Pat & Mat
|Pat & Mat|
Pat (left) and Mat (right)
|Also known as||'A je to!, Pat a Mat'|
|Genre||Animated television series|
|Created by||Lubomír Beneš
|Written by||Lubomír Beneš
|Directed by||Lubomír Beneš
|Theme music composer||Petr Skoumal|
|Composer(s)||Luboš Fišer (ep. 1)
Petr Skoumal (ep. 2-91)
|Country of origin||Czechoslovakia
|No. of episodes||91|
|Running time||6 - 9 min.|
|Production company(s)||Krátký Film Praha
Patmat film s.r.o.
|Picture format||4:3 (ep. 1-49, 51-78)
16:9 (ep. 50, 79-91)
|Original release||1976 – present|
Pat & Mat (Czech: A je to!, Pat a Mat) is a Czech stop-motion animated series featuring two handymen: Pat and Mat (Czech for "stalemate" and "checkmate", respectively, which ultimately come from Persian terms in chess: pāt (Persian: پات) and māt (Persian: مات), the latter word being the root for English checkmate). It was created by Lubomír Beneš and Vladimír Jiránek.
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The show features the two characters facing mostly self-made problems, trying to solve them using any possible and impossible tools and construction gadgets. This leads to even more problems and yet, eventually, the two manage to get a working result with a mostly surprising solution.
According to the authors, it is the manual ineptitude that inspires the stories. The humour is not the only feature of the show. Another feature is having an optimistic approach towards life. The two characters always get into problematic situations, but they never give up until they solve the problem in imaginative ways.
The two characters first appeared in a 1976 short film entitled Kuťáci (The Tinkers). Later, the characters appeared in more shorts, making their own series on Slovak TV entitled ... A je to! (... And that's it!), where they got their final look. The two handymen got their names Pat and Mat in 1989, and this became the name of the show.
While creating the two characters, the authors had in mind especially entertainment for adults, but the show became popular with all audiences. However, in former Czechoslovakia, the first 29 episodes of the series could have been produced as children's TV programme only, in the short's format of 7–9 minutes.
Thanks to its distinct lack of spoken dialogue, the show became popular throughout the world, being aired in nations that include Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic and Slovakia), Sweden, Syria, Iraq, Poland, former Yugoslavia, Iceland, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Austria, Switzerland, Brazil, Finland, Japan, Norway, Spain, Iran, Hungary, Jordan, South Africa, and South Korea. In the Netherlands, the characters are given dubbed dialogue (with the voices of Kees Prins and Siem van Leeuwen). In Australia it aired as part of a weekly, half-hour collection of animated shorts on the SBS channel's show Kaleidoscope.
In 1990, shortly after the communist regime collapsed and Czechoslovakia became more open to the world (and later the Czech and Slovak republics), Lubomír Beneš founded his own AIF Studio in Prague (production) and Zürich (marketing, sales, financing), where he and his team produced 14 more episodes, and introduced all 49 of them to the international market.
Three years after Beneš's death in 1995, his studio went into bankruptcy, igniting some copyright issues over the characters and the 50th episode, which therefore was never released. In the meantime, Beneš's son Marek founded his own studio, Patmat film. Production of episodes was resumed in 2002 by Ateliéry Bonton Zlín, resulting in 28 episodes produced by three studios (Ateliéry Bonton, Anima and Patmat) in just three years. Many crew members were veterans who worked on the original TV series.
The characters were revived once again in 2011 by Beneš for a new series, Pat a Mat na venkově (Pat & Mat in the Country). The pilot, Postele (The Beds), produced in 2009, premiered at the 50th Zlín Film Festival in 2010. Twelve more episodes followed from 2011 to 2015, produced at Patmat film and filmed in 16:9. Beneš directed and wrote all 13 episodes. The episodes were released on DVD in 2013 and received their TV premiere on the Dutch channel VPRO on 9 June 2013. New episodes are currently in production.
Typical elements of the series
In the series are repeated several elements that together make up the style of the series.
When they finish their work they shake their hands like normal people and then they make their original gesture with bent hand and closed fist.
Surprising change for a worse end rather than good one
And when everything seems to work perfectly suddenly everything that can go wrong does.
Optimistic approach to problems
They have always good idea how to solve problems.
