It pays to be a master in animation

Pumuckl is doing TV pranks again : The leprechaun's comeback

Adored by the little ones, feared by the grown-ups: when Hans Clarin raised his screeching voice as Kobold Pumuckl, parents used to flee in droves. Almost forty years ago Ellis Kaut invented the cartoon-builder man who first strained the nerves of master joiner Eder (Gustl Bayrhammer); "Meister Eder und seine Pumuckl" started at that time. The 52-part series was followed in 1995 by a Sunday morning show with repetitions and in 1999 a new 13-part series ("Pumuckl's Adventure") with Towje Kleiner as the successor to the late Gustl Bayrhammer.

The red-haired Pumuckl is a big number in the history of German children's television, especially since the combination of animation and real film was quite innovative at the time. Just as popular and “unbreakable” for decades were only the cartoon colleagues Heidi and Maya the Bee and the clever Viking Wickie; all three were later replaced by digital revenants who were robbed of their corners and edges.

The Bavarian Broadcasting Corporation's idea of ​​fetching the old episodes from the archive and having them restored seems all the more daring. Perhaps there is a calculation behind this: Anyone who once grew up with the Kobold has long since had children of their own and will watch the series with their own offspring. However, this could produce an echo that would happily occur when parents want to inspire their sons and daughters with the highlights of their own childhood: boring!

As exciting as "Lindenstrasse" for adults

In fact, the series looks like yesterday's television, and not just because of the black bars on the right and left, because it used to be produced in 4: 3 format. In many scenes, the goblin doesn't even play along. If instead the adults deliver lengthy dialogues, “Meister Eder und seine Pumuckl” should be just as exciting for today's children as “Lindenstrasse” is for adults.

From the perspective of the little ones, it always becomes interesting when Pumuckl goes overboard. Then comes what Maya Götz and her team from the International Central Institute for Youth and Educational Television (a subsidiary of BR) found out about the series. Unsurprisingly, the character's fascination lies in his anarchic character, because, according to Götz, children are most happy “when Pumuckl plays pranks, is cheeky and just doesn't do what a good child should do”. The fact that the goblin plays with limits primarily reflects the experience of the boys, "who are repeatedly admonished in daycare and school because they exceed the set limits." Pumuckl therefore embodies "the free child, the self-centered himself and his own." Focuses on the worldview and has to learn the rules of social coexistence step by step. "

This is the framework set by Master Eder, who regularly reads the riot act to his household spirit. Media scientist Götz sees the carpenter as a "reliable foster father who likes Pumuckl from the bottom of his heart, stands by him and will always save him in case of doubt". Thanks to this figure of trust, the series succeeds in conveying orientation and security; in this way help the children "to find their own compass". It is also important that the old man freaks out from time to time: Parents are not always “ideal parents” who act confidently, understandingly and competently. “But that doesn't mean that they don't love the children or want to part with them. An important message that relieves children emotionally, ”said Maya Götz.

Timeless family program

That is why there is no doubt for Sylvie Stephan, head of the BR program area culture, that the series, as a “timeless family program” and “thanks to a warm, familiar and humane setting”, could still inspire young and old alike today: children identified with it the cheeky goblin, adults were happy “about the anarchic representation and the pun. In addition, they can empathize with Meister Eder, who grows fond of Pumuckl, although he has his dear trouble with the little tormentor. ”All of this takes place in a warm, familiar and humane setting, with popular Bavarian folk actors and the wonderful voice of Hans Clarin.

On this Sunday, March 1st, young and old can see for themselves whether everything is still true: In its third program, BR shows five episodes in a row.

"Meister Eder and his Pumuckl", BR television, Sunday, 9:30 am

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