Hungarian toons to watch on Children’s Day

Published May 29, 2021, 11:00 AM

by Jules Vivas

Spend the days leading up to the Hungarian occasion by watching their films

Agent Nick Grabowsky from the Cat City (Macskafogó, 1986)

Cartoons are inevitable part of childhood. Not only is animation a popular source of entertainment, it also has many positive effects on children. In the early stages of learning, it helps them develop cognitive skills, logic, and reasoning. It helps them pick up different languages. It also instills creativity.

Every last Sunday of May, Hungary observes “Day of Children,” when cultural and educational activities focused on children’s well-being are held. This year, the Embassy of Hungary in Manila is commemorating the occasion with the traditional Hungarian Film Festival. Kids will be shown some of the best cartoon films from contemporary classics or household names to cult movies of the central European country.

Hungarian Film Festival or HUFF is an annual event that commemorates Hungarian cinema in the Philippines. It was first organized five years ago. The Embassy of Hungary is honoring the youngest members of society by treating them with all kinds of cartoons.

Hungarian animation has a rich history that began in 1914. Starting with short promotional cartoons prior to the World Wars, cartoons in Hungary have undergone a sporadic and halting development during the turbulent years. With Communism came nationalization of the Hungarian animation studio, and politics strongly dictated the subject of cartoons. By 1970s, the softening effects of Goulash Communism enabled artists to begin to express themselves. The period between the ‘60s and the ‘80s is considered the Golden Age of Hungarian animation.

Representing the best of Hungarian animation are these five films, which will be presented at the HUFF.

Béla Ternovszky’s Cat City (Macskafogó, 1986), which will open the festival, is an animal parody of Hollywood spy films. In the year 80 AMM (After Mickey Mouse) on planet X, the crime-syndicated cats try to erase the mouse population. Mice scientist Prof. Fushimishi, however, has found a weapon against the threat. Retired agent Nick Grabowsky is tasked to get the plans, with Sgt. Lazy Dick, a second secret agent employed to serve as a distraction for the cats.

A faithful adaptation of István Fekete’s famed children’s novel of the same name, The Litte Fox (Vuk, 1981), is about the fate of an orphaned fox coming of age in the harsh forest. Along with Cat City, Vuk is considered one of the most beloved classics in Hungarian animation.

The old sparrow and Vili from Willy The Sparrow


A romantic historical piece set in Habsburg and Turkish-occupied Hungary, The Treasure of the Swamp Forest (Szaffi, 1985), is set in the tumultuous 18th century. Poor Hungarian aristocrat Jonas helps a young, pretty, gypsy Romani girl and the illegitimate daughter of a Turkish pasha named Szaffi get the treasure that’s owed her by right of inheritance.

Animation has many positive effects on children. In the early stages of learning, it helps them develop cognitive skills, logic, and reasoning. It helps them pick up different languages. It also instills creativity.

Willy the Sparrow (Vili a veréb, 1989) tells the trials of a 10-year-old boy turned into a bird by a fairy. Young Vili is turned into a sparrow as punishment for his shooting of birds with a BB gun.

The Captain of the Forest (Az erdő kapitánya, 1988) follows the story of Captain, a brave dog and police captain of the forest, who must outwit his archenemy, Zero the Cat, a master of disguise and fraud, who plans to take over the woods.

All films, subtitled in English, are available on Embassy of Hungary in Manila’s Facebook page. These films will stream between May 26 and 30, free of charge.


@HunEmbassy.Manila | https://fb.me/e/2hZ5X6aMc

 
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