Poland’s ‘Asterix and Obelix’ set to be turned into TV animation series
Household comic book heroes became loved for their bumbling successes and discreet references to communism.
A legendary 40-year-old comic series featuring two Slavic warriors considered to be the Polish equivalent of Asterix and Obelix, are to become household names again when they move to the TV screen in a new animated series.
Ewelina Gordziejuk, from the EGoFILM company, which has just acquired production rights, told The First News: “It is going to be a serial of 13 units. In 2019, the first episode of the series and the major part of the scripts will have been written. The first stage design projects have been created. We are currently looking for co-producers and distributors.”
The comic book characters, Kajko and Kokosz, were created by Polish author Janusz Christa and were hugely popular during the 70s and 80s going on to become the most recognizable comic characters in Poland even until today.
Set in the early middle ages and living in a fictional town, the bumbling characters attempt to defend their settlement against robbers and thieves.
But although the comics were aimed at children, adults also took to them for their veiled references to life under communism. In addition to comments about inept bureaucracy, food shortages and labour issues, some of the main characters resembled, both physically and through their words and actions, notable figures from communist history, including Lenin and Trotsky.
Christa once explained: “I was brought up in the cult of Piłsudski, and I did not want to say that I hated communism with my mother's milk, but we, the people of the borderlands, and especially from Vilnius, had a reason to disobey the Bolsheviks."
The adventures of Kajko and Koksz filled 20 comic albums, as well as number of shorter stories published in various Polish magazines and the stories later became the basis for several computer games.
Christa’s granddaughter Paulina Christa told the First News: “My grandfather was fascinated with animation. He used to watch Disney's movies with me, when I was a little girl. I can remember how interested he was in all stages of the animation process.“
And she recalled how special the comic book characters were for him, especially Kokosz. She said: "My grandfather identified himself with Kokosz. For good reason, I guess… Grandpa was exactly such a glutton and a light spirit. He did not take life seriously, he always made fun of it.“
But to Christa’s lasting regret, the computer games were never animated successfully. He passed away 10 years ago, unable to see his dream of a fully animated version of his characters being brought to life on television. But now his granddaughter has signed a contract with EGoFILM to fulfil that dream.