Alfred J. Kwak
Idon't know if you heard about that, but i think Alfred J. Kwak is the best animated television series (for kids) ever created, why do i think that?
well... Alfred J. Kwak wesa dark, mature, involving animated television series (yes, it's for kids).
A brilliant show.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Alfred J. Kwak
Logo of Alfred J. Kwak Format - Cartoon. Created by Herman van Veen. Country of origin - Netherlands, Germany, Japan.
No. of episodes - 52. Running time - 25 minutes approx.
Original run1989 – 1991External links - IMDb profile.
Alfred J. Kwak is an anime (Japaneseanimatedcartoon) television series based on a Dutchtheatreshow by Herman van Veen and was co-produced by VARA and Telescreen and first shown in 1989. It consists of 52 episodes.
The series characters were designed by Harald Siepermann. The theme song of the series was written and performed by Herman van Veen.
The series has been broadcast in many countries and has been dubbed and subtitled in Dutch, French, Japanese, Greek, English, Italian, Spanish, Hebrew, Finnish, Serbian, Polish, German, Swedish, Danish, Icelandic, Chinese, and Norwegian.
In 1991, Herman van Veen won the Golden Camera, the German television award, for the animation in this cartoon.
Alfred J. Kwak was born as the son of Johan Sebastian and Anna Kwak. Some time after his birth, Alfred loses his parents and his brothers and sisters who died when a car hits them. Henk the mole, a good friend of the Kwak family, raises the little yellow duck. Alfred experiences a lot of adventures.
Unlike many other cartoons targeted for children, Alfred J. Kwak features exceptionally mature and often sad themes. amongst others it deals with different social and political issues, such as abuse of power, but also raises important values such as friendship and solidarity.
The cartoon is also notable for the political themes on which it touches. In the cartoon, Alfred fights against a fascist dictator, takes in refugees fleeing from a country under Apartheid (with white geese and black ducks), saves whales against hunters, and oversees the changeover of his country from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy. Such themes are far from typical in a children's cartoon, and form a big part of Alfred J. Kwak's appeal. Other episodes have satirised the Japanese love of golf, and criticised countries which have sharp north/south economic divides.
The cartoon is also unusual for the subtlety of its long-term narrative. In most children's cartoons, the characters do not age. In Alfred J. Kwak, we see the progress of the main characters from very young children to adulthood as the series progresses. This is particularly striking in the character of Dolf. At first a mere naughty schoolboy, we watch as his evil steadily progresses.
From left to right: Henk and Alfred J. Kwak
- Alfred J. Kwak is a duck. As a kid he lives in a giant clog with his family, later on he lives with his adoptive father Henk in a clog-shaped house. He is very concerned with other people. Although he has gone through a lot of sad things, his favourite song is 'Ik ben vandaag zo vrolijk' (I'm so happy today).
- Henk is a mole. He raised Alfred after his family died. In the Israeli version he is called Hafi, a shortcut for "Hafarperet" - the Hebrew word for "mole".
- Dolf is Alfred's enemy. He is the leader of the 'Kraaienpartij' (National Crows' Party). He is a brute figure who is only interested in power. Although he wears aNapoleonic uniform, Dolf clearly depicts Adolf Hitler (Dolf, short for Adolf, was a popular Dutch child name for people who supported the NSDAP during World War II). Dolf is called Kra in the German version.
- Winnie is a black duck and Alfred's girlfriend.
- Professor Paljas is an interdisciplinary academic. He is a polar bear, talking with a German accent. In the UK and Israeli versions he is called Professor Buffon.
- Ollie is Alfred's close school-friend, a stork who grows up to be a lawyer, and later, after the defeat of Dolf, the first democratically elected president of Groot Waterland (Great Waterland).
- Pikkie is an another friend of Alfred's from his schooldays. A magpie, Pikkie is prone to stealing shiny objects, a trait which often lands his friends in trouble. Pikkie is called Stibitzi in the German version, Ruby in the Israeli version, and Grabbie in the UK version.
- Franz Ferdinand is a lion and the king of Groot-Waterland, the country in which Alfred lives. He is named after the real historical figure Franz Ferdinand.
- Lispel is a sinister jellyfish and a spy working for the mayor of the city. As his name suggests, he talks with a lisp.
