 1982 28:31 33
The Mole in a Dream Krtek ve snu 1985 28:09 33
The Mole and the Medicine Krtek a medicína 1987 28:08 44
The Mole as Movie Star Krtek filmová hvězda 1988 27:47 44
The Mole and the Eagle Krtek a orel 1992 28:05 50
The Mole and the Clock Krtek a hodiny 1994 28:04 50

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Halousek, Milan (2011-04-03). "Into Space with Mole". Czech Space Office. Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  2. ^ "Flying to Space with the Little Mole (Do kosmu s Krtkem)". Do kosmu s Krtkem. Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  3. ^ Rousek, Leos (2011-03-22). "Space Shuttle Stowaway Is a Commie Mole". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  4. ^ "Apple to help Czech cartoon character Krtek enter U.S. market, Bloomberg reports". Yahoo Finance. 2012-05-16. Retrieved 2012-05-18. 
  5. ^ Ponikelska, Lenka (2012-05-16). "Apple Helps Czech Mole Enter $21 Billion U.S. Toy Market". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2012-05-18. 

External links[edit]