Ratafak Plachta.jpg

Slniečko was a Slovak children's television show that ran from 1979 until 1989 in the former nation of Czechoslovakia.

Given how popular the show was and if a new episode was indeed made every Sunday from its debut, Slniecko may have had 523 episodes aired. However, nearly all of them are lost.

Information

The first episode of Slniečko aired only in Slovakia in 1979. The most famous character on the show is Ratafak Plachta, a seven-foot puppet operated by two people under a blanket. Apparently, his name translates to "Big Nose Blanket". He was intentionally designed to be as disturbing as possible, according to the designer of the puppet:

"He is an eyesore, he’s ugly. I think the TV station was avant-garde in a way because they were not afraid to show [an] unlikable (in looks), not pretty puppet on screen."

Plachta has many unusual features, such as (obviously) a big nose, buck teeth and thinning, blonde hair. He wears a blanket and also has an abnormally long neck. Ratafak also appears to possess curiously pronounced cheeks. His voice is not too pleasant, either.

His personality was clumsy and he would often mislead children with false information. The children would then correct Ratafak.

Slniecko Sun.jpg

There were a few other puppets on the show, such as Sunny, a talking hand puppet of a sun. She serves as the show's titular character, often greeting the audience at the beginning of every episode and in between transitions to the next segment. Other characters include Donkey Pete, Piggy Oink and Bear Growl. However, none of them compare to Ratafak Plachta in terms of infamy or popularity.[1]

Trivia

  1. Slniečko and Ratafak Plachta were first brought to attention to the internet community when a YouTube user by the name of Angel posted a short clip of Ratafak.
  • In 2008, a Youtuber named Jano Sebik uploaded a video of Ratafak Plachta dancing around and singing (actually lip-synching to a recording of a number from a Slovakian production of the musical The Producers) with very crude puppetry. This video would become the most infamous footage of the character. Ironically, this footage isn't even from Slniecko as it turns out.
  • The show got even more attention when YouTuber blameitonjorge made his video "Top 20 Unintentionally Disturbing Kids' Characters From Around The World", where he ranked Ratafak Plachta at #3. He has since made a follow up video detailing the character in great depth.
  • Despite Ratafak Plachta being unsettling to foreign audiences, he is apparently a beloved children's character in Slovakia to this day.
  • Slniecko is actually credited as being a blow to Communism in Czechoslovakia at the time because of its message to think freely. The government censors reportedly tried to intervene, but were unsuccessful partially due to the character's popularity.
  • For some reason, Ratafak Plachta was involved in Slovakia's 2009 Presidential Election. [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eG0kZfYHFeg]
  • Thirty-two of the show's episodes, the infamous unofficial video of Ratafak Plachta and blameitonjorge's Explaining Ratafak Plachta video are all available below.
  • Ratafak Plachta's personality is somewhat similar to that of Big Bird from Sesame Street, as both are clumsy and often corrected by other characters from their shows when they make mistakes.
  • Ratafak was late to the OTO 2019 awards, alongside other Slovakian characters, being driven by a chauffeur and smoking. [2]

Videos

Episodes of Slniecko:

The unofficial Ratafak Plachta video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zt2fueiQxCY

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