Pat & Mat
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Pat & Mat (original names in Czech Kuťáci, ... A je to!, Pat a Mat) is a Czech stop-motion animated series featuring two handymen, Pat and Mat (Czech for "Stalemate" and "Checkmate", respectively). It was created by Lubomír Beneš and Vladimír Jiránek.
The show features the two characters facing mostly self-made problems, trying to solve them using any possible and impossible tools and construction gadgets. This leads to even more problems and yet, eventually, the two manage to get a working result with a mostly surprising solution.
According to the authors, it is the manual ineptitude that inspires the stories. The humour is not the only feature of the show. Another feature is having an optimistic approach towards life. The two characters always get into problematic situations, but they never give up until they solve the problem in imaginative ways.
The show was concluded in 2004. The 78th episode, "The Strawberries" (2003), became the final episode released on DVD.
The two characters first appeared in a 1976 short film entitled Kuťáci (The Tinkers). Later, the characters appeared in more shorts, making their own TV series called ... A je to! (... And it's done!), where they got their final look. The two handymen got their names Pat and Mat in 1989, and this became the name of the show.
While creating the two characters, the authors had in mind especially entertainment for adults, but the show became popular with all audiences. However, in former Czechoslovakia, the first 29 episodes of the series could have been produced as children's TV programme only, in the short's format of 7 minutes.
The show became popular throughout the world, being aired in nations that include Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic and Slovakia), Sweden, Syria, Iraq, Poland, Yugoslavia, Iceland, Germany, Switzerland, Brazil, Finland, Netherlands, Croatia, Japan, Norway, Spain, Iran, Hungary, Serbia, Slovenia, Jordan, South Africa, South Korea.
In 1990, shortly after Czechoslovakia became open (and later the Czech and Slovak republics), Lubomír Beneš (who died in 1995) founded his own AIF Studio in Prague (production) and Zürich (marketing, sales, financing), where he and his team produced 14 more episodes, and introduced all 49 of them to the international market.
Festivals, awards, prizes
Several Pat & Mat episodes have received prizes and awards at world animation festivals during the years.
From the latest ones directed by Lubomír Beneš, the 38th episode The Cyclists, animated by Alfons Mensdorff-Pouilly, participated at the "Annecy '93" (Annecy, France) animation festival competition, and has been invited to a number of other world festivals.
The Cyclists has also been included in the selection "The Best of Annecy '93" by Cinémathèque Québécoise (Montreal), Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), Pacific Film Archive (Berkeley), Museum of Modern Art (New York) and presented by these institutions in their autumn '93 show.
- 1st prize - best animation for a daytime TV series
- 2nd prize - best stop motion professional animation.
In socialist Czechoslovakia, the authors had to explain their "subversive" characters and stories to the Prague watch-dogs of the regime, e.g. one of the questions was if they chose the t-shirt colours, red and yellow, to make fun of the Soviet-Chinese tensions. However, their explanations were "unsatisfactory", and so the "ideologic impurity" and the ban on Pat & Mat production remained. Yet, the Slovak colleagues from Czechoslovak TV in Bratislava gave Pat & Mat the necessary support, assigned them production means, so the production began and went on in the same Czech studio in Prague where Lubomír Beneš and his crew worked, under their Slovak cover (28 episodes, 1979–1985). However, Mat's T-shirt was changed from red to a neutral grey. It was changed again to red in 1989.
In Switzerland, the children programmers of German Swiss TV excluded some of the episodes from broadcasting, as they deemed them "too dangerous", while the French and Italian channels had no such problems.
Later on there were also six DVDs released with episodes from the 1976-1990 and 2002-2004 era. As of 2004, 78 episodes were made in total, with the idea and characters taken over by partially new studios. Among the new studios, there was also Patmat s.r.o., headed by Marek Beneš, Lubomír Beneš's son.
List of show title in other languages
Here is a list of what the series was called in different countries.