The will to solve problems make the situation worse
When everything seems to work perfectly suddenly everything that can go wrong does. The majority of their problem solving efforts end up worsening the situation even further.
To celebrate the show's 40th anniversary, in some countries including the Netherlands, seven new episodes were shown in cinema in 2016. Gusto Entertainment announced in December 2015 that there will be a full-length feature film that will be released in cinemas in 2016.
Festivals, awards, prizes
Several Pat & Mat episodes have received prizes and awards at world animation festivals during the years.
From the latest ones directed by Lubomír Beneš, the 38th episode The Cyclists, animated by Alfons Mensdorff-Pouilly, participated at the "Annecy '93" (Annecy, France) animation festival competition, and has been invited to a number of other world festivals.
The Cyclists has also been included in the selection "The Best of Annecy '93" by Cinémathèque Québécoise (Montreal), Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), Pacific Film Archive (Berkeley), Museum of Modern Art (New York City) and presented by these institutions in their autumn 1993 show.
- 1st prize - best animation for a daytime TV series
- 2nd prize - best stop motion professional animation.
In socialist Czechoslovakia, the authors had to explain their "subversive" characters and stories to the Prague watch-dogs of the regime, with one of the questions being whether they chose the shirt colours, red and yellow, to make fun of the Soviet-Chinese tensions. However, their explanations were "unsatisfactory", and so the "ideologic impurity" remained and further production on Pat & Mat was banned. To skirt the prohibition, the Slovak colleagues from Czechoslovak TV in Bratislava gave Pat & Mat the necessary support and assigned them production means so the show could continue in the same Czech studio in Prague where Lubomír Beneš and his crew worked, under their Slovak cover (28 episodes, 1979–1985). Additionally, Mat's shirt was changed from red to a neutral grey until 1989, during which the Communist regime dissolved and it was safe to colour Mat's shirt red again.
In Switzerland, the children programmers of German-language Swiss TV banned some of the episodes from broadcasting because they contained high amounts of slapstick violence, which they deemed "too dangerous", while the French- and Italian-language channels aired the offending episodes anyway.
After appearing on VHS for a decade, the first 35 episodes were released on DVD in the early 2000s, with the 28 new episodes ending the releases in 2005. Shorts from the AIF era were initially unavailable because of copyright issues, which continued until 2007, when the remaining aired episodes appeared on DVD for the first time.
List of show title in other languages
- Czech Republic, Slovakia, Czechoslovakia: Kuťáci, A je to!, Pat a Mat
followers: Pat a Mat se vracejí
- Other languages (in alphabetic order)
- Arabic: زينغو و رينغو
- Croatian: A je to! (I to je to!) Pat i Mat
- Catalan: En Pat i en Mat
- Dutch*: Buurman en Buurman (Neighbour and Neighbour), Formerly: De twee stuntels (The two klutzes)
- English: ...and that's it!, Pat and Mat
- Finnish: Hupsis!, Pat ja Mat (Oops!, Pat and Mat)
- German: ...und fertig!, Peter und Paul, Pat und Mat, Sepp und Heiri
- Hungarian: Kétbalkezesek (Fumblers) (literally "2 Left Handers"), Pat és Mat
- Icelandic: Klaufabárðarnir (The clumsy guys)
- Japanese: パットとマット
- Korean: 패트와 매트
- Macedonian: Пат и Мат
- Norwegian: To gode naboer (Two Good Neighbours)
- Persian: !همینه (That's it!) also "پت و مت" (Pat & Mat)
- Polish: Sąsiedzi (Neighbours), Pat i Mat
- Portuguese: Zeca e Joca
- Russian: Тяпа и Ляпа, Пат и Мат, Соседи (Neighbours)
- Slovenian: A je to! Pat in Mat
- Spanish: "Los Chapuceros", Pat y Mat
- Swedish: Två snubbar (Two dudes)
- Welsh: Now a Ned
- Estonian: "Meistrimehed Pat ja Mat" (Handymen Pat and Mat)
List of episodes
|N/e||Year of production||English Title||Czech Title
(Slovak in 1979-1985)
produced in the Barrandov animation studios (Krátký Film), Prague
|...A je to!
