Polish bedtime stories and growing up in the communist Poland in the 80’s wasn’t very colorful.
You weren’t given many cartoons on the 2 channel national TV. So you spent a lot of time outdoors. Let’s look at what was there for children on the Polish TV during and soon after the communist time.
Children in the (post)communist Poland
Every evening since 1960’s to 1990’s in Poland at 7 p.m. thousands of children in Polish houses were sitting in front of their TV sets. They were waiting for children’s television block– dobranocka. Back then dobranocka aka wieczorynka was the main ‘cartoon’ broadcast on the Polish TV. Some more children stories started to show up on the TV in the 90’s – but don’t think we were spoiled! Polish wieczorynka lasted 5-10 min. from Monday to Friday and on the weekends even 20 min. These Polish good-night stories grew into legends for many generations.
Here are some top Polish bedtime stories of the last century:
1. Bolek i Lolek (Jym and Jam)
Of all the Polish animated cartoons Bolek and Lolek ranks as the number one all-time favorite. It’s an animated series about two boys called Bolek i Lolek and their fun and silly adventures. The two friends often spend a lot of time outdoors and most episodes don’t have dialogues. In English, the cartoon was distributed as Bennie & Lennie and Jym and Jam.
2. Miś Uszatek (Floppy Bear, literally Teddy Floppy-ear)
Character made from the stop-motion animated TV series. Miś Uszatek was at first the main character of several children’s books translated into many languages. Though, it became very popular when it became a TV cartoon. The Floppy Bear has a circle of friends: Piglet, Little Rabbits, and Little Hare, as well as Kruczek the Puppy. Hance, you can recall the story of Winnie-the-Pooh. Nevertheless, Miś Uszatek isn’t a silly little bear – he’s a wise, responsible character loved by children and parents.
Piebald terrier dog named Reksio is a cartoon character from the TV animated series by the same title. There are 65 episodes of Reksio. All of them show the resourceful brave dog in various scenarios eg. Reksio polyglot, Reksio dreamer, Reksio educator or Reksio defender. Reksio was also broadcast in USSR and in Russia the series was called Sobaka Reks.
4.Koziołek Matołek (Matołek the Billy-Goat)
Koziołek Matołek is one of the 1st and most famous Polish comics back in 1933 and one of the most recognizable Polish children’s literature characters. It’s a story about Matołek – nice, naive and clumsy goat that undertakes to get to Pacanów ( the real place in Poland) a town to be known for making goatshoes. His search for Pacanów takes him to various places, from Africa to the Wild West. Matołek has some patriotic features – his white fur and red shorts recall the Polish flag, and the homesick feelings of Poland bring his love of the country.
5. Przygody Misia Coralgola (Jeremy the Bear)
Polish puppet-animated series about a bear called Coralgol who wanted to sing and travel the world.The series was produced from 1967 to 74’ in Łódź, Poland. It has 53 thirteen-minute episodes that were broadcast in many European countries. In France, it was called Les Aventures de Colargol and Barnaby when it was dubbed into English for the UK.
When a second dubbed version of the series was shown in Canada (also in the UK and Ireland), the series underwent another name change as Jeremy the Bear. Adventures of this little bear were also turned into 3 motion picture films in Poland: Colargol in the Wild West, Colargol, the Conqueror of Space, and Colargol and the Magic Suitcase.