Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Pat a Mat, And that's it!

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, in English "And that's it..!".
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. 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, and the production began and went on in the same Czech studio in Prague where Lubomír Beneš and his crew worked, under their Slovak cover.

The show features the two characters facing mostly self-made problems, trying to solve these using any possible and impossible tool and constructing gadgets, which leads to more problems. Yet, eventually, the two manage to get a working result with mostly a 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, but also the optimistic approach to life. The two characters always get into problematic situations but they never give up, until they solve the problem in imaginative ways.

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