produced in the Barrandov animation studios (Krátký Film), Prague, courtesy of Czechoslovak Television, Bratislava
|2||1979||Tapestry (Wallpaper)||Tapety||Lubomír Beneš|
|5||1979||Rocking Chair||Hojdacie kreslo||Lubomír Beneš|
|8||1979||The Light||Svetlo||Lubomír Beneš|
|9||1981||Record Player (Gramophone)||Gramofón||Lubomír Beneš|
|11||1982||Moving Day||Sťahovanie||Lubomír Beneš|
|14||1982||Painting Job||Maľovanie||Lubomír Beneš|
|15||1982||Crosswords (Crossword Puzzle)||Krížovka||Lubomír Beneš|
|16||1982||Jumpers (Aerials)||Skokani||Lubomír Beneš|
|17||1983||Bird Feeder (Birdhouse)||Búdka||Lubomír Beneš|
|18||1983||Big Laundry (Laundry Day)||Veľké pranie||Lubomír Beneš|
|19||1983||Breakfast (Breakfast in Grass)||Raňajky v tráve||Lubomír Beneš|
|20||1983||Washing Machine||Práčka||Lubomír Beneš|
|24||1984||Winegrowers (Winemakers)||Vinári||Lubomír Beneš|
|28||1985||Defect (Malfunction)||Porucha||Lubomír Beneš|
|Pat & Mat
produced in the Barrandov animation studios (Krátký Film), Prague
|30||1989||The Key||Klíč||Lubomír Beneš|
|33||1990||Cleaning Day||Generální úklid||Lubomír Beneš|
|Pat & Mat
produced in the authors' AIF Studio, Prague
|37||1992||Garage Door||Vrata||Lubomír Beneš|
|41||1992||Gutter Pipe||Okap||Marek Beneš|
|45||1994||Hedgerow||Živý plot||Lubomír Beneš|
|46||1994||The Safe||Trezor||Lubomír Beneš|
|48||1994||Model Builders||Modeláři||Lubomír Beneš|
|episode not released for distribution
(produced by part of the former Lubomír Beneš's team without his heirs' consent)
|50||1998||The Cards||Karty||František Váša|
|Pat a Mat, Pat a Mat se vracejí
(followers, with Marek Beneš or his consent)
produced by Ateliery Bonton, Zlín
|52||2003||Roasted Sausages||Opékají špekáčky||Ladislav Pálka|
|53||2003||Roof Repair||Opravují střechu||Ladislav Pálka|
|54||2003||Black Box||Černá bedýnka||Vlasta Pospíšilová|
|56||2003||Dog House||Psí bouda||Milan Šebesta|
|57||2003||Lacquering the Floor||Natírají podlahu||Ladislav Pálka|
|58||2003||The Greenhouse||Skleník||Marek Beneš|
|59||2003||The Swing||Houpačka||Marek Beneš|
|60||2003||Unwanted Guest||Nezvaný návštěvník||Marek Beneš|
|62||2003||Painting The Windows||Natírají okna||Marek Beneš|
|63||2003||Easter Egg||Velikonoční vajíčko||Vlasta Pospíšilová|
|64||2003||Slim Figure||Štíhlá linie||Vlasta Pospíšilová|
|65||2003||Vending Machine||Automat||Marek Beneš|
|69||2004||Hang Glider||Rogalo||Ladislav Pálka|
|70||2004||Christmas Cake||Vánočka||Milan Šebesta|
|72||2003||Fax Machine||Fax||Josef Lamka|
|74||2004||Playing Golf||Hrají golf||Ladislav Pálka|
|75||2004||Bottle Cap||Někam to zapadlo||Vlasta Pospíšilová|
|76||2004||Swimming Pool||Kopají bazén||Marek Beneš|
|77||2004||Hanging A Painting||Věší krajinu||Marek Beneš|
|78||2004||Christmas Tree||Vánoční stromeček||Marek Beneš|
|Pat a Mat na venkově
produced by Patmat film, Prague
|80||2011||Paper Plates||Papírový servis||Marek Beneš|
|81||2011||Water Supply||Vodovod||Marek Beneš|
|83||2012||Vacuum Cleaner||Vysavač||Marek Beneš|
|84||2012||The Floor||Podlaha||Marek Beneš|
|85||2012||The Pool||Bazén||Marek Beneš|
|86||2013||Deadwood||Suchý strom||Marek Beneš|
|87||2014||Orange juice||Pomerančová šťáva||Marek Beneš|
|90||2015||Bathroom tiles||Obkladačky||Marek Beneš|
|91||2015||Cover||Sluneční clona||Marek Beneš|
The 50th episode The Cards (original name Karty) completed in 1998 by some people of the original AIF Studio and originally prepared with Lubomir Beneš, was to be the beginning of a new format of the show. It was directed, animated and written by František Váša, different from earlier episodes and filmed in widescreen format (16:9), slightly longer (lasting 11 minutes), had a dialogue, a new soundtrack and new opening and closing sequences. The characters were voiced by Czech actor David Nykl.
The original plan, of Beneš and Jiránek, was to make further episodes of the new series, possibly also half-hours, and a feature film. Its implementation, however, did not come into effect due to embezzlement of funds and trust by two members of the former Czech management. And, as made without any knowledge of Lubomír Beneš' heirs, it was the only episode filmed that was not distributed or released as the Zurich management member and worldwide distributor refused to do so, while terminating any contacts to the Prague former colleagues.
Lubomír Beneš died in 1995, and the two of the Czech management of the then quickly dissipating Prague AIF Studio didn't have access to the rights to the characters any longer, as both Marek Beneš and Vladimír Jiránek left their studio in grave disagreement with them. The Prague management planned to get the rights from Lubomir Beneš's heirs, but they had to sort the embezzlement part first. One of them even promised to do so in a meeting with the angry team, yet soon after they completed the episode they decided to declare bankruptcy. Due to these circumstances, this episode has never been released or distributed.
The only trace from this episode was a screenshot posted on the AIF Studio Pat & Mat (original) website. However, the former management set up their studio called Animation People  and posted more screenshots on their website. The screenshots disappeared in the middle of September 2010 when the studio modified their website. However, the same studio later uploaded a small clip of the episode on the website. The episode was eventually uploaded to YouTube, sourced from a Korean VHS.
At least two books with the series' characters were published:
- Michl, Jiří (1994). Pat & Mat : …a je to!. Czech Republic: Egmont.
- Sýkora, Pavel; Jiránek, Vladimír; Beneš, Lubomír (2010). Pat a Mat dokážou všechno [Pat and Mat can do anything] (3rd ed.). Albatros. ISBN 9788000025933.
On 1 August 2007 a Czech computer development company, Centauri Production, announced on their website that they have secured the rights to Pat and Mat to create a video game of the same name. The game was released in Czech Republic on 1 October 2009. It was released in other EU countries in 2010. The game is available in English and Czech. It is also available for purchase via Steam and Desura.
There is a wide range of all kind of merchandise articles of Pat & Mat, including games, dolls, key rings, office material, posters, T-shirts, etc.. In Dutch supermarkets also food including cookies is available.
- "Pat & Mat/...and that's it! series - More About". Patandmat.com. Retrieved 2013-12-24.
- "Detail filmu | Pat a Mat na venkově: Postele | 54. ZLÍN FILM FESTIVAL 2014 - Mezinárodní festival pro děti a mládež". Zlinfest.cz. Retrieved 2013-12-24.
- "ze zijn terug! - VPRO". Vpro.nl. Retrieved 2013-12-24.
-  (Dutch)
- Jürg Schaeppi. "Pat & Mat | Fansite". Schaeppi.tv. Retrieved 2014-05-16.
- "Pat a Mat speciál ... A je to! (2007) [TV seriál] - režie: Lubomír Beneš, Marek Beneš". Fdb.cz. Retrieved 2013-12-24.
- AIF Studio Zurich > Contact (article revision, version of 21 November 12, 9:36 am, 24 November 12, 20:10 CET)
- © Citia (2013-06-15). "> About > Archives > 1999 > Official Selection > Film Index". Annecy. Retrieved 2013-12-24.
- "Pat & Mat/...and that's it! series - About". Patandmat.com. Retrieved 2013-12-24.
- "Animation technologies". Animation.cz. Retrieved 2013-12-24.
- "Video of the 50th episode". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-05-16.
- "Save 50% on Pat & Mat on Steam". Store.steampowered.com. 2013-07-17. Retrieved 2013-12-24.
- "Pat & Mat Windows game". Desura. 2011-08-31. Retrieved 2013-12-24.