Mordziaki

Mordziaki is a Polish children’s series. It is part animated, part puppet, and part live action, depending on which characters are being depicted. It aired from 1993 all the way to 2000, yet there are only nine episodes, each about 25 minutes. The show was produced by Polish studio Se-ma-for, which is responsible for many Polish animated classics, such as the Soviet show Uszatek the Bear (Miś Uszatek) and the contemporary Parauszek and Friends (Parauszek i przyjaciele).

Mordziaki is about a family of little creatures who all live on a bookshelf in a human family’s home. The main characters are Mordziaczek, usually just called “Little” (“Mały”)”; Zuzanna, Little’s mother; Jeremi, the father; Hipolit, the brother; and Dziadek, who is actually a rat whom the family has adopted as their “grandfather.”

Whenever the human family is not around, the Mordziaki have free reign of the full house—except that they are terrified of the house cat, which is much larger than they are. They also make sure the house is in good repair, much like the Russian Fixiki. When they’re not helping out around the house, they like to read the books on their bookshelf. Most of the episodes are named after works of literature—“The Odyssey of the Mordziaki” (“Odyseja Mordziaczka”), “Sherlock Mordziaki” (“Sherlock Mordziaczek”), “The Mordziaki in the Land of the Lilliputians” (“Mordziaczek w krainie liliputów”).

Mordziaki was written by Andrzej Marek Grabowski, a Polish writer of books and screenplays for children. The director, Zbigniew Kotecki, is a highly acclaimed director and cinematographer—not only of children’s and animated films and series but also of documentaries.

 

Directors: Marian Kiełbaszczak, Zbigniew Kotecki
Voice actors: Zofia Zborowska, Zdzisław Owsik, Joanna Stasiewicz, Wiktor Zborowski, Mieczysław Dyrda, Maria Winiarska, Jan Hencz
Production studio: Se-ma-for

 

No official version of the show is available online, but you can try searching on YouTube.

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.