Hansen, Vilhelm and Carla (Petzi)

Vilhelm Hansen was born in 1900. He was by trade a lithographer, but made his living as an advertising artist from 1917-39. In the 1940’s he began to illustrate children’s books, primarily fairy tales and stories written by his wife, Carla Hansen (b. 1906). He also created the weekly comic strip Firlingerne (The Quadruplets) for the magazine Hjemmet The Home).His strip Petzi (Rasmus Klump) first appeared in Danish newspapers November 17, 1951, distributed by the PIB Copenhagen Agency in Copenhagen. This series drawn by Vilhelm Hansen and written by Carla Hansen is one of the most successful children’s comic in the world. It has been translated into several European as well as Asian languages. Thirty-six different albums with Petzi, and his friends, Old Salt (Skæg), Pingo and Pelle have been published so far. The last five albums, however, contain gags with a level of humour that does not reach beyond kindergarten age.The Petzi episodes have had a tendency to become less imaginative and less rich in ideas throughout the years. However, Vilhelm Hansen has been prolific in creating clear pictures well-suited to children. Especially in the 1950’s, he and Carla Hansen made Petzi into an extraordinary and charming comic that reached a large children’s audience, without having to make use of big dramatic effects.Carla and Vilhelm Hansen produced the daily strips, which formed the basis for the albums, until the mid-1960’s. Tove Nørgaard then took over the drawing of the strips and continued until the start of the 1980’s, when Ole Munk Rasmussen and Paul Arne Kring tried their skills with the little bear. Now the series is drawn by the Swedish artist Harald Suneson.Today the old Hansen strips are enjoying a rennaissance. Speech balloons have been added, as the text orginally appeared under the pictures.When the first episode, Petzi Builds a Ship (Rasmus Klump bygger skib) was published as an album in 1952, only Vilhelm Hansen’s name appeared with it. Starting with the third episode, Petzi meets Ma Anchovy (Rasmus Klump træffer mutter Ansjos), Carla Hansen also receives credit, as the author. And without their names appearing on the albums, both Per Carlsen and Jørgen Sonnergaard contributed ideas to the series in the 1950’s and 1960’s. After 1965, while Tove Nørgaard and later Ole Munk Rasmussen did the drawing, Jørgen Sonnergaard, Paul Schiøtt and Per Sanderhage wrote the stories.Petzi has also been the basis for a technically mediocre animated film series in the 1970’s, countless coloring and picture books, cutout sheets, etc. And the character itself was made into a piggy bank. In 1996 P.I.B collaborated with Danish Television, MTV, WDR and Carlsen Publishing in producing a new series of animated filmsof a higher quality in both story and animation technique.Vilhelm Hansen died in December, 1992. Petzi moves into Tivoli GardensPetzi and his friends Pelle, Pingo, Old Salt and the ship Mary have moved into The Tivoli Gardens. 12 May 2010 the world-renowned Danish cartoon character got its very own universe: Petzi's World. Here children of all ages can enjoy more than 40 different activities, giant cartoon decorations and sensory experiences based on the Petzi stories. And entry is free for visitors to Tivoli.Rasmus Klump og Rød Kontrollør Petzi's World is constructed to resemble a voyage of discovery, where grown-up, small and even the smallest children have their own areas to explore. The 13000 sq. ft. area will be filled with all sorts of challenges, from concrete crawling pipes in Pingonesia to the good ship Mary or rope ladders leading to the steeple. Entry to Petzi's World will be free, and, once inside, admission will be charged for a ride on the simple Petzi amusement.Petzis World replaces the playground next to Tivoli Lake, and will be considerably larger than today's playground. The toboggan slide from 1958, which was built as a part of the artist's playground, will be moved to the play area beside the new Tivoli Hotel, which will be opening in the summer of 2010.Rasmus Klump I Ballongyngerne Facts about PetziCarla Hansen is the "inventor" of Petzi, and her stories are illustrated by her husband Vilhelm. In 1952 the first real Petzi album was published under the title: Petzi builds a ship. Petzi often sails off in the good ship Mary with his friends Pingo, Old Salt and Pelle. Since then more than 8o different books have been published.Petzi comics are published in more than 20 countries since 1951, with over 20 million copies sold. In addition there are colouring books, PC games etc. Every year the Petzi Prize is awarded. Among the recipients have been the footballer Michael Laudrup, Crown Prince Frederik, Save the Children and Bamse from Danish Radio 1.