Title of the work
Studio / Production Company
Country of the First Edition
Country/countries of popularity
First Edition Date
First Edition Details
Igrzyska. Olimpiada Bolka i Lolka (Series, S01E12). Directed by Stanisław Dülz. Studio Filmów Rysunkowych, 1984, 10 min. 35 sec.
Date of the First DVD or VHS
sfr.com.pl (accessed: July 2, 2021)
dailymotion.com (accessed: July 2, 2021).
Frames from the animation. Courtesy of the Studio Filmów Rysunkowych.
Author of the Entry:
Marta Pszczolińska, University of Warsaw, firstname.lastname@example.org
Peer-reviewer of the Entry:
Elżbieta Olechowska, University of Warsaw, email@example.com
Elizabeth Hale, University of New England, firstname.lastname@example.org
, 1927 - 2006
(Director, Screenwriter, Scriptwriter)
Stanisław Dülz (1927–2006), originally from Lwów, was a Polish director and animator of cartoons, associated mainly with the company Studio Filmów Rysunkowych in Bielsko-Biała. After WW2, his family was forced to move to Silesia, where young Dülz started working as a miner. During his compulsory military service, his talent for drawing was spotted and developed; from 1950, he worked as drafter cartoonist, animator, and director. Although he was a director or artistic director in many popular animated series (Little Blue Knight, Wawel Dragon, Fox Leon or Captain Kliper), the full length animated films with the most popular characters of Polish bed time cartoons ever, Bolek and Lolek: Wielka podróż Bolka i Lolka [Bolek and Lolek’s Great Journey] (1977) and Bolek i Lolek na Dzikim Zachodzie (1986) [Bolek and Lolek in the Wild West] were his biggest professional successes. Awarded many times for contributions to the Polish culture (e. g. 1973 Prime Minister’s Award for Artistic Achievement, 1975 Silver Cross of Merit).
filmpolski.pl (accessed: July 2, 2021).
pl.wikipedia.org (accessed: July 2, 2021).
Bio prepared by Marta Pszczolińska, University of Warsaw, email@example.com
Ilona Kuśmierska – Bolek,
Danuta Przesmycka – Lolek,
Halina Chrobak – Tola,
Henryk Łapiński – voices from the public,
Andrzej Gawroński – Olimpiks Tylon,
Krzysztof Kołbasiuk – discus thrower.
Sequels, Prequels and Spin-offs
The series Olimpiada Bolka i Lolka [Bolek’s & Lolek’s Olympics]* contains 13 episodes produced between 1983–1984:
01. Tor Przeszkód [An Obstacle Course].
02. Żółty Czepek [The Yellow Hat].
03. Zawody Łucznicze [Archery Games].
04. Judo [Judo].
05. Gol [Goal!].
06. Żeglarstwo [Sailing].
07. Slalom [The Slalom].
08. Skok w Dal [The Long Jump].
09. Pojedynek [The Duel].
10. Kolarstwo [Cycling].
11. Siatkówka [Volleyball].
12. Igrzyska [The Olympic Games].
13. Nim Zapłonie Znicz [Before the Torch Is Lit].
* Bolek and Lolek were known in English versions of the cartoon also as Bennie and Lennie, Jym and Jam or Tim and Tom.
Bolek and Lolek watch a TV transmission of the ceremony of lighting the Olympic flame and have to wait until the next day to watch the pole vault. Before going to bed Bolek confesses that he dreams of participating in the Games, Lolek, however, would prefer to be in Olympia and watch the ancient games. Then he falls asleep and an image of a swirling spiral signals the beginning of his dream. A Mediterranean landscape with pine trees, cypresses, olive trees and a front of an ancient temple indicate Greece as the location, emphasized by bouzouki music. The boys ride a tandem bike and look for someone to give them directions. They see a young shepherd playing on a double aulos for his goats, but he tells them nothing and runs away at the sight of the bicycle.
The next person they meet is a man, Tylon, who travels to Olympia, but cannot make his stubborn donkey move. He is surprised by their “chariot” but joins them on their bike out of necessity. In Olympia, they crash the tandem so badly that only the wheels remain. Tylon is their guide – on the stadium, he introduces them to a committee of elders, who invite them to their box to watch the games together. A contestant of the first discipline, discus throwing, achieves a record throw, but the boys comment they would have thrown better. This does in fact happen and the contestant is upset about his failure and shame of having been defeated by children. Magnanimous Bolek shows him how to throw using his modern technique and the thrower obtains better results and eventually, wins.
The next discipline they watch is the chariot race in which Eurybates is a favourite. Unfortunately, a wheel of his chariot breaks off and he is about to fail. The boys help him by replacing the broken part with a wheel from their bicycle. Eurybates appreciates their kindness and takes them on his chariot to continue the race. They win and are awarded laurel wreaths and… the spiral swirls again. Lolek boasts of having won a chariot race, but it turns out that the gold medal in pole vault was won by the Polish team in the contemporary Olympics, so the happy children jumping for joy on their beds.