- Czech Republic, Slovakia, Czechoslovakia: Kuťáci, A je to!, Pat a Mat
followers: Pat a Mat se vracejí
- Other countries, languages (in alphabetic order)
- Arabic: زينغو و رينغو
- Brazilian Portuguese: Zeca e Joca
- Croatian: A je to! Pat i Mat
- Dutch: Buurman en Buurman (Neighbor and Neighbor), De twee stuntels (The two clumsies) (formely)
- English: ...and that's it!, Pat and Mat
- Finnish: Hupsis!, Pat ja Mat (Oops!, Pat and Mat)
- German: ...und fertig!, Peter und Paul, Pat und Mat
- Hungarian: Kétbalkezesek (Fumblers) (literally "2 Left Handers"), Pat és Mat
- Icelandic: Klaufabárðarnir (The clumsy guys)
- Japanese: パットとマット
- Korean: 패트와 매트
- Macedonian: Пат и Мат
- Norwegian: To gode naboer (Two Good Neighbours)
- Persian: پت و مت
- Polish: Sąsiedzi (Neighbours), Pat i Mat
- Russian: Тяпа и Ляпа, Пат и Мат, Соседи (Neighbors)
- Slovenian: A je to! Pat in Mat
- Spanish: Pat y Mat
- Swedish: Två snubbar (Two lads)
- Switzerland: Sepp und Heiri
- Welsh: Now a Ned
List of episodes
|N/e||Year of production||English Title||Czech Title|
(Slovak in 1979-1985)
produced in the Barrandov animation studios, Prague
| ...A je to!|
produced in the Barrandov animation studios, Prague, courtesy of Czechoslovak Television, Bratislava
|5||1979||Rocking Chair||Hojdacie kreslo||Lubomír Beneš|
|11||1982||Moving Day||Sťahovanie||Lubomír Beneš|
|13||1982||Jumpers (Aerials)||Skokani||Lubomír Beneš|
|16||1982||Crossword Puzzle||Krížovka||Lubomír Beneš|
|18||1983||Bird House||Búdka||Lubomír Beneš|
|19||1983||Big Laundry||Veľké pránie||Lubomír Beneš|
|20||1983||Breakfast In Grass||Raňajky v tráve||Lubomír Beneš|
|21||1983||Washing Machine||Práčka||Lubomír Beneš|
| Pat & Mat|
produced in the Barrandov animation studios, Prague (Krátký Film Praha)
|33||1990||General Cleaning||Generální úklid||Lubomír Beneš|
| Pat & Mat|
produced in the authors' AIF Studio, Prague
|37||1992||Garage Door||Vrata||Lubomír Beneš|
|41||1992||Gutter Pipe||Okap||Marek Beneš|
|45||1994||Hedgerow||Živý plot||Lubomír Beneš|
|48||1994||Model Builders||Modeláři||Lubomír Beneš|
| episode not released for distribution|
(produced by part of the former Lubomír Beneš's team without his heirs' consent)
|50||1998||The Cards||Karty||František Váša|
| Pat a Mat, Pat a Mat se vracejí|
(followers, with Marek Beneš or his consent)
|51||2003||Roast Sausages||Opékají špekáčky||Ladislav Pálka|
|52||2003||Repairing the Roof||Opravují střechu||Ladislav Pálka|
|53||2003||The Black Box||Černá bedýnka||Vlasta Pospíšilová|
|55||2003||The Dog House||Psí bouda||Milan Šebesta|
|56||2003||Lacquering the Floor||Natírají podlahu||Ladislav Pálka|
|57||2003||The Greenhouse||Skleník||Marek Beneš|
|58||2003||The Swing||Houpačka||Marek Beneš|
|59||2003||The Unwelcome Guest||Nezvaný návštěvník||Marek Beneš|
|61||2003||Painting the Windows||Natírají okna||Marek Beneš|
|63||2003||The Easter Egg||Velikonoční vajíčko||Vlasta Pospíšilová|
|64||2003||Slim Figure||Štíhlá linie||Vlasta Pospíšilová|
|65||2003||The Vending Machine||Automat||Marek Beneš|
|66||2003||The Autodrome||Autodráha||Marek Beneš|
|67||2003||The Aquarium||Akvárium||Marek Beneš|
|69||2003||Hang Glider||Rogalo||Ladislav Pálka|
|70||2004||Playing Golf||Hrají golf||Ladislav Pálka|
|71||2004||Bottle Cap||Někam to zapadlo||Vlasta Pospíšilová|
|72||2004||Digging the Pool||Kopají bazén||Marek Beneš|
|73||2004||Hanging the Landscape||Věší krajinu||Marek Beneš|
|74||2004||The Christmas Tree||Vánoční stromeček||Marek Beneš|
|75||2003||The Christmas Cake||Vánočka||Milan Šebesta|
|77||2003||The Fax Machine||Fax||Josef Lamka|
|78||2003||The Strawberries||Jahody||Vlasta Pospíšilová|
50th episode The Cards (original name Karty) completed in 1998 by AIF Studio, was to be the beginning of a new series of the show. It was different from earlier episodes. It was filmed in widescreen format (16:9), was slightly longer (lasting approximately 12 minutes), had a dialogue, a new soundtrack and new opening and closing sequences. The plan was to make 52 episodes of the new series and a feature film. Its implementation, however, did not come into effect (due to lack of money), and it was the only episode filmed that was not distributed or released. Lubomír Beneš died in 1995, and AIF Studio didn't have the rights to the characters anymore, because Marek Beneš and Vladimír Jiránek left the studio. AIF planned to get the rights from Lubomir Beneš's heirs, but soon after they completed the episode they went into bankruptcy. This is the reason why this episode has never been released and remains a mystery to all. It was directed, animated and written by František Váša.
The only thing from this episode published was a screenshot that was posted on the AIF Studio Pat & Mat website. However, one Czech animation studio called Animation People (http://www.animation.cz/ap_en.htm) saw the episode and posted more screenshots on their website. The screenshots disappeared in the middle of September 2010 when the studio modified their website. A 4:3 version also exists.
Two books with the series' characters were written:
- Jiří Michl: Pat & Mat : …a je to! (Egmont ČR, 1994)
- Pavel Sýkora: Pat a Mat dokážou všechno (Pat and Mat can do anything) (Albatros, 1st edition published in 2006, 2nd edition published in 2008)
On August 1, 2007 a Czech computer development company, Centauri Production, announced on their website that they have secured the rights to Pat and Mat to create a video game of the same name. The game was released in Czech Republic on October 1, 2009. It was released in other EU countries in 2010. The game is available in English and Czech. It is also available for purchase via Steam