ⓘ Mole (Zdeněk Miler character)

                                     

ⓘ Mole (Zdenek Miler character)

Mole is an animated character in a series of cartoons created by Czech animator Zdenek 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.

                                     

1. History

Krtek was first seen in 1956 in Prague, when Miler wanted to create a childrens 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 kalhotkam peisel" "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 moles feelings and world perception. Milers 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.

In the United Kingdom, the cartoons were transmitted by the BBC with English narration by Colin Jeavons.

                                     

2.1. Recent Developments 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.

                                     

2.2. Recent Developments Mascot

Mole was the mascot for the 2015 European Athletics Indoor Championships in Prague, and was subsequently used to promote the Federations Athletics for Children programme.

                                     

2.3. Recent Developments Alfa Romeo Racing partnership

On May 23, 2019 Alfa Romeo Racing, a Formula One team, announced Krtek as the new team partner. Frederic 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 Krteks big follower base all over the world. Moles iconic figure is appearing on the sidepods of the cars for the rest of the 2019 season.

                                     

3. Music

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.

Composers:

  • Milos Vacek
  • Vadim Petrov 1974–1994, most episodes
                                     

4. Filmography

  • From 2002–2004, a set of 60 DVDs entitled "Nejlepsich vecernicku" 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.