Guest Author - Barbara Swiech
Poland cannot boast of many good cartoons for children. Especially nowadays there are not many that are produced (or at least they have not been acknowledged by myself). But from my childhood I remember couple of really good ones – that one may call everlasting children TV animated series.
The two characters – that children all around Poland know and whose stories they read and watch – have been created in Bielsko-Biala. Of all the animated series, Bolek and Lolek was number one among all-time favorite animated cartoons.
The names of the two characters comes from real Polish names – and is simply its abbreviation. Bolek stands for Boleslaw, while Lolek stands for Karol. As probably it would be very hard to remember these abroad, the cartoon was distributed as Jym & Jam and Bennie & Lennie. The two characters were based on the sons of Wladyslaw Nehrebecki (their real names: Jan and Roman). They were at first partially created by Alfred Ledwig to be developed by Nehrebecki himself together with Leszek Lorek. In the series Bolek and Lolek are simply two young brothers who experience silly adventures, spending a lot of times outdoors.
Bolek and Lolek appeared for the first time in animated film in 1964. Since then they entertained Polish kids. The movie was also displayed abroad where it gained popularity – for example it was one of few animated films broadcasted by Iranian television just after revolution in 1979.
Most of the episodes do not have any dialogues. On request of the audience there has been a new character added to the series – a girl named Tola that appeared in the total amount of 30 episodes.
During Peoples Republic of Poland there has been large quantity of toys, puzzles, postcards etc. produced with depiction of Bolek and Lolek. As the fashion for old movies comes back – especially that children that have been brought up on ‘Bolek and Lolek’ became parents and popularize the series among young generation – even small children nowadays watch or read stories of Bolek and Lolek.
What can I say about this series? Surely it would fit for your children as well. As it does not have the dialogues – in most of the cases – translation would not be needed. It might be not educational cartoon, such as there are created nowadays, but it has no violence and does not promote any bad habits. Bolek and Lolek are innocent – sometimes naughty though – kids from whom your own kids can learn how to have fun!