Croatia has many goodies in its cultural sack, and animated movies are a great example of that! So, if you find yourself on the couch, with a lack of inspiration of what to watch, make sure you save this bottom list and watch some of the best cartoons ever (yep, bias and proud of it!).
Čudesna šuma (The Elm – Chanted Forest)
Though it is 30+ years old, this animated movie still rocks to this day! It was made as a co-production between Croatian (back then Croatia was part of SFRJ) label Croatia Film and american Fantasy Forest. It was one of the most popular animated movies Yugoslavia-wide, and is considered to be first croatian long run movie!
It is based on an original story by Sunčana Škrinjarić, and the plot is (by title) placed in an enchanted forest which is under the protection of the magic oak tree. One day, a painter called Paleta finds himself wandering the forest, and as he fell asleep under it, the magic oak gave him a power by which he can communicate with animals. Oak also enchanted his painting brush!
In the meantime, evil king called Kaktus the emperor, which is the ruler of the forest, gets scared by the painter and wants to destroy him and the whole forest. After some difficulties, Painter and his animal crew made a magic potion which they planted (no pun intended) to the evil Cactus, by which he blossomed and became good. Yay!
Čarobnjakov šešir (The Magician’s Hat)
This is the official sequel to the movie mentioned above, and the plot runs in the same enchanted forest. Painter returns to the city, and the happy crowd is now led by Thistle the magician. They find themselves in trouble and danger by the evil emperor Mrazomor. Did they succeed? Watch the movie!
Mali leteći medvjedići (The Little Flying bears)
This cartoon series was also a co-production, but this time between Croatia and Canada, back in the 90s.
Plot was also set in an enchanted forest (but not like the previous films, although Croatians apparently had a thing for enchanted forests…). In there lived tiny and magical creatures, little bears with wings. The whole series follows their attempts to protect the forest from various environmental dangers.
This series was so popular it aired in many countries (even China!) and was also translated to lots of languages. Check out if yours is on the list!
Čudnovate zgode šegrta Hlapića (Hlapic the Little Shoemaker)
Hlapić was initially a character from a novel by famous croatian writer Ivana Brlić Mažuranić, and 1997. her book was adapted into animated movie, but with a twist! In the novel, Hlapić was an orphan boy, who lived with a shoemaker family, and one day, his boss/stepfather got angry with him because he made too small pair of boots for one client. Hlapić decided to run away and that is the begging of his wild adventures.
Movie differs from the novel in one tiny thing – Hlapić becomes a mouse! With great acceptance, he became Croatian Mickey Mouse!
Profesor Baltazar (Proffesor Balthazar)
Proffesor Balthasar was the name of very famous cartoon series from the 70s, made by Zagreb Film.
Cartoon follows daily life of a wise and peculiar scientist named Balthazar, whose weird and uncommon inventions helped citizens of Balthazar city in their everyday life. With vibrant multicolored visual scheme, this was a beloved cartoon for all generations!
Original drawings from the cartoon making are to this day displayed in Zagreb City Museum.