Friday, December 15, 2006

Remembrance of rodents past

One last memory of Tokyo. Or a memory of a memory, and a pretty faulty one at that. For many years, I've had a vague but persistent recall of a TV cartoon character from my childhood. I thought that he was some sort of rodent, and he was possibly Polish, but that was all that registered. On the basis of this limited information, nobody else had the faintest idea what I was talking about. "Are you sure you're not thinking of Ludwig?" they said, backing away slowly. My life felt like a Polanski movie. Had I simply imagined it?


And then, in the Kiddy Land toy shop in Harajuku, between the Barbapapa pencil cases and the Very Hungry Caterpillar dental floss, I saw a strangely familiar face. It was the Mole, known here as Krtek, and everything came rushing back, the rabbit, the hedgehog, the little spade, and of course he was Czech, not Polish, and moles aren't actually rodents, I don't think, but everything was OK and then I went and ate that dodgy sea urchin sushi and things got less OK, but at least I wasn't suffering some bizarre manifestation of false memory syndrome.

Now, who remembers Boris the Bold?

12 comments:

Annie said...

I remember the mole! Though only now when I read your post.

Miler wanted to create a children's cartoon about how flax is processed. Of course.

Barbapapa pencil cases... Hungry Caterpillar dental floss... Tokyo is calling me, very loudly...

Anonymous said...

Did he have floppy blonde hair and a hilarious way with Liverpudlians?

Anonymous said...

I once performed an obscene act with a publicity cut-out of the Very Hungry Caterpillar, for the amusement of the missus.
The case comes up before the beak next Tuesday.

Joel said...

Krtek is great. My girlfriend and I saw a display while on holiday in Prague, and, long story short, I'm now raising a cuddly toy as my son.

Tim Footman said...

Annie: Go! And check out the big golden poo building.

Murph: No, a black beard. More like Blunkett.

St Anthony: 'The beak'? Who are you, Jack Wild?

Joel: Sounds a bit like Eraserhead, but different strokes...

First Nations said...

i do not remember the mole.
i never saw the mole, is why.
i remember roger ramjet, though.
nobody else does.
i am sad.

now i am happy again.

Valerie said...

I don't remember the mole, though he sounds highly cool. I do remember the Friendly Giant, and all my California friends thought I was insane — none of them had ever watched it as children and they had me convinced I had imagined it. Until I talked to some Canadians. And remembered I'd grown up just a stone's throw from the Canadian border. Ahhh.. internationalism.

Anonymous said...

No memory of the mole but there were quite a lot of Czech cartoons on when I was young, not quite sure why that was.

Tim Footman said...

FN: I remember Roger Ramjet. And Dudley Doo-Right. But do you remember Bod, Sir Prancelot, Danger Mouse, The Flumps, Pipkins, Crystal Tips and Alistair or Jamie and his Magic Torch?

Valerie: Was the Friendly Giant the same as the Big Friendly Giant, by Roald Dahl? (Although I always thought that was an uncharacteristic slip of logic on RD's part - a Big Giant, as opposed to a little one?)

Realdoc: There was certainly loads of Eastern European stuff. Doubtless because of all the Communists at the beeb that Tebbit used to complain about. Boris the Bold was Polish, I'm sure. And do you remember The Singing, Ringing Tree, from East Germany? That used to scare the bejaasus out of me.

Diamonds said...

Miler made about 70 films. In approximately 50 of them, the protagonist was his most famous creation, the small mole (Krtek in Czech).

canadian flower delivery said...

It took three months of artistic tweaking to turn the real animal's ablind face into Krtek, or Little Mole.

Tat said...

Boris the Bold was, like a lot of the European stuff imported by the kilo instead of by the episode, 'Presented by Peggy Miller'. She'd go to trade fairs and snap these things up then re-dub them on the cheap. 'Boris the Bold' was narrated by Johnnie Morris, whereas 'The Singing Ringing Tree' had film critic Tony Bilbow on vocal duty (Imagine Wossy nawwating 'Animaw Mashik'). It wasn't any leftist conspiracy at the BBC, just 26% inflation and the atrocious quality of the yank stuff available (I mean, do you remember Hanna-Barbera's 'Devlin'? or 'These are the Days'? Eesh!). B the B wore a WWI tin hat and carried a cutlass, and his beard was scalloped like Cut-throat Jake's. His wife carried their newbord baby everywhere.