Pat & Mat "Playing Cards" (found episode of Czechoslovakian animated TV series; 1998)

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A screenshot from the episode.

Status: Found

Date found: 03 Jul 2024

Found by: 이은석, Tymek Gry 2

Playing Cards is the formerly unseen episode of the Czech animated series Pat & Mat. It was made between 1997 and 1998 by some of the original aiF Studio makers. This was supposed to be the beginning of the new format the show was going to have. It was directed, animated and written by František Váša. It was different from earlier episodes and filmed in widescreen format (16:9), it was longer than all of the aired and existing episodes (lasting 12 minutes), had dialogue, an entirely new soundtrack and new opening and closing sequences.

Originally, František Váša envisioned Playing Cards as a classic silent 8-minute episode. Eventually, his colleagues convinced him that due to potential sales of the series to the USA, it was necessary to create a longer, 12-minute dubbed version, and this meant incorporating new scenes - set in the cellar[1].

The episode's production lasted nearly 2 years. David Nykl and Peter Alton dubbed the characters. The episode was dubbed in English for an anticipated breakthrough of the series on the US market. The episode was only dubbed in English, while the silent version was abandoned.[2]

The studio's original plan was to make further episodes of the new series, and possibly also half-hour episodes and a feature film. However, these projects were never realized due to the studio's bankruptcy, which was a result of a breakdown of relations between two of the studio's managers in Prague and their Zürich worldwide distributor, together with the authors' heirs. Their disputes had arisen when the 14 episodes produced by aiF Studio beforehand were distributed to South Korea, while, according to Jiránek and Beneš's heirs, the authors did not receive relevant compensation for the sale. Eventually, the Zürich management member terminated all contacts to his former colleagues in Prague. As Lubomir Beneš had died in 1995, the remaining aiF Studio management did not own the rights to the characters anymore and could not obtain them because of their disputes with his heirs. Due to these circumstances, Playing Cards has never been released or distributed in Czechia and most of the world, while aiF declared bankruptcy in 1999 and was finally liquidated in 2012. With aiF's liquidation in 2012, the episode was transferred to the Czech Film Archive.

In 2002, the Korean studio branch, aiF Asia, released a VHS collection called "English Top 7 See & Talk". Playing Cards and its opening sequence was included on the first 2 tapes.[3]

In 2012, one and-a half minutes of an episode without sound appeared unexpectedly on the Internet.[4]

On March 13th, 2014. A YouTuber named "이은석" uploaded an incomplete recording of the episode onto his channel sourced from the English Top 7 See & Talk collection.

On July 14th, 2020, the same YouTuber uploaded another clip, which later was confirmed to be the opening sequence of this episode.

On July 3rd, 2024, YouTuber "A není to!" uploaded the episode in its entirety, thanks to the efforts of another YouTube user "Tymek Gry 2".


A copy from Korean VHS collection.

An opening sequence of this episode.

The entire episode in high quality.