I've just come back from a brief trip to Prague. Where I was talking to people about the extraordinary changes the world of TV is going through / is going to go through. Don't think I convinced them of much. While I was there I saw loads of these fellows. The Mole and Kafka seem to be the twin icons of Prague tourism. Overcome with waves of nostalgia I snapped up one for Arthur and brought it home.
And, since Arthur was naturally curious who this guy is, (and he was trying to avoid going to bed) we typed "Mole Krtek" into YouTube and sat and watched The Mole and The Car (parts 1 and 2.) It's great. Really slow, compared to the usual Cartoon Network fare we love, but sweetly slow. Charming and kind. Makes 60's Czechoslovakia look rather fine. And that 'Konec' at the end brought back Proustian floods of memory. (There's a great profile of Zdenek Miler, the creator of Mole, here)
But I'm really writing this because I want to remember, and I'd like to remind us all, how completely astonishingly great this is. The complete ease that we can sit and watch episodes from an obscure Czech animation. Whenever we want. Using pretty ordinary domestic stuff. It's amazing. Even a couple of years ago we'd have been amazed by this. That it's easy to do. That someone would bother to put it up there. It's extraordinary. I think it's occasionally worth remembering that. Before we take it all for granted.