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|
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. The premiere of the first short film with the Mole was on Venice Film Festival in 1957. Since its inception, the cartoon won itself an enormous popularity in many Central European countries, as well as India, China, Kazakhstan, Croatia, Russia, Iraq and Japan, due its distinct lack of dialogue.
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 premiere on 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. 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|
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. Coloring books about the Mole have been very popular with young children.
In January 2015 the Czech Athletics Federation announced that Krtek would be the mascot for the 2015 European Athletics Indoor Championships in Prague, and would subsequently be used to promote the Federation's Athletics for Children programme.
Little Mole on trip around the world
Little Mole (aka Krtecek in Czech language), for certain, is a favourite Czech cartoon character. It was selected as a mascot for Our trip around the world project by travellers Pavel Zrzavy and Martina Libricka. Little Mole set out on his world trip together with his new friends on 8 February 2015. He was discovering the world for 527 days. During these days he traveled over 22 countries, visited hundreds of places and got to know many interesting cultures. Travellers decided to take Little Mole with them as a symbol reminding them home.They also wanted Little Mole to continue inspiring children and adults who like him.
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 "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.
|Episode||English title||Czech title||Year||Minutes||NV DVD #*|
|00.||How The Mole Got His Trousers||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||1974||05:40||19|
|18.||The Mole as Watchmaker||Krtek hodinářem||1974||05:25||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 and the Egg||Krtek a vejce||1975||05:35||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||1975||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 Robot||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|
|English title||Czech title||Year||Minutes||NV DVD #*|
|The Mole in Town||Krtek ve městě||1982||28:31||33|
|The Mole's Dream||Krtek ve snu||1984||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|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Krtek.|
- Halousek, Milan (2011-04-03). "Into Space with Mole". Czech Space Office. Retrieved 2012-06-19.
- "Flying to Space with the Little Mole (Do kosmu s Krtkem)". Do kosmu s Krtkem. Retrieved 2012-06-19.
- Rousek, Leos (2011-03-22). "Space Shuttle Stowaway Is a Commie Mole". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2012-06-19.
- "Apple to help Czech cartoon character Krtek enter U.S. market, Bloomberg reports". Yahoo Finance. 2012-05-16. Retrieved 2012-05-18.
- Ponikelska, Lenka (2012-05-16). "Apple Helps Czech Mole Enter $21 Billion U.S. Toy Market". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2012-05-18.
- "Thursday news briefing — Jan.8, 2015". Prague Post. 8 January 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2015.