Guest Author - Barbara Swiech
Today’s children watch manngha or crazy (unfortunately sometimes violent too) animations made abroad. I hear a lot of critics about the bed-time cartoons and cartoon channels. My intention is not to assess them. I do not want to bring the discussion on whether they have influence on the deliquency or behaviour of the youngest ones – I just want to bring back the memories of Polish best bed time cartoons that we awaited each day so impatiently.
The cartoons depicted fantasy world in which we knew the thoughts of animals or followed stories of the silly goat that would make a tourist trip. I picked up the most important pieces of Polish animated series and feature them below in chronical order.
BOLEK I LOLEK (Bolek and Lolek) are two naughty boys – taller, thinner Bolek and shorter, chubby Lolek - that started entertaining Polish audience already in 1963. Characters of the two boys were based on the sons of the author – later on the female character (Tola) was added. Most of the parts of ‘Bolek i Lolek’ were silent but the story appeared to be so popular that it gained public on all the continents.
ZACZAROWANY OLOWEK (Enchanted pencil) tells the story of a small boy named Piotrek and his little dog. They are aided by enchanted pencil that helps to materialise all the drawings. Who actually does not dream of having such a clever tool? In Poland, at the time of cartoons biggest popularity, all the children did. But Piotrek does not overuse the power of the pencil. The animated film was made between 1964 and 1976.
REKSIO is a name of a friendly puppy whose story followed children in Poland. The bed time cartoon, made between 1967 and 1988, tells a story of piebald dog, his friends (such as hens or cats) and their owners. Each time, when watching Reksio, I cannot resist the feeling that he behaves more like a small boy not like a dog. This animated television series, once again without dialogues, is also very popular for its background music.
PRZYGODY KOTA FILEMONA (Adventures of cat Filemon) were made between 1972 and 1981. This carton series is actually the only from my childhood that features the dialogues – the other ones were silent with music in the background. When watching the story of Filemon cat one may get the feeling that there is nothing better but the life of a cat. We not only have fun with Filemon but also learn how life in the village looks like.
PRZYGODY BALTAZARA GABKI (1978-1980) is one of my favourite cartoons. This time it does not tell the story of dogs, cats or other animals but fantastic characters – Baltazar Gabka (crazy scientist), Wawel Dragon and prince Krak (founder of Krakow). But the story does not lack in bad characters – such as the Spy from Thrill Land – that is to bring tension and a little bit of fear. The cartoon, based on books by Stanislaw Pagaczewski, shows however clear system of values. Apart from this the action is based in Medieval Krakow that is an added value to the story.
All of the above mentioned cartoon television series depicted the world without worries and huge problems. The stories were funny and their main characters interesting and clever. Maybe the fantasy world showed in them is far from reality and todays world… but that is actually what the bed time stories are for – to bring us into the beautiful world of imagination.