Kartapus (lost French children's TV series; 1995)
Kartapus was a French live-action sitcom TV series made for children, produced by media company Carrere Group D.A., that aired in the mid and late 1990s on French channel TF1. It was made of 40 episodes that were 10 minutes long each and created by Eric Communier.
It was about a big magical friendly bear, Kartapus (whose name sounds like "carte à puces", meaning "smart card") who came out of a computer and had fun with two children, a boy called Franck and a girl called Amandine, who were the only ones who could see him, as Kartapus was invisible to adults.
Episodes would have Kartapus cause some mischief, intentionally or not, and having the adults risking discovering his existence.
Kartapus was portrayed by an actor named Mathurin Petit in a still-faced full-body costume, and sequences from the point of view from adults would have simple special effects of objects moving or floating around (as manipulated by Kartapus) with some Chroma-key techniques. Although Kartapus is the size of an adult when physically on the set, the show's opening theme shows him being originally a small bear cub in a sidescrolling computer game, being pursued in the forest by a much taller nasty-looking human.
Contributor Reynard saw a few episodes of the show when it aired; from his memories, these episodes consisted of:
- Kartapus is introduced coming out of the computer game.
- Kartapus picks a notepad and shakes it in the air to scare away a visitor, who only sees the notepad floating in the air. He freaks out and runs away.
- Kartapus messes around with Franck's toys and puts them inside their father's briefcase, who then goes to work with them. When the dad returns, he asks Franck if he put the toys in there, and Franck says yes, expecting to be scolded... "Son... thank you!" and it turns out those toys were very useful for him at work to present a project. Kartapus concludes by saying that he should play with the toys more often.
- The children's grandmother visits the family, is told about Kartapus. She cannot see him, but asks Kartapus to open the fridge's door. He does, but when she then asks him to close it, he refuses because he thinks she cannot make up her mind. In the end, Kartapus still has a positive impression on the grandma, and says "She deserves to see me!"
Very little evidence of the show subsists today; it still has an (almost empty) IMDB page and a section on the Carrere website, but the named people who worked on it are only known to have been into minor projects. Even inactive "remember nostalgic shows" forums, it is hardly mentioned, if at all.
No footage is known to still exist; only the Carrere website had kept a promotional picture (which illustrates this article).
- The IMDb page for the TV series. Retrieved 12 Apr '15
- Carrere Group's website that mentions Kartapus. Retrieved 12 Apr '15
- Sens critique page on the show. Retrieved 09 Feb '19
- Newspaper article announcing the show. Retrieved 28 Sept '19
- Carrere's TV catalog that has a section on Kartapus. Retrieved 02 Dec '19
- A post on a forum that mentions Kartapus. Retrieved 31 Dec '19