Please note: the films below are only streaming on the Czech version of Netflix available to subscribers within the Czech Republic
With current events in the Czech Republic leaving many people at home, now might be a good time to dig into that Netflix queue.
After the Czech version of Netflix improved their localization last fall, hundreds of new Czech audio and subtitle tracks have made it to the streaming platform – along with dozens of classic and contemporary Czech films.
Best of all: for non-Czech speakers, each of these Czech films on Netflix comes with English subtitles.
But what to watch? We previously wrote about some of the best modern (post-1993) Czech films that are currently streaming on Netflix, but there’s a wealth of great Czech content streaming on Netflix for viewers of all ages.
These are some of the top Czech children’s films now streaming on Czech Netflix:
Pat & Mat in Action Again (Pat a Mat znovu v akci)
Pat and Mat are a pair of handymen who come up with creative – and incredibly destructive – solutions for DIY problems around the house. The pair have become indelibly linked with the Czech approach to problem solving, and the show is a must-see for anyone looking for insight into the Czech mentality.
Along with Krtek (The Little Mole), Pat & Mat is one of the most beloved and widely-exported of Czech cartoons; because it features no dialogue, it can be appreciated by viewers of all ages and nationalities.
Netflix is currently streaming two collections of individual episodes of the Pat a Mat cartoon as well as the 2018 feature film Pat a Mat znovu v akci (Pat and Mat in Action Again), a compilation of some of the duo’s most memorable moments.
Kooky (Kuky se vrací)
This live action feature with puppet animation was directed by Jan Svěrák, who won an Oscar for his 1996 film Kolya; here, both his father Zdeněk and son Ondra feature among the film’s primary cast.
Kooky follows the adventures of an endearing pink doll who struggles to find his way home after being tossed in the garbage and encounters a strange and surreal cast of characters on his journey home.
The Oddsockeaters (Lichožrouti)
The Oddsockeaters are (you guessed it) mischievous creatures who are responsible for those missing socks after a load of laundry. In this computer-animated feature, they must compete against a rival gang while eluding the human scientist hot on their tail.
While the animation style here doesn’t have the charm of some of the other entries on this list, the inventive storyline makes up for it. Bonus for adults: animated re-creations of a number of recognizable Prague locations.
Aurel Klimt’s beautifully-animated stop-motion feature is based on the real-life story of Laika, one of the first living creatures sent into space in 1957. Unlike the true story, however, this film imagines a scenario where she (and her puppies) make it safely back to Earth after some outer space adventures.
Note: given the subject matter, Laika is best recommended for older children. It isn’t as downbeat as Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs, but not entirely dissimilar, and includes some fetishistic material involving kinky aliens.
Fimfarum – The Third Time Lucky (Fimfárum – Do třetice všeho dobrého)
Based on stories by iconic Czech writer Jan Werich, Fimfárum is an anthology collection of five fantastic stories by animators Vlasta Pospíšilová, Kristina Dufková, David Súkup, each of which has roots in modern Czech folklore.
Beautifully animated using stop-motion techniques and populated with an inventive range of grotesque puppet characters, Fimfárum is both a real visual treat and a captivating set of short tales that are fun for all ages. Only the third movie in the series is streaming on Netflix at the moment, but all are worth catching and entirely independent of each other.
Fimfárum is only screening in a Czech version without subtitles on Netflix (each of the other films on this list includes English subtitles), but dialogue is non-existent outside of narration.
Car Fairy Tales (Autopohádky)
This unusual car-themed fairy tale anthology combines live action scenes with a variety of animation styles including stop-motion, computer-generated, and paper cutouts. A number of famous Czech faces and voices lent their talents to the production, along with pop group Chinaski, who composed the score.
Directors behind the feature include Michal Žabka, Libor Pixa, Jakub Kohák, František Váša, and Břetislav Pojar, a legend among Czech animators whose paper cutout work here is the highlight of the film.
Also: while fairy tale films are a Czech Christmas tradition, they can (of course) be enjoyed any time of the year. Classics like Tři oříšky pro Popelku (Three Nuts for Cinderella) and recent hits like Tři bratři (Three Brothers) and Anděl Páně (An Angel of the Lord) are currently streaming on Netflix with English subtitles. See this previous article for more Czech fairy tales now streaming on Netflix.
And keep an eye out for more tips on what to see among Czech films coming to Netflix!