There’s a German lady I “know” from the Recovery from Mormonism messageboard who reads my blogs from time to time. She says she enjoys reading about my adventures in her country. She caught up with me on Facebook the other day and joked that I might want to learn Swabish. She got her point across with links to a couple of cartoons.
Meet Äffle & Pferdle, a couple of Schwabish cartoon characters. They were originally created in the 1960s as mascots to represent what was then South German Radio Broadcasting (SDR) and is now the SouthWest Radio Broadcasting (SWR). They were used as commercial bumpers on early evening television as representatives of Swabish culture. Originally, it was just a horse– Pferdle– who was used, since Stuttgart’s coat of arms features a horse. The ape, Äffle, was later added and the two’s adventures were introduced to the German television audience.
According to the link above, Äffle & Pferdle are no longer a fixture on German TV because the people who created them eventually died. Also, German television, just like American television, is more commercial and the cartoon spots no doubt ate up valuable spots that could be used by paid advertisements. I have to admit, though, that I find their cartoons very charming and entertaining, even as my fledging German skills aren’t quite enough to understand everything they say.
Here, they’re singing about “Banana Blues”… that’s about all I can understand.
“Auf der Schwäbsche Eisebahne” I love the dancing goat!
These cartoons were so cute that I had to find some more. Who knows? Maybe I’ll pick up some Swabian dialect after all…
“Lasagnen Blues”… looks like they added to the “Banana Blues”… My German friend says this was a remake due to horsemeat being found in the lasagna at Real.
I could watch all day!
Äffle & Pferdle remind me a little of Rocky & Bullwinkle, an animated show I loved as a kid. Like Rocky & Bullwinkle, they also appeal to adults, which makes them great characters as far as I can tell. What better way to get lifelong fans than to engage people of all ages? Besides, this is a great way to get to know the local culture.
They’ll teach you math, too!