Bolek and Lolek

Bolek and Lolek (Bolek i Lolek) is a Polish cartoon that dates back to the 1960s. It tells the story of two brothers, Bolek and Lolek (short for Bolesław and Karol), and their adventures. There are a number of seasons, so to speak, or sequels—the original Bolek and Lolek, which consists of 13 episodes, followed by Bolek and Lolek on Vacation (Bolek i Lolek na wakacjach), Bolek and Lolek Set Off Into the World (Bolek i Lolek wyruszają w świat), and Bolek and Lolek’s Fairy Tales (Bajki Bolka i Lolka). This was in turn followed by the much longer series, The Adventures of Bolek and Lolek (Przygody Bolka i Lolka), and a few others after that. In total, across the whole history of the various series there are 152 episodes, plus a few films. The series aired from 1962 to 1986.

In most of the episodes, Bolek and Lolek are the only characters, though occasionally they are joined by their dog. A girl character, Tola, was finally introduced in the 1970s, upon viewer request—she lives in the forest, and meets Bolek and Lolek there. In most episodes, the two main characters find themselves on some sort of adventure, where they always play the part of the hero.

The show has been translated into many languages and aired around the globe—including in Russia, where it was often one of the featured cartoons in Good Night, Little Ones. In Poland, the characters were made into action figures and a variety of other types of merchandise. There’s even a monument to Bolek and Lolek in Bielsko-Biała, a city in southern Poland.

 

Creator: Władysław Nehrebecki
Voice actors: Ewa Złotowska, Ilona Kuśmierska, Danuta Mancewicz, Danuta Przesmycka
Studio: Studio Filmów Rysunkowych

 

Here are the first few episodes of Bolek and Lolek on Vacation, from 1965:

Julie is currently studying Russian as a Second Language in Irkutsk (and before that, Bishkek) with SRAS’s Home and Abroad Scholarship program, with the goal of someday having some sort of Russia/Eurasia-related career. She recently got her master’s degree from the University of Glasgow and the University of Tartu, where she studied women’s dissent in Soviet Russia. She also has a bachelor’s degree in literature from Yale. Some of her favorite Russian authors are Sorokin, Shishkin, Il’f and Petrov, and Akhmatova. In her spare time Julie cautiously practices martial arts, reads feminist websites, and taste-tests instant coffee for her blog.