21 February 1921|
|Died||30 November 2011
Nová Ves pod Pleší, Czech Republic
|Occupation||Czech cartoonist, film director|
Zdeněk Miler (Czech pronunciation: [ˈzdɛɲɛk ˈmɪlɛr]; 21 February 1921 – 30 November 2011) was a Czech animator and illustrator best known for his Mole (Krtek or Krteček in original) character and its adventures.
Miler was born in Kladno just west of Prague, the capital of what was then Czechoslovakia. He became an animator partly because of the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia. He took part in the demonstrations held consequent to death of Jan Opletal which lead to the closing of universities and colleges. He escaped being sent to a Concentration camp. Instead he wound up working as an animator.
Miler enjoyed painting as a child. His hobby developed when he joined the national graphic school in Prague in 1942. He later studied at the College of Arts and Crafts (Uměleckoprůmyslová škola Praha). In 1948 he began work at the cartoon studio Baťa in Zlín. There he learned the important practical skills relating to film production specializing in animated films. After the second World War, he started work at the cartoon company «Bratři v triku» and worked first as draughtsman then author and director. He later became the head of the company.
In 2001, Miler announced that he would no longer be making more films, citing health reasons.
 Having retired in 2001, Zdeněk Miler began complaining of extreme weakness and lack of sensation, particularly on his lower body. He lived at a nursing home in Prague. He was later diagnosed with a form of demyelinating disease, which was strongly suspected to be either Guillain-Barré syndrome or multiple sclerosis. Sometime after his confinement there, he contracted bronchopneumonia, making his condition even worse than before.
On November 30, 2011, Zdeněk Miler died at a nursing home from cardiac arrest secondary to bronchopneumonia, only two months before his 91st birthday. For the last 10 years of his life, he lived at a nursing home in Prague.
The funeral arrangements were made by Miler. Describing his funeral, the Czech Dictionary states, "Miler was buried in a common grave, in accordance with contemporary Czech custom, at the St. Marx Cemetery outside the city on 29 December." 
Krtek the Mole
Miler made about 70 films. In approximately 50 of them, the protagonist was his most famous creation, the small mole (Krtek in Czech). The idea for its creation came when he was commissioned to make an educational film for children in 1956. He was not happy with the script he was given. Since he was strongly influenced by the films of Walt Disney, he looked for an animal as the main character. Later, he said that the idea to use the mole as his main character came to him when he stumbled over a mole hill during a walk. The first film was titled “How the mole got his trousers” (“Jak krtek ke kalhotkám přišel”), which won a Silver Lion in Venice. In the beginning, the mole spoke. But Miler wanted his mole to be understood everywhere in the world so he decided to use his daughters as voice actors, reducing the speech to short non-figurative exclamations in order to express Krtek's feelings and world perception. His daughters were also his test audience, who got to see the films first. Thus Miler could see whether his message resonated with children.
Krtek was a huge success in Czechoslovakia, Eastern Europe and Germany from the beginning and today Krtek can be seen in over 80 countries.