The show has had some PALVHS releases in the United Kingdom and Germany (as spotted on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.de), but does not appear to have an NTSC release in the United States and Canada.
- Dolf indulges in a many great villainous acts aside from the fascist-style couphe stages. At various points he steals gems, indulges in arms dealing, captures an intelligent dragon to sell to a zoo, shoots Lispel, and deliberately damages a dam during the country's election campaign, leading to several deaths. The depiction of Dolf's rule is a satire on Nazism, complete with references to Dolf enforcing "racial purity". Dolf is revealed at one point as being "part-blackbird", a sly reference to Hitler himself hardly living up to the Aryan ideal. Just as Hitler was not a German, Dolf colors his yellow beak black to seem like a full crow.
- Aside from Dolf and Lispel, other villains Alfred has to face include the corrupt MayorCrocodile, selfish landowning ape Mr. NittyLocopan, Scratchpaws the ravenous cat, and the authorities of the Apartheid South African style state "Atrique".
- That Alfred's girlfriend fleeing Apartheid is called Winnie is probably a reference to the ex-wife of Nelson Mandela, Winnie Mandela.
- One episode features a womanising pop star duck who nearly steals Winnie off Alfred. He appears to be loosely based on Prince and Michael Jackson.
- Although most of the worlds population is depicted as anthropomorphic animals, there are apparently humans present, however the humans are described as savage beasts, that are for example caged in circuses, with "human tamers" to train them for shows.
- In the episode of Desert Dream, Alfred is introduced by a singer named Leifeet, to the problems of drought in a poor country. This clearly refers to the charity actions taken for Ethiopia by Bob Geldof through his live aid-project in the mid-1980s.
- The time setting of the cartoon is somewhat surreal. On the whole the technology and dress of most characters seems appropriate to the late 20th century, and yet Alfred and Paljas/Boffin often travel in a spaceship with a technology far more advanced than that, while many characters such as the King's staff, Scratchpaws the cat, and Dolf in his Napoleonic incarnation wear clothes more appropriate to previous ages. Other surreal elements to the cartoon include such strange characters as the evil genie of the bottle, living chess pieces from Alfred's chess game, Pied Piper style Clown On The Moon, and aliens who appear like ducks except for their human-style feet, and a "dream" style Wild West episode during which Dolf seems to become aware that he is a character in a cartoon.
- British actor Melvyn Hayes, best known for It Ain't Half Hot Mum, voiced several characters, including Dolf, in the UK, English-dubbed version.
- In the UK version the main character is Alfred Jonathan Kwak.
- In the Israeli version, Alfred is called Shealtiel, and "Shalti" in short. The name's meaning is "I asked God".
- The J. in Alfred's original name stands for "Jodocus", which is Latin for "lord".
- In the Danish version the main character is Rasmus Rap, a name earlier used for Donald Duck in that country.
- In the Dutch, German and UK version Alfred has an occasionally used catchphrase:- "Piccobello!"; used to express extreme enthusiasm or happiness.
A DVD Region 2 box set of the whole series has been produced and is sold in the Netherlands. An English DVD release was never made.
- Alfred comes to life
- Alfred’s first birthday
- The ruby of the crown
- My father is Henk
- Dolf’s secret
- The great race
- Sea scouts part 1
- Sea scouts part 2
- The strange bottle
- Flying Carpet
- Alfred joins the circus
- Alfred's chess adventure
- The queen loses her crown
- Let's find the sawfish
- Alfred's perilous voyage
- The search for the whales
- Visitors from outer space
- The southern cross
- The ocean belong to all of us
- Alfred - desert dream
- The king takes a loan
- Dolf is justice
- Escape from the crow party
- Emperor Dolf the first
- The decline and fall of emperor Dolf
- The unabominable snowman
- Love at first sight
- A gift from the king
- Journey to at
- A turtle island
- Drilling for oil
- They come to atlantis
- Gunfight at tombstone
- The riddle of the pyramid
- The labyrinth
- The course of true love
- An invitation from the prince
- Love unites
- Who wants to marry a witch
- The stolen pan
- The volcano erupts
- Save the dragon
- Vote for Ollie
- Dolf takes a chance
- The strange epidemic
- Clown in the moon
- The magic fiddle
- How about a game of golf
- Looking for the rainbow
- Pot of Gold
- Forests of fuel?
- Dolf’s last stand