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Celebrating 50 Years of Večerníček

Published on August 13th, 2015 in Entertainment

  

It's 6:45 do you know where your children are? If they are Czech then probably in front of the television waiting for Večerníček (Little Eveninger) to come on. This year marks 50 years that the iconic cartoon character has been sending little ones off to dreamland with an animated short followed by his trademark sign-off of Dobrou noc (Good night).

 

Throughout the years, this bedtime buddy—originally voiced by a 6-year-old who was paid 60 CZK for his efforts in 1965—has not only introduced generations of Czechs to an entire extended family of beloved animated characters (over 300 cartoons) it is the oldest running television jingle broadcast in the Czech Republic and an essential part of Czech culture. So much so that there is actually a planet named after the national treasure in a newspaper hat.

 

 

 

 

Below is just a sampling of the cartoons that have appeared on Večerníček, the 50th anniversary Večerníček Czech TV jingle above features many more.

 

The Little Mole (O Krtkovi)

This is the most famous and most mass marketed of the bunch. The beloved Zdeněk Miler creation squeaks and sighs his way through truly artful animations.

 

 

Rumcajs the Robber (O loupežníku Rumcajsovi)

An outlaw like Robin Hood, the red-hatted former cobbler hides out in the forest with his wife Manka and his son Cipísek after having insulted the mayor on his shoes.

 

 

 

Maxi Dog Fík (Maxipes Fík)

A large and mischevious dog and also one of the most all-time beloved Czech characters, who takes up residence with a little girl named Aja and her family.

 

 

Pat and Mat (Pat a Mat)

These stop-motion animated handymen who specialize in ineptitude have a famous catchphrase (A je to! / It's done!) that has made it into the Czech vernacular.

 

 

 

Bob and Bobek (Bob a Bobek)

These two rabbits who live in hat, the larger Bob and the smaller and smarter Bobek, were the mascots of the Men's World Ice Hockey Championships which took place in the Czech Republic this year.

 

 

Fairy Tales from the Krkonoše Mountains (Krkonošské pohádky)

This is the only live action series of the bunch. Featuring the legendary mountain spirit of Krakonoš—he tends to frighten small children as he himself is bearded and mountain-sized!

 
 

 

 

Surprisingly, it was not just Czech cartoons that made it into the nightly Večerníček viewing rotation. A number of imports from Soviet Bloc countries like the Russian Nu Pogodi! (Well, You Just Wait!), and a few from the West including Tip and Tap (a Belgian production) and the British-Swiss show Pingu, have appeared on Večerníček and become favorites among the Czech population.

 

In honor of the 50 year milestone, several venues in Prague are hosting exhibits devoted to Večerníček including a very worthy one at Wallenstein Riding School that boasts a number of cool interactive attractions. If you are spending time in Prague with children this summer (the exhibit ends September 13) I highly recommend it.

 

 

 

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