In their country of origin they are known as Pat and Mat, but in The Netherlands, they go by the name of Buurman en Buurman. It is a stop-motion animated series from Czechoslovakia, which was shown on Dutch television when I was a kid. I loved it, and my four year-old son loves it too! The two friendly neighbors always find a creative solution to their problems, problems which are mostly self-created. New episodes are still being made and it still is, one of the most hilarious shows I have ever seen.
About this creation
In this episode, the neighbors have to iron their laundry, but they rather do crossword puzzles instead... After an accident with a neglected iron that burns a hole right through the floor of the appartment, they take action. They build a fully automated ironing-machine. The steam-powered contraption works brilliantly and they can finally get around to doing their puzzles!
The neighbors are busy puzzling, while the machine is doing the ironing.
The steam generator is a big flask with water that is heated by a heat lamp. One tube powers the robot arm, the other the rolling pins.
With a bicycle pump, a rake and some undefined planks and beams, they built the robotarm.
Another bicycle pump, two rolling pins, and more scrap wood were used to make the press that irons their laundry.
The whole set-up works brilliantly, until, it is again neglected too long. Lacking non-ironed laundry, it starts to feed furniture into the press. The whole contraption explodes, but this inadvertently, solves the neighbors' crossword puzzle!
Lastly, some close-ups of the background
The old, manually operated iron and ironing board.
A cabinet bursting with all sorts of tools. Pat and Mat are the do-it-yourself champions and can use anything for everything.
This kids, is what a television used to look like; screens were warped instead of flat, it were bulky things to house a large tube that fires electrons to light up the screen, and the signal was picked up by an antenna from the 'ether'. A TV very similar to this was the one I first watched the show on.
The front door is made from a bunch of brick tricks, the last of this was turning it upside down to have the lock and handle at the appropriate height.
And that is that! Or as the Czechs say; a je to! 'Voor mekaar!' Buurman en Buurman say in Dutch. When they are satisfied with the result, they say this, it sometimes is all right, but more oft as not, may still fall completely to pieces, or they have created an even larger problem!
I made a few brick-built figures before, but with this I wanted to challenge myself with a complete scene at a larger than mini-figure scale. This is not an exact replica of their homes, but inspired on. If you have ten minutes, search for 'Buurman en Buurman strijkbout' on Youtube.
Just watched my first Pat & Mat episode: "Barbeque party" at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flEX2vmFXOw . Hilarious! Pretty amazing stop-motion, too. Imagine fabricating those sets from scratch. Thanks for introducing us to this classic show.
Absolutely brilliant! Loved every scene. You're pretty ingenious, too. Off to find some episodes online. The show's basic premise is much bigger than the show: Solving one problem only to create bigger but less pressing issues is the story of human "progress".