- How The Mole Got His Trousers (Jak krtek ke kalhotkám přišel) at the Internet Movie Database 1957
- Krtek a autíčko. 1963 (The mole and the car)
- Krtek a raketa. 1965 (The mole and the rocket)
- Krtek a tranzistor. 1968 (The mole and the radio)
- Krtek a zelená hvězda. 1969 (The mole and the green star)
- Krtek a žvýkačka. 1969 (The mole and the chewing gum)
- Krtek v zoo. 1969 (The mole in the zoo)
- Krtek zahradníkem. 1969 (Mole the gardener)
- Krtek a ježek. 1970 (The mole and the hedgehog)
- Krtek a lízátko. 1970 (The mole and the lollipop)
- Krtek a televisor. 1970 (The mole and the television)
- Krtek a paraplíčko. 1971 (The mole and the umbrella)
- Krtek malířem. 1972 (Mole the painter)
- Krtek a zápalky. 1974 (The mole and the matches)
- Krtek a muzika. 1974 (The mole and music)
- Krtek a telefon. 1974 (The mole and the telephone)
- Krtek chemikem. 1974 (Mole the chemist)
- Krtek hodinářem. 1974 (Mole the watchmaker)
- Krtek a koberec. 1974 (The mole and the carpet)
- Krtek a buldozer. 1975 (The mole and the bulldozer)
- Krtek a vejce. 1975 (The mole and the egg)
- Krtek fotografem. 1975 (Mole the photographer)
- Krtek v poušti. 1975 (The mole in the desert)
- Krtek o vánocích. 1975 (The mole and Christmas)
- Krtek a karneval. 1975 (The mole and the carnival)
- Krtek ve městě. 1982 (The mole in the city)
- Krtek ve snu. 1984 (The mole in the dream)
- Krtek a medicína. 1987 (The mole and the medicine)
- Krtek filmová hvězda. 1988 (Mole the film star)
- Krtek a orel. 1992 (The mole and the eagle)
- Krtek a hodiny. 1994 (The mole and the clock)
- Krtek a kachničky. 1995 (The mole and the ducklings)
- Krtek a kamarádi. 1995 (The mole and friends)
- Krtek a oslava. 1995 (The mole and the celebration)
- Krtek a robot. 1995 (The mole and the robot)
- Krtek a uhlí. 1995 (The mole and the coal)
- Krtek a víkend. 1995 (The mole and the weekend)
- Krtek a houby. 1997 (The mole and the mushrooms)
- Krtek a maminka. 1997 (The mole and the mummy)
- Krtek a metro. 1997 (The mole and the underground)
- Krtek a myška. 1997 (The mole and the mouse)
- Krtek a sněhulák. 1997 (The mole and the snowman)
- Krtek a zajíček. 1997 (The mole and the small hare)
- Krtek a pramen. 1999 (The mole and the stream)
- Krtek a šťoura. 1999 (The mole and the grumbler)
- Krtek a flétna. 1999 (The mole and the flute)
- Krtek a vlaštovka. 2000 (The mole and the swallow)
- Krtek a rybka. 2000 (The mole and the small fish)
- Krtek a žabka. 2002 (The Mole and the small frog)
- The Millionaire Who Stole The Sun (O milionáři, který ukradl slunce) at the Internet Movie Database 1948 after Jiří Wolker
- Měsíční pohádka. 1958 (A moon history)
- Jak štěňátko dostalo chuť na med. 1960 (How the Puppy wanted Honey)
- O štěňátku. 1960 (About the small puppy)
- Jak štěňátko chtělo malé pejsky. 1960 (How the puppy wanted small dogs)
- Jak sluníčko vrátilo štěňátku vodu. 1960 (How the sun returned the water to the small puppy)
- O nejbohatším vrabci ve světě. 1961 (About the world's richest)
- Rudá stopa. 1963 (The red trace)
- O Čtverečkovi a Trojúhelníčkovi. 1963 (About the small square and the small triangle)
- Sametka. 1967 (The Velvet Caterpillar)
- Romance helgolandská. 1977 (A Helgoland romance)
- Cvrček a stroj. 1978 (The cricket and the machine)
- Cvrček a pavouk. 1978 (The cricket and the spider)
- Cvrček a housličky. 1978 (The cricket and the violin)
- Cvrček a slepice. 1979 (The cricket and the chicken)
- Cvrček a pila. 1979 (The cricket and the saw)
- Cvrček a bombardón. 1979 (The cricket and the bombardone)
- Cvrček a basa. 1979 (The cricket and the contrabass)
- Minovitz, Ethan (31 December 1997). "Zdenek Miler, creator of "Little Mole," dead at 72". Big Cartoon News. Retrieved 31 December 1997.
- "Zemřel Zdeněk Miler. Otec Krtečka, kterého nám závidí Hollywood". 30 December 1997. Retrieved 30 December 1997.
- Riley, John (23 December 2011). "Zdenek Miler: Czech animator known for his lovable Mole character". The Independent. Retrieved 24 December 2011.
- Zdeněk Miler at the Internet Movie Database
- Krtek at the Big Cartoon DataBase
- Krátký Film Praha
- All films by Krátký Film Praha