Films for Children from the Beginnings of Czech animation
Trick and animated films in the beginnings of Czech cinematography were short and meant not only for children but for all audiences. They were mainly commercial and promotional films, but their stories reminded of animated comedy or favourite fairy tales with an advert in the end. Usually no information is preserved about particular authors: the film titles don’t include their names and often not even the names of the production companies or studios where the films were made. From today’s point of view, most of these films are animated comedies and funny fairy tales close to children’s imagination rather than being similar to contemporary adverts.
During the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia and World War II, the German occupying power centralised the film industry. Some animated films were completed on the Czech territory by German production companies having the ambition to make films similar to the American animated comedy. In Prague, the production company Prag-Film produced the following films: A Wedding in the Coral Sea (Svatba v korálovém moři, 1944), The Mischievous Bunny (Neposlušný zajíček, 1944) and A Meteorological House (Povětrnostní domeček, 1945). In Zlín, Hermína Týrlová created a short puppet film Ferda the Ant (Ferda mravenec 1944) in collaboration with Ladislav Zástěra. In the same studio, Karel Zeman filmed A Christmas Dream (Vánoční sen, 1945) as his directing debut, made in collaboration with director Bořivoj Zeman. In the Czechoslovak post-war distribution, all these films were part of the programme for children.