Václav Bedřich (1918-2009)

Personality in Film art section

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Animation film director Václav Bedřich influenced generations of movie and TV spectators. Among his animated characters of bedtime stories there are plenty of well-known figures known to any Czech, such as Štaflík a Špagetka, Říkání o víle Amálce, Maxipes Fík or Bob a Bobek. Yet, not everyone knows that their author came from Příbram.

Václav Bedřich was born on 28th August 1918 in Žabí Street which is now called Ondrákova Street in Příbram. Since his early childhood he enjoyed to paint, he was an enthusiastic Boy Scout and a long-term member of Rover scouting in Příbram. After completing high school in Příbram, Bedřich was accepted to study law in Prague. However, the Nazis closed down Czech universities in 1939, and therefore he couldn’t finish his studies. He decided to join ATIF Film Studio where he soon became the first-class animator. After the war, he joined Bratři v Triku Studio where Jiří Trnka was his superior. Václav Bedřich directed independently since the 1950s. 

He dedicated his whole professional life to animated movies, and since the very beginning of his career, he focused on child spectators. His first directed movies were fairy tales Hrnečku, vař! and Čert a Káča. He involved himself into “degraded“ movie genres such as western or horror movies in the 1960s and 1970s. Furthermore, he filmed animated grotesques by Australian Dan Stivens - Kamenáč Bill a drzí zajíci (1964), Kamenáč Bill a ohromní moskyti (1971) and Kamenáč Bill a jeho přepevné laso (1972). He’s an author of 6 parts parody series, some of them are Smrtící vůně (1966) or Poklad v pyramidě (1973).

Václav Bedřich set in motion the favourite character of Večerníček by animator Radek Pilař. The little boy with a newspaper cap has been introducing night stories since the 1960s which makes it the longest TV jingle in Europe.

His most important creative period is undoubtedly the 1970s. During this time he directed popular bedtime stories as Štaflík a Špagetka (1971), O makové panence a motýlu Emanuelovi (1972), Maxipes Fík (1976), O Sazínkovi (1977), his first series of Bob and Bobek (1979) and many more. He was not only a director but also the artist in the story of Říkání o víle Amálce (1975).

While the majority of Czech animators drew their characters themselves, his paintings were not that distinctive, and therefore he preferred cooperation with other renowned artists, for example, Vladimír Renčín (O zvířátkách pana Krbce) or Vladimír Jiránek (Bob a Bobek). He involved himself in already mentioned bedtime stories Říkání o víle Amálce. His only feature film Velká sýrová loupež (1986) was inspired by American adventure movie Velká vlaková loupež. The story is about three mice planning a rob a cheese shop.

During his whole career, Václav Bedřich recorded the unbelievable number of 358 films and gained many Czech and international awards. He is rightfully considered to be a legend of the so-called “Czech Animation School.“

Václav Bedřich died on 7th March 2009 in Prague at the age of 90. He was considered to be one of the founders of Czech animated movies together with Jiří Trnka or Hermína Týrlová, both of them natives from Příbram. As a legendary director, he established a reputation of Czech animated movies around the world.


CTIBOR, Radek. Příbram přišla o slavného rodáka. Radek Ctibor. , Periskop, 13.3.2009, Č. 10, s. 4, fot., roč. 20. ISSN 1212-186X.

Úmrtím příbramského rodáka Bedřicha osiřel Večerníček: Režisér animovaných filmů Václav Bedřich zemřel v Praze ve věku 90 let. , Příbramský deník, 11.3.2009, č. 59, s. 2, fot. ISSN 1210-1168.

ČERMÁK, Václav. Režisér znělky Večerníčku pochází z Příbrami. Václav Čermák. , Příbramský deník, 6.6.2011, č. 132, s. 1. ISSN 1210-1168.


Author: Hana Pegová, Jana Drda Library in Příbram