Michał Sapka's website

Silent Cartoons From the 90s

As a person born & raised in Poland, I always wondered what the hell is with all those silent cartoons. 90s TV was filled with old-looking animated series - Reksio, Pat & Mat, Krecik. We were flooded by USA productions and weirdly dubbed Japanese ones (more on later). But why those were silent was a secret for a long time.

A few years ago, I found the answer. We were living in the eastern block as a “unitary state.” This meant that any export to the west was out of the question. Export to other communist countries was, on the other hand, very much welcome. “Solidarity of communist states” was a thing, a least on paper. And how to make exporting easier? By removing the necessity to recreate voices! A dog sounds like a dog everywhere, and if we can tell a story without words, why bother?

And so a lot of my childhood was provided by Czechia. It was just cost-effective. And those were not from 90s, but rather 70s or 80s.