Every Czech child and adult knows and loves Krteček and his little friends. It was the year 1957 and the only Czechoslovak channel just broadcasted the first episode of what was to become an inseparable part of the childhood of basically every Czech person since then and of many around the world.
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Father of Krteček
Let’s start with the author. The beloved father of Krteček was Zdeněk Miler. This Czech artist dedicated his life to illustrating series and books for children. In total he made 49 episodes of Krteček. His passing in 2011 was mourned by the whole nation and his is probably the most beautiful funeral card you’ve ever seen:
The full name of the series Krteček (The Little Mole) or Krtek (The Mole) is actually O Krtkovi (About the Mole). There were 49 episodes broadcasted between the years 1957 and 2002 and they were of very different duration from 5 to 29 minutes. Krtek and his friends say only few words throughout the series with the exception of the very first episode.
While in most of the episodes Krtek tackles small problems of his everyday life in nature, several episodes handle issues like ecology or the pressure of showbusiness. The most peculiar episode is perhaps “The Mole and the Mother” about the reproduction of hares with a scene of the labour of the female hare.
Krteček in other media
The tales of the little mole became so popular that there are now tens of books about Krteček, especially concertina and hard-page books for very young children but also books which don’t tell the story about Krteček, like several books of rhymes for children accompanied by the famous illustrations.
Very popular are also children’s plates and cups, bedsheets, school bags and of course toys with the figure of Krteček. You can get the licensed toys from the Moravian Centre in Brno also online.
Krtek in space and racing
Krteček flew into space on board of Endeavour in 2011 and on board of Soyuz in 2018 thanks to J. A. Feustel who decided to take the toy with him in honore of his wife’s Czech origin. On his second trip to space Krteček was a company to the staff of the international space station for over six months.
In 2019 the Formula One team Alfa Romeo announced Krtek as a new team partner and Krtek’s figure appeared on the sidepods of the cars for the rest of the season.
Did you watch the adventures of the Little Mole as a child? What’s the name of the cartoon in your country? Let us know!