Pat & Mat  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

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.


Contents

The show

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 is also memorable for its soundtrack, composed by Petr Skoumal, of which the main parts consist of the theme song and a harmonica tune.

The show was concluded in 2004. The 78th episode, "The Strawberries" (2003), became the final episode released on DVD.

History

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.

The 44th episode The Billiards, animated by František Váša, has been selected for the "Annecy '95" competition, and invited to almost all otherworld film festivals.

The Billiards got two prizes at the World Animation Celebration in Agoura (CA), March '97:

  • 1st prize - best animation for a daytime TV series
  • 2nd prize - best stop motion professional animation.

Controversies

Czechoslovakia

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.

Switzerland

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.

Followers

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.

Original
  • 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)
Episode Director
Pilot
produced in the Barrandov animation studios, Prague
1 1976 Tinkers Kuťáci Lubomír Beneš
...A je to!
produced in the Barrandov animation studios, Prague, courtesy of Czechoslovak Television, Bratislava
2 1979 Wallpaper Tapety Lubomír Beneš
3 1979 Workshop Dielňa Lubomír Beneš
4 1979 Carpet Koberec Lubomír Beneš
5 1979 Rocking Chair Hojdacie kreslo Lubomír Beneš
6 1979 Picture Obraz Lubomír Beneš
7 1979 Garage Garáž Lubomír Beneš
8 1979 Light Svetlo Lubomír Beneš
9 1981 Gramophone Gramofón Lubomír Beneš
10 1981 Grill Grill Lubomír Beneš
11 1982 Moving Day Sťahovanie Lubomír Beneš
12 1982 Water Voda Lubomír Beneš
13 1982 Jumpers (Aerials) Skokani Lubomír Beneš
14 1982 Garden Záhradka Lubomír Beneš
15 1982 Decorating Maľovanie Lubomír Beneš
16 1982 Crossword Puzzle Krížovka Lubomír Beneš
17 1983 Gym Telocvičňa 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
22 1983 Rain Dážď Lubomír Beneš
23 1984 Trip Výlet Lubomír Beneš
24 1984 Winemakers Vinári Lubomír Beneš
25 1984 Skates Korčule Lubomír Beneš
26 1984 Piano Klavír Lubomír Beneš
27 1985 Potters Hrnčiari Lubomír Beneš
28 1985 Malfunction Porucha Lubomír Beneš
29 1985 Apple Jablko Lubomír Beneš
Pat & Mat
produced in the Barrandov animation studios, Prague (Krátký Film Praha)
30 1989 Key Klíč Lubomír Beneš
31 1989 Furniture Nábytek Lubomír Beneš
32 1990 Lawnmower Sekačka Lubomír Beneš
33 1990 General Cleaning Generální úklid Lubomír Beneš
34 1990 Door Dveře Lubomír Beneš
35 1990 Roof Střecha Lubomír Beneš
Pat & Mat
produced in the authors' AIF Studio, Prague
36 1992 Biscuits Sušenky Marek Beneš
37 1992 Garage Door Vrata Lubomír Beneš
38 1992 Cyclists Cyklisti Lubomír Beneš
39 1992 Tiles Dlaždice Lubomír Beneš
40 1992 Parquet Parkety Lubomír Beneš
41 1992 Gutter Pipe Okap Marek Beneš
42 1992 Convertible Kabriolet Lubomír Beneš
43 1994 Accident Nehoda Lubomír Beneš
44 1994 Billiards Kulečník Lubomír Beneš
45 1994 Hedgerow Živý plot Lubomír Beneš
46 1994 Safe Trezor Lubomír Beneš
47 1994 Fender Blatník Lubomír Beneš
48 1994 Model Builders Modeláři Lubomír Beneš
49 1994 Windsurfing Windsurfing 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
54 2003 Wheels Kolečka 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
60 2003 Bodyguards Bodygárdi Marek Beneš
61 2003 Painting the Windows Natírají okna Marek Beneš
62 2002 Puzzle Puzzle 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
68 2003 Pumpkins Zavařují Ladislav Pálka
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
76 2003 Flu Stůňou Ladislav Pálka
77 2003 The Fax Machine Fax Josef Lamka
78 2003 The Strawberries Jahody Vlasta Pospíšilová

50th episode

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.

Books

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)

Video game

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





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Pat & Mat" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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