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The Palace of Animated Wonders

The exhibition is available in English.

Permanent exhibition “The Palace of Animated Wonders” for visitors of all ages

The exhibition presents well-known and well-liked characters from Polish children’s animations. They are displayed in their original form: Teddy Drop Ear, Pik-Pok the Penguin, Colargol the Bear and Moomins as stop-motion puppets, while Rexie, Bolek and Lolek, the Wawel Dragon and Bartolomeo Bartolini of the house of Green Parsley, the cats Philemon and Bonifacio and Chirpie the Sparrow as cels (drawings on transparent film). The animations were produced by the Se-Ma-For Film Studio in Łódź, the Animated Film Studio in Bielsko-Biała, Anima-Pol Film Studio in Łódź and the Short Film Studio in Warsaw. Blind and visually impaired individuals can experience the characters via a tactile model.

Puppets and drawings

The exhibition space is divided into 10 cubicles devoted to characters from children’s animated series and feature films. They are grouped into two visitor paths: stop-motion and hand-drawn animation. The stop-motion part of the exhibition presents productions from the Łódź-based Se-Ma-For Film Studio such as “The Little Penguin Pik-Pok,” “The Adventures of Colargol the Bear,” “The Adventures of Teddy Drop Ear,” and more. Visitors can see the puppets and set designs used in the original productions.

In the cubic devoted to Se-Ma-For’s Moomins based on books by Tove Jansson, visitors can take a peek inside Moominmama’s mystery bag with the original flatback figures from the series as well as animation slides.

The Colargol exhibit is focused on the eponymous character traveling around the world and visiting different continents with his magic suitcase
in search of his friend, 
Hector the Rat. There, one can see the original puppets as well as character designs for Hector and his cousins form America,
Africa, and Australia made by Tadeusz Wilkosz. 
In turn, Teddy Drop Ear’s room contains a storyboard and the protagonist’s puppet.

Characters from hand-drawn animations are displayed in the other part of the exhibition. The Animated Film Studio in Bielsko-Biała is represented
by Rexie, Bolek 
and Lolek, as well as protagonists from “The Kidnapping of Balthasar Sponge” based on Stanisław Pagaczewski’s eponymous book.
You can also go inside Rexie’s kennel and 
meet characters from the “Rexie and the Crow” episode. Those who are into sounds and noises can play
a concert using a special manipulation board. Se-Ma-For’s hand-
drawn animations include: “The Magic Pencil,” “The Strange World of Philemon the Cat” and “The Adventures of Chirpie the Sparrow.” The most recent of the cartoons on exhibition is “Florie’s Diary” (2014–2018) produced by the Łódź-based studