Friday, February 13, 2015

Nostaliga lane: Non-Hungarian cartoons Hungarian kids grew up with

Born in 1986, I fall into that magical pool of nostalgia about 50% of the Internet is made up of: I was a 90's kid. With that said, every time I see "only 90's kids will remember this" type posts and pictures, I always realize how different my childhood was from that of the same age group in America. Part of that is because Hungarian TV played a fair amount of cartoons from other countries (next to American shows like Sunday afternoon Disney, and original Hungarian-made animation that I will gush about later).
In the spirit of nostalgia and introducing you to some of my personal favorites, here are some examples.
(Links lead to videos, I hate embedding them)
(Also, obviously, these are not all 90's shows. They were just played a lot in the 90's.)

Once upon a time: Life (French-Japanese)
The only OUAT show worth watching if you ask me. Life deals with how the body works, spending an entire episode on each organ and how they function, presenting such scandalous and controversial (*sarcasm sign*) topics as how babies are made, how vaccines work, and how evolution shaped our bodies. A huge part of my biology knowledge still comes from this series - I had pretty much all of it on VHS and watched it billions of times. Science, bitches.

The Wonderful Adventures of Nils Holgersson (Swedish-Japanese)
Based on the books of Swedish author Selma Lagerlöf, this show tells the story of Nils, a boy shrunk down by magic as punishment for being cruel to animals and a wandering tomte (dwarf-like creature). He goes on a long journey with a flock of wild geese (and one escaped domestic goose) on their yearly migration, and learns a lot of things about animals, kindness, and the history of Sweden.

The Moomins (Swedish-Finnish-Japanese-Dutch)
Based on children's books by Swedish-Finnish author Tove Jansson, the Moomin films and TV show follow the life of a family of trolls (although most people thought they were white hippos) and their weird, magical friends as they go on many adventures. It's the most strange and adorable thing you have ever seen. You're welcome.
The Smurfs (Belgian)
I don't have to introduce them to anyone, so I'll just stop for a second and say that the 3D Smurfs movies were an absolute travesty and they should be all buried six feet deep and forgotten forever. Ugh. Moving on.

Asterix (French-Belgian)
I am still slightly disturbed when I find out that someone doesn't know who Asterix is. One of the most popular comics in European history, the books, cartoons and movies of Asterix center around an imaginary village of Gauls resisting the Roman occupation, due to a magic potion that gives them superhuman strength. The entire thing is hilarious, clever, often sarcastic, and entirely lovely. Additional bonus that the Hungarian translation was genius.

Spartakus and the Sun Beneath the Sea [played in Hungarian as "Sunken Worlds"] (French)
Okay, so I only vaguely remember this one because it is as old as I am, but the music will never ever get out of your head. It is a strange sci-fi-fantasy series involving a lost civilization living inside the Earth and a pair of Earth children traveling with a bunch of even stranger companions to visit and save it. Or something along those lines. From what I remember, it was prime material for driving my parents crazy.

(This list is by far not complete. I'll write more later)


  1. We are so saturated with our own productions. It is a shame because we miss out on so many other stories produced in the world. I know some do not translate culturally. However, we in the states miss out culturally that we are not exposed.

  2. Those cartoons all look adorable. Thanks for sharing them.

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  6. Woah! This is quite different. I wonder if they watch shows by Andy Yeatman on Netflix because that might remain same worldwide. Those shows are good and impart great knowledge to the kids. I have no idea about these shows but seemed interesting while I was going through it.