Zdeněk Miler

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Zdeněk Miler
Zdeněk Miler.jpg
Born(1921-02-21)21 February 1921
Died30 November 2011(2011-11-30) (aged 90)
OccupationCzech 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.

Early years[edit]

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 led to the closing of universities and colleges. He escaped being sent to a concentration camp, and instead 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 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. He eventually contracted bronchopneumonia, making his condition even worse than before.[citation needed]

On 30 November 2011 Zdeněk Miler died at a nursing home from cardiac arrest secondary to bronchopneumonia, only two months before his 91st birthday.[citation needed] For the last 10 years of his life, he lived at a nursing home near Prague.[1] Miler was cremated on the day after his death and he is interred at the Slavin tomb in Prague's Vyšehrad Cemetery[2][failed verification]

Krtek the Mole[edit]

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.[3] 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.



  • Jak krtek ke kalhotkám přišel. December 31, 1957 (How The Mole Got His Trousers)
  • Krtek a autíčko. December 31, 1963 (The mole and the car)
  • Krtek a raketa. December 31, 1966 (The mole and the rocket)
  • Krtek a tranzistor. December 31, 1968 (The mole and the radio)
  • Krtek a zelená hvězda. December 31, 1969 (The mole and the green star)
  • Krtek a žvýkačka. December 31, 1969 (The mole and the chewing gum)
  • Krtek v zoo. December 31, 1969 (The mole in the zoo)
  • Krtek zahradníkem. December 31, 1969 (Mole the gardener)
  • Krtek a ježek. December 31, 1970 (The mole and the hedgehog)
  • Krtek a lízátko. December 31, 1970 (The mole and the lollipop)
  • Krtek a televisor. December 31, 1970 (The mole and the television)
  • Krtek a paraplíčko. December 31, 1971 (The mole and the umbrella)
  • Krtek malířem. December 31, 1972 (Mole the painter)
  • Krtek a zápalky. December 31, 1974 (The mole and the matches)
  • Krtek a muzika. December 31, 1974 (The mole and music)
  • Krtek a telefon. December 31, 1974 (The mole and the telephone)
  • Krtek chemikem. December 31, 1974 (Mole the chemist)
  • Krtek hodinářem. December 31, 1975 (Mole the watchmaker)
  • Krtek a koberec. December 31, 1975 (The mole and the carpet)
  • Krtek a buldozer. December 31, 1975 (The mole and the bulldozer)
  • Krtek a vejce. December 31, 1975 (The mole and the egg)
  • Krtek fotografem. December 31, 1975 (Mole the photographer)
  • Krtek v poušti. December 31, 1975 (The mole in the desert)
  • Krtek o vánocích. December 31, 1975 (The mole and Christmas)
  • Krtek a karneval. December 31, 1976 (The mole and the carnival)
  • Krtek ve městě. December 31, 1982 (The mole in the city)
  • Krtek ve snu. December 31, 1984 (The mole in the dream)
  • Krtek a medicína. December 31, 1987 (The mole and the medicine)
  • Krtek filmová hvězda. December 31, 1988 (Mole the film star)
  • Krtek a orel. December 31, 1992 (The mole and the eagle)
  • Krtek a hodiny. December 31, 1994 (The mole and the clock)
  • Krtek a kachničky. December 31, 1995 (The mole and the ducklings)
  • Krtek a kamarádi. December 31, 1995 (The mole and friends)
  • Krtek a oslava. December 31, 1995 (The mole and the celebration)
  • Krtek a robot. December 31, 1995 (The mole and the robot)
  • Krtek a uhlí. December 31, 1995 (The mole and the coal)
  • Krtek a víkend. December 31, 1995 (The mole and the weekend)
  • Krtek a houby. December 31, 1997 (The mole and the mushrooms)
  • Krtek a maminka. December 31, 1997 (The mole and the mummy)
  • Krtek a metro. December 31, 1997 (The mole and the underground)
  • Krtek a myška. December 31, 1997 (The mole and the mouse)
  • Krtek a zajíček. December 31, 1997 (The mole and the small hare)
  • Krtek a sněhulák. December 31, 1998 (The mole and the snowman)
  • Krtek a pramen. December 31, 1999 (The mole and the stream)
  • Krtek a šťoura. December 31, 1999 (The mole and the grumbler)
  • Krtek a flétna. December 31, 1999 (The mole and the flute)
  • Krtek a vlaštovka. December 31, 2000 (The mole and the swallow)
  • Krtek a rybka. December 31, 2000 (The mole and the small fish)
  • Krtek a žabka. December 31, 2002 (The Mole and the small frog)

Other films[edit]

  • O milionáři, který ukradl slunce. January 9, 1948 (The Millionaire Who Stole The Sun)
  • Měsíční pohádka. 1958 (A moon history)
  • Jak štěňátko dostalo chuť na med. December 31, 1960 (How the Puppy wanted Honey)
  • O štěňátku. 1960 (About the small puppy)
  • Jak štěňátko chtělo malé pejsky. December 31, 1960 (How the puppy wanted small dogs)
  • Jak sluníčko vrátilo štěňátku vodu. December 31, 1960 (How the sun returned the water to the small puppy)
  • O nejbohatším vrabci ve světě. December 31, 1961 (About the world's richest)
  • Rudá stopa. December 31, 1963 (The red trace)
  • O Čtverečkovi a Trojúhelníčkovi. 1963 (About the small square and the small triangle)
  • Sametka. February 14, 1968 (The Velvet Caterpillar)
  • Romance helgolandská. 1977 (A Helgoland romance)
  • Cvrček a stroj. December 31, 1978 (The cricket and the machine)
  • Cvrček a pavouk. December 31, 1978 (The cricket and the spider)
  • Cvrček a housličky. December 31, 1978 (The cricket and the violin)
  • Cvrček a slepice. December 31, 1979 (The cricket and the chicken)
  • Cvrček a pila. December 31, 1979 (The cricket and the saw)
  • Cvrček a bombardón. December 31, 1979 (The cricket and the bombardone)
  • Cvrček a basa. December 31, 1979 (The cricket and the contrabass)


  1. ^ Minovitz, Ethan. "Zdenek Miler, creator of "Little Mole," dead at 72". Big Cartoon News.[dead link]
  2. ^ "Zemřel Zdeněk Miler. Otec Krtečka, kterého nám závidí Hollywood". 30 November 2011. Archived from the original on 2015-06-30. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
  3. ^ Riley, John (23 December 2011). "Zdenek Miler: Czech animator known for his lovable Mole character". The Independent. Retrieved 24 December 2011.

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