Lucie Seifertová is one of the Czech Republic’s best-known children’s book authors and illustrators, whose work has been translated into numerous languages including English, Russian, German and Japanese. Now her award-winning History of the Brave Czech Nation - voted Children’s Book of the Year in 2003 - is being made into a 100-part animated series. Produced by Czech TV, the series, like the book, covers broad stretches of Czech history using humour and adventurous characters and if the premiere last Saturday is any indication, is likely to be a big success.
“The idea for turning the book into a series was one that occurred to my husband, Pancho, who I always work with. A few years ago he turned the book into a large exhibition which toured the Czech Republic and abroad, and then he got the idea for this. The series has been two years in the making, covering a lot of Czech history and it was exciting to see my drawings come to life. It’s a very different process.”
In the series, children get to meet rulers from the various dynasties in the Czech lands. They also learn about important battles, but also about the present day, from fashion to architecture. All of the episodes are narrated by the popular comic actor Jiří Lábus. Lucie Seifertová again:
“We were lucky to get Jiří Lábus to narrate and he does all the voices, including the Czech Lion. That character is interesting because he is of course very proud. But sometimes his perspective contrasts with the events that unfold and he comes across as a bit comical. He always describes how successful we are, but things sometimes end up very differently. On the other hand, the lion also knows all of Czech history, so a lot of time he’s able to put things into proper perspective.”
Lucie Seifertová says as it stands around 50 – or half - are now complete, with 50 more to go. If interested, you can catch The History of the Brave Czech Nation each Saturday on Czech TV.
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