The Little Mole
The Little Mole (Krtek) is an enormously popular Czech cartoon character, loved by children in over 80 countries around the world today. The Little Mole was created by Czech animator and illustrator Zdeněk Miler in 1956. Being strongly influenced by Walt Disney, Miler got the idea for his protagonist when he stumbled on a mole hill in a forest. The first released film was "How the mole got his pants,” which taught children how linen is made, and since then about 50 educational episodes for young children have been produced. The film series is highly universal, as the Little Mole’s speech is limited to brief, abstract sounds. In 2011, the Little Mole even traveled in stuffed-animal form aboard the US NASA shuttle Endeavour to promote children’s interest in space exploration. The launch also inspired the commission of IPad and IPhone apps for the character and Apple Inc. is planning on helping the Little Mole enter the $21 billion US toy market for the first time.