Watch: Legendary Estonian children's show 'Mõmmi ja aabits' turns 50
Saturday marks the 50th anniversary of the live television premiere of "Mõmmi ja aabits," a children's show based on the classic Estonia alphabet book "Karu-aabits." ERR's Menu dove into our archives to unearth photos and videos sure to take many who grew up in Estonia at the time on a trip down memory lane.
The show "Mõmmi ja aabits" was based on "Karu-aabits," an Estonian alphabet book (aabits) written by Heljo Mänd and illustrated by Vive Tolli first published in 1971.
"Karu-aabits" remains in print and can still be purchased at stores in Estonia today.
"Mõmmi ja aabits" aired on Estonian Television from 1973-1976, directed by Kaarel Kilvet and Tiiu Vahi, with art design by Gunta Randla and music by Tõnu Kõrvits.
The first episode of "Mõmmi ja aabits," filmed in black and white, premiered live on Estonian Television on March 18, 1973.
By 1976, 17 episodes of the children's program had been produced, none of the recordings of which have survived.
Mõmmi goes full color
A second edition was produced from 1977-1978, this time in color.
The second run featured actors Ivo Eensalu as the eponymous Mõmmi, Ene Järvis as Karu-Kati, Vello Janson as Karu-Mati, Katrin Karisma as Karuema, Tõnis Rätsept as Karuisa, Maria Klenskaja as Jänku-Juta, Lembit Ulfsak as Rebase-Rein, Tõnu Saar as the wolf pup Uudu, Kalev Tammin as the wolf pup Uugu and Marje Metsur as Orava-Olga.
"Tuleb tuttav ette: 'Mõmmi ja aabits'" (2005)
Another seven-episode run was produced at the end of the 1970s in which Mõmmi was already in school, but none of these recordings have survived either.
"Mõmmi ja aabits: A" (1976)
From 1998-1999, directors Karin Nurm and Maarika Lauri produced a follow-up series for ETV called "Mõmmi aabits: 20 years later," bringing back art design by Gunta Randla and music by Tõnis Kõrvits, with words to the new music by Heljo Mänd, the author of the original children's book.
This series featured Piret Kalda as Mõmmi-Mari, Liisa Albel as Mõmmi-Mai, Katrin Karisma as Karuvanaema, Tõnis Rätsep as Karuvanaisa, Ene Järvis as Karuema Kati, Ivo Eensalu as Karuisa Madis, Lembit Ulfsak as Rebase-Rein, Juhan Ulfsak as Rebase-Riho, Maria Klenskaja as Jänku-Juta and Indrek Sammul as Jänku-Janek.
"Mõmmi aabits. 20 aaastat hiljem" (1999)
All surviving episodes of "Mõmmi ja aabits" and "Mõmmi aabits: 20 years later" can be watched on ETV's Jupiter and Lasteekraan.
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Editor: Aili Vahtla