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Pittiplatsch

Pittiplatsch (short: Pitti) is a German fictional kobold character who was very famous in the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), especially as puppet character on children's television. He first appeared in 1962 in the television series Meister Nadelöhr erzählt (Master tailor Needle Eye tells). The character was created by Ingeborg Feustel and Günther Feustel with the cooperation of the designer and sculptor Emma-Maria Lange. Ingeborg Feustel also wrote the most of the stories featuring Pittiplatsch. The Pittiplatsch hand puppet is still played and voiced by Heinz Schröder. Schröder is also deemed to be a creator of Pittiplatsch since he originally came up with the idea for a kobold character and also reworked Lange's first Pittiplatsch model before the appearance on television.

Today, the short puppet colour films created for East German Television are still broadcasted in the "Sandmännchen" children's TV-program, but there are no new productions for TV. However new merchandising is yet produced. Since 1993 the puppeteer ensemble also has been performing live.

History

The first episode of the Meister Nadelöhr erzählt television series with Eckart Friedrichson playing master tailor Meister Nadelöhr, who lives in his tailor parlour in fairyland, was broadcasted on November 23 1956. In the beginning, he was accompanied by the (real) canaries Zwirnchen and Röllchen (Littel Thread and Little Bobbin), but in 1957 the puppet characters Schnatterinchen, a duck, and Bummi, a bear, appeared in the series. Pittiplatsch appeared only five years later. While Schnatterinchen and Bummi were very dutiful and honest characters, Pittiplatsch was introduced as a more naughty and cheeky character. But some parents and pedagogues were outraged, because they thought children could only learn didoes from Pittiplatsch. So Pitti was removed after only two broadcasts. Because of a lot of protests of children, Pittiplatsch returned on Christmas 1962, optical and verbally a bit changed. Later the show was renamed into Zu Besuch im Märchenland (Visiting Fairyland). The last show with Meister Nadelöhr was in 1975. He was replaced by the character of Fabian played by Klaus-Peter Pleßow.

Stories with Pittplatsch were also shown in the Abendgruß (evening greeting) of the Sandmännchen. These stories were only a few minutes long. The later ones after Meister Nadelöhr's resignation showed mostly Pittiplatsch with the duck Schnatterinchen and the dog Moppi, who first appeared on April 3 1976. Many of the short colour films are still shown on TV, but not the black and white films. Totally, there are rounded 2000 Abendgruß broadcasts with Pittiplatsch.

There were also produced longer Pittiplatsch films called Pittiplatsch reist ins Koboldland (Pittiplatsch travels into the Kobold Land), where Pitti experiences adventures with his brothers and sisters in the Koboldland.

After the East German Television DFF stopped broadcasting, there were no new productions for television. The puppeteers Heinz Schröder, Bärbel Möllendorf and the musician Henry Kaufmann perform live with the original puppet characters now, but nearly only in the formerly East German states of Germany.

Character

The makers wanted a new character who doesn't do only good things and can make mistakes. Pittiplatsch has these attributes, unlike his best girlfriend Schnatterinchen and other early characters in the children's television of the GDR. In his first criticised appearance Pittiplatsch took Schnatterinchen's toys and stole pudding.

Pittiplatsch became one of the central puppet characters for the children. He features a childlike, lovable, nosy and astute nature. Often his well meant, but never totally unselfish action miscarry and they end with the pledge "to be entirely dear" in the future. Children find in the figure their own weaknesses, fears and mistakes.

References

External links

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