The dream of the Ęffle & Pferdle fan club has come true: on Saturday, a new traffic light for Swabian stars will be launched in Stuttgart. On this occasion, we look back at the story of cartoon characters. There is more than just joy behind the scenes.
Many Swabians grew up with EFFLE & Pferdle and can join the dialogue word for word. The cartoon friends are among the greatest comedians in the country and they go to the heart of Swabia and the logic of Swabia. Next Saturday they will take on a new role at Arnulf-Klett-Platz near the main train station. The red monkey signals: stop! Green horse allowed: now go!
Since 2016, when Mainzelmännchen began to shine on the pedestrian crossing, the then author of Ęffle & Pferde Heiko Volz and the Schwabenstars fan club have been campaigning for a traffic light based on the Mainz model. Due to Corona, the long-planned opening was postponed several times. The cartoon character lights are only symbolic next to the “normal” traffic light. While Transport Minister Winfried Hermann (Greens) and Mayor Frank Nopper (CDU) will speak at Saturday’s celebration of the new tourist attraction, Markus Zipperle, the new voice actor who has been voicing both EFFLE and Pferdle for the past two years, will also appear.
Lawyers are involved
Volker Lang, who helped develop the characters on his brother Armin Lang’s animation team in the late 1950s and was the dubbed voice of Pferdle from 2010 to 2020, and Heiko Volz, who wrote the stories from 1999 to 2020, and author EFFle cast the vote . Both were invited by the fan club but declined because a heated argument with Armin Lang Jr, the current rights owner, had yet to be resolved. The court can deal with this. Lawyers are involved. It is not only about money, but most of all about honor and the right to be co-authored. He wants to avoid meeting Armin Lang Jr. at such a joyful event as the opening of a traffic light.
The monkey was added in 1963.
The Swabian success story began in the 1950s. Based on Rössle, the coat of arms of the city of Stuttgart, Armin and Volker Lang, who were born in Bavaria, and graphic artist Werner Klein developed Pferdle in 1959. SDR was looking for a gap filler for commercial television. In 1963, a monkey that looked quite serious was added. Volker Lang, who was somewhat overshadowed by his brother Armin Lang, six years his senior, assured that the monkey later acquired childlike characteristics. At one point, the younger wanted to avoid being dominated by the elder. In the early 1970s, he left for personal reasons and successfully founded his own film company. Privately, they still got along very well, Volker Lang remembers “sessions” in pubs where they hid their voices, such as Hans Moser or Häberle und Pfleiderer, and came up with ideas for new films. From advertising television dividers, cartoon buddies have become advertising stars themselves – as advertising figurines of soda or furniture.
The sponsors also financed pedestrian traffic lights, there is not a penny from the public budget.
Until 2001, only reruns came
Armin Lang senior died of cancer in 1996 at the age of 68. His son of the same name continues the legacy to this day. Due to the large number of spots filmed, production costs, and above all the elimination of the advertising break, in 1999 SWR turned off the inflow of money for the production of new cartoons and did not issue longtime animated films to the creators. filling breaks with any new orders. Until 2001, only reruns were shown. Ęffle & Pferdle have found a new stage. They have gained a lot of young fans online and are more successful than ever in terms of reach. It is also thanks to their fan club, which will celebrate its 30th birthday next year.