Czech Film Puppets

Get up close and personal with the stars of many of the country's best-loved animated films and TV series at this Strahov Monastery exhibition

Exactly one year on from its exhibition of costumes from Czech fairytale films, Strahov Monastery presents an exhibition entitled Czech Film Puppets (České filmové loutky).

Here, children and adults can get up close and personal with the main characters from the many much-loved Czech animated films and TV series.

Before entering the exhibition itself, a display gives the history of various Czech characters, including the famous Krtek (Little Mole). All this information is presented in Czech, but the pictures, including stills from animated films and sketches of the characters being created, are still quite interesting.

Inside, the exhibition space is divided into two halls -- one for the exhibition itself and the other for the workshops related to it.

The exhibition features virtually every popular character from the Czech puppet and animated films of the last century, including Ferda Mravenec, Švejk, Robinson, Krtek, Křemílek and Vochumůrka.

You also get the chance to see the puppet from the 1970s show Pan Tau ("Mr. Tau"), the submarine from the 1958 film Vynález zkázy (The Fabulous World of Jules Verne) and the home of beloved TV handymen Pat & Mat.

Besides some 300 original puppets, the exhibition also presents scenes from the most famous Czech puppet and animated films, featuring works by the likes of Jiří Trnka, Hermína Týrlová, Břetislav Pojar, Zdeněk Miler and Zdeněk Smetana, along with Czech-language information about these celebrated filmmakers.

But the workshops are probably the most interesting part of the exhibition, offering you the chance to learn how to make an animated film of your own.

For 45 CZK, you're given a large wooden spoon you can use to create your own puppet, which you can paint and dress as a princess or a pirate.

In addition, you'll learn about the origins of animation, beginning with the zoetrope, in which a strip of pictures was spun inside a cylinder with slits in the side to give the illusion of movement.

You won't just learn this is a passive way, though, but have the opportunity to draw your own pictures and create your own animation.

Furthermore, you'll have the chance to create an animated film as they're made today, using digital technology.

For this, you're given a box containing sand, crystals, rice, pasta and various other bits and bobs, which you can use as you please, pausing to take a digital photo each time you move something. (The people running the workshop will show you how to do this.)

When you've taken enough photos, you can use a simple computer program to view the movements you've made as an animated film.

Czech Film Puppets runs until the end of the year, making it an ideal place to entertain your children during the Christmas holidays.

RELATED LINK (Czech only)

Daily: 9am- 12 Noon; 12:30pm-5pm

Adult: 150 CZK
Family (2 Adults + 2 Under-18s): 380 CZK
Over-60s/Children Aged 3-18: 95 CZK
School Groups of 10 or More: 45 CZK/Child (Teacher: Free)
Children Under 3/Disabled: Free

Strahov Monastery
(Strahovský klášter)
Strahovské nádvoří 1/132, Prague 1
Phone: (+420) 233 107 711
Tram: Pohořelec
Bus: Malovanka
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• The exhibition runs until December 31, 2009


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