Famous Hungarian Cartoons

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The best cartoons - just like most art masterpieces - are multi-layered creations guaranteeing fun times to take you away from it all while also serving some food for thought, so rewatching and rediscovering them from time is more than advised. The pilot of our two-part series showcases seven timeless classics of Hungarian cartoons, all courtesy of iconic Pannonia Film Studio.

Cat City (Macskafogó, a clever pun, which would translate to Cat Trap) is a Hungarian-German-Canadian coproduction that debuted on the silverscreen in 1986, and became an instant classic. The film takes place on Planet X, in the year 80 AMM (After Mickey Mouse). The story is centered around the cat mob’s evil masterplan to entirely erase the planet’s mouse population. This looming nightmare can only be stopped if Professor Fushimishi’s counterplans are kept and delivered safe and sound, a mission suited for Intermouse’s once-best agent, Nick Grabowski, who’s called back from retirement to save micekind. To sidetrack the cats, a second agent, Sgt. Lazy Dick, is also thrown into action as a bait. Mr. Gatto, the mob’s kingpin, and Fritz Teufel, his right hand, do everything they can to preventGrabowski from delivering the plans, including sending a quartet of killer rats to hunt him down.

The Mézga Family is the Hungarian version of The Simpsons. The Mézgas first appeared on TV in 1968, and had two more seasons in 1974 and 1978. The series portrays a seemingly typical middle-class family consisting of Géza, the clumsy father playing second fiddle to his wife, PaulaAladár, a 12-year-old boy who happens to be a child prodigy, and Kriszta, a girl in her teens showing all the antics associated with her age. The first season’s main motives are the conflicts stirred by MZ/X, a.k.a. Öcsi (Lil’ Fella), the family’s 30th-century descendant with whom Aladár made contact. MZ/X tries to make the life of his ancestors easier by sending various high-tech gadgets through time and space, but, as the aphorism states, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Maffia, the cat, Blöki (Zorro), the dog, and Dr. Máris, the cynical neighbour also contribute to the storyline.

Next, please! Most Hungarians refer to this legendary series that debuted in 1974 by the name of its main character, Dr. BubóDr. Bubó, an owl and a natural-born bachelor who fancies fine cigars, operates his consulting room in a lair. The ruling principle of his philosophy is that the body’s illnesses are rooted in psychosomatic reasons, so he seeks the help ofpsychology, but his diagnoses are always way off. His assistant, a gold-hearted bear named Ursula, is deeply in love with Dr. Bubó, and often protects her Platonic sweetheart from enraged patients. Other main characters includeSgt. Hawk (Sólyom Csőrmester), the long beak of the forest’s law who’s a bit overzealous when it comes to arresting fellow animals.; and Ernest Turtie (Teknőc Ernő) the courier, Sgt. Hawk’s underling, who drives his boss crazy with his slower-than-the-growth-of-grass velocity. Next, Please! mocks psychological and social problems in a clever way, thus it’s more than consumable for adults. Speaking of psychological problems, the forest’s inhabitants deal with hillarious hardships: the elephant suffers from an inferiority complex, the flea is a megalomaniac, the goose is ahypohondriac, the pig is a drunkard, and so forth.

The Great Angler The cartoon’s Hungarian title, A nagy ho-ho-horgász, is rather hard to translate without making it sound like a late night fishing documentary, but we did our best. Anyway, the series kicked off in 1982, and had another season inGeorge Orwell’s favourite year, 1984. The story is centered around the fishing adventures of The Great Angler and his main man – or rather main crawler -, the Boss Worm. The cartoon depicts the beauty of being passionate about what you love, and presents how enthusiasm and perseverance help to defeat obstacles.