The series was produced in the year of the 23rd Olympiad under the patronage of the Polish Olympic Committee (PKOl). Although the Polish representation along with other communist countries’ teams did not take part in the games because of a boycott ordered by USSR in retaliation for the U.S.-led boycott of the previous games in Moscow, nevertheless, the public was still interested in watching competitions transmitted by the Polish television. The episode The Games alludes in its final scene not to the games in Los Angeles, which were concurrent the released episode, but rather to previous ones in Moscow, where Władysław Kozakiewicz won for Poland the gold medal in pole vault.
The episodes of the series meet the child audience’s interests – after Poland winning 32 medals in Moscow (the biggest success of the Polish Olympic team ever), children became interested in sports like never before. The episodes of the series presenting particular disciplines entertained well the young audience. This episode, unlike the others, shows the ancient games as imagined by the child protagonists in order to teach them through play that the modern Olympic Games originated in the distant past. The cartoon only shows two selected ancient disciplines. In both of them the child protagonists, wearing t-shirts with symbolic five Olympic wheels, introduce modern elements into the ancient contest, allowing the success of the final winners. The scenes of competitions make the child viewer aware that technique matters, and that sport should be fair – having thrown the discus the farthest, Bolek is still humble, does not show off and teaches the downgraded Greek champion how to win using the new way, which reflects baron Pierre de Coubertin’s vision of sport as fair play, mutual kindness, respect and True Spirit of Sportsmanship*. Due to the simplified playful cartoon convention, the animation cannot be considered as a source of reliable knowledge about antiquity and ancient games or a manual of how to do sports in the ancient Greek way, but can undoubtedly encourage small viewers to ask questions and seek answers about what the antiquity was like.
Besides the procedures of Olympic disciplines, some elements of the setting are also shown. The landscape, the view of Olympia seen from a hill, its interior perspective with market stalls, white columns, stairs, statues and the stadium also are described in the same manner without details, simply to signal the presence of antiquity. Interestingly, the elders’ committee is presented here in a way which highlights their Greekness (grey beards, wreaths, garments resembling ancient fashions); the contestants as well, but at the same time the public gathered there looks different, and acts without dignity like average hooligans who throw vegetables to express their disapproval. What seems to be important is the scene when discus throwing makes the entire the public cower in fear of injury or death. It reflects the risk of an errant throw costing one’s life, and brings to mind the death of Hyacinthus or to the myth of Perseus who, participating in funeral games in Larissa, threw his discus accidentally killing his grandfather, Acrisius.
The cartoon also includes other elements of antiquity not associated with sports, but also presented in a simplified and conventional manner. The viewer sees a shepherd playing on a double aulos, a typical scene from an idyllic Arcadia, the land of simplicity and rural life close to the nature. Last, but not least, a special device is used to explain the marvelous events taking place in the movie – an intervention of Morpheus – the protagonists introduce themselves to their Greek guide as messengers of Morpheus, the god of sleep. It reassures the viewers that the action happens in the boys’ dream.
*The motto of Pierre de Coubertin and the idea behind his medal (Pierre de Coubertin World Fair Play Trophy) awarded by the International Fair Play Committee for acts of sportsmanship and kindness since 1964 to contestants or other people who exemplify the values of fair play.
Kamusella, Tomasz, “Crocodile Skin, or the Fraternal Curtain”, The Antioch Review 4 (2012): 742–759 (accessed: July 2, 2021).
Menzel, Birgit and Ulrich Schmid, "Der Osten Im Westen: Importe Der Populärkultur”, Osteuropa 5 (2007): 3–21 (accessed: July 2, 2021).
Sitarski, Piotr, "Bolek i Lolek: od widowni dziecięcej do systemu rozrywkowego: rekonesans badawczy”, Kultura Popularna 3 (2018): 60–73, bazhum.muzhp.pl (accessed: July 2, 2021).
Sitkiewicz, Paweł, “Tylko dla dzieci: krótka historia filmów o Bolku i Lolku”, Panoptikum 10 (2011): 137–148, bazhum.muzhp.pl (accessed: July 2, 2021).
Director: Stanisław Dülz,
Screenplay: Stanisław Dülz, Jan Petryszyn,
Dialogues: Stanisław Dülz,
Design of characters: Tadeusz Depa, Stanisław Dülz, Alfred Ledwig, Leszek Lorek, Rufin Struzik,
Animation: Zuzanna Benkowska, Izabela Cholerek, Urszula Fraś, Stanisław Świder, Marian Wantoła,
Music: Waldemar Kazanecki,
Song: lyrics by Mieczysław Woźny, sung by Alibabki,
Sound: Zbigniew Jurczyk,
Montage: Alojzy Mol.