Mole (Zdeněk Miler character)
A painting of Krtek on a primary school in Wuppertal, Germany
|Created by||Zdeněk Miler|
|Voiced by||Zdeněk Miler's daughters|
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. 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.
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.
|“||It took me a long time to realize it, but when I draw Krtek, I was drawing myself.||”|
|— Zdeněk Miler|
Inclusion on US Space Shuttle flight
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.
US toy market plans
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. 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.
Alfa Romeo Racing partnership
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.
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.
- 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.
|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|
|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|
- BBC Genome website - Radio Times listings
- Halousek, Milan (April 3, 2011). "Into Space with Mole". Czech Space Office. Archived from the original on July 21, 2011. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
- "Flying to Space with the Little Mole (Do kosmu s Krtkem)". Do kosmu s Krtkem. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
- Rousek, Leos (March 22, 2011). "Space Shuttle Stowaway Is a Commie Mole". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 19, 2012.
- "Apple to help Czech cartoon character Krtek enter U.S. market, Bloomberg reports". Yahoo Finance. May 16, 2012. Retrieved May 18, 2012.
- Ponikelska, Lenka (May 16, 2012). "Apple Helps Czech Mole Enter $21 Billion U.S. Toy Market". Bloomberg. Retrieved May 18, 2012.
- "Thursday news briefing — Jan.8, 2015". Prague Post. January 8, 2015. Retrieved March 5, 2015.
- "Little Mole goes from stars to cars with Alfa Romeo Racing". Sauber Group. Retrieved May 28, 2019.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Krtek.|