Slniečko (partially found Slovak children's TV series; 1979-1989)

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FEATURED

Slniecko.jpg

The titular character and host of Slniečko

Status: Partially Found


Slniečko was a Slovak TV series that aired in Czechoslovakia from 1979-1989, lasting well over 100 episodes. Slniečko is currently one of the most beloved series in Slovakia, as well as the Czech Republic. However, despite the series' ongoing popularity, the series has not resurfaced in its entirety.

The Basics

Slniečko originated on the Slovak version of Czechoslovak Television, the nation's public broadcaster at the time. There were four primary segments within the series:

  • A segment featuring Slniečko (Sunny) herself. [1] At the beginning of each episode, she would introduce the topic of the episode. She would also sometimes drop in from time to time to transition from one segment to another. Slniečko was a hand puppet whose fingers (as well as additional pieces) represented the sun’s rays.
  • A segment featuring Raťafák Plachta (Big Nose Blanket). He was created as a parody of the elderly and politicians. [2] He would often interact with the children on set, but would sometimes appear by himself as well. When with the children, he would attempt to engage in the activities the children were being taught, but fail each time. Sometimes, he would try to mislead the audience with false information, only to be rebuked by the kids. Plachta is arguably the most well-known character in the series, possibly due to his unusual appearance.
  • A segment featuring a class of young children, often combined with the Raťafák segment. The main part of the show was a group of children who were taught an activity they would try to emulate, or a moral they would try to demonstrate. Their teacher and a well-known personality would also be part of the segment.
  • A puppetry segment, featuring more hand puppets. A very interesting segment, as the puppeteers would use their fingers to maneuver the puppets on a set. Some of the puppets also used a finger for the nose, as most notable with a mouse puppet seen in one episode.

Notoriety

In America, Slniečko is most well-known for the character Raťafák Plachta, who was played by Marta Žuchová and Dušan Štauder, who both [3] hid under the Plachta costume and shared operating the puppet. Americans tend to think of Raťafák Plachta as creepy or horrifying.

A recent video by YouTuber blameitonjorge [4]described the character as "a horrifying puppet that moves in such a bizarre way". When he collaborated with fellow YouTuber PhantomStrider [5]on a similar video, Strider described Plachta as "a foreign, Satanic entity of pure evil and horror". Another YouTuber, MrDachshund99, called the character "a corpse wrapped in a duvet", describing it as "absolutely horrendous". Raťafák Plachta is often confused as the main character of the series, as his notoriety far outshines those of the other characters in America. This is primarily due to this video, which was not actually part of the series, but is often assumed to be.[6]

In Slovakia, however, Slniečko is beloved as one of the instigators [7](albeit indirectly) of the Velvet Revolution, which ended Communist rule in Czechoslovakia in 1990 and ultimately resulted in the division of the country into the modern Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1992. Raťafák Plachta is also one of the most famous characters from the series in Slovakia, but the country seems more divided as to whether the character is creepy or cute. He can occasionally be seen at random around the country, greeting fans, occasionally scaring people, and even boycotting the Olympics.

Availability

Several episodes of Slniečko are currently available on YouTube, all of which seem to be ripped from the series’ repeat run on STV 2 (the second channel of Slovak Television, one of the two successors of CTV) in 2012. However, no known VHS or DVD releases of Slniečko are available and STV seems to be uninterested in releasing the entire series.

Gallery

An episode of Slniečko, heavily featuring Raťafák Plachta
A more typical episode of Slniečko

References

8. MrDachshund99's LOOKING DEEPER INTO SLNIECKO - WHAT THE GENUINE **** IS THIS?!