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The Mole and the Rocket on new Czech stamp

The Mole and the Rocket on new Czech stamp
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This year's stamp in the "For Children" series of Ceska Posta commemorates Zdenek Miler, Czech director and author of children's cartoons who created the popular "Krtek" (The Mole or The Little Mole) character. Zdenek Miler was born on 21 February 1921 in Kladno and died on 30 November 2011 in Nova Ves pod Plesi.

His career as an artist began in Zlin Film Studios. In 1945, he joined the "Bratri v triku" animated film studio in Prague's Barrandov led by Jiri Trnka. The studio's logo, three little curly boys in sailor T-shirts, is his work. His first independent cartoon, "O milionari, ktery ukradl slunce" ("About the Millionaire Who Stole the Sun"), was based on Jiri Wolker's story.

He became famous for his series of cartoons about the Mole which attracted a huge popularity. Currently, the series includes about fifty cartoons featuring the little mole character. Interestingly, the series is not voiced (the only exception being the 1st film called "Jak krtek ke kalhotkam prisel" or "How the Mole Got His Trousers"). The speech of both the Mole and his little friends is reduced to short non-figurative exclamations made by Miler's small daughters Katerinka and Barborka.

Miler's extensive artist activities also included illustrations for children's books, such as Eduard Petiska's "Pohadkovy dedecek" ("Fairytale Grandfather"). During the communist regime, he lent his name to dissident writer Ivan Klima, author of some works on the Mole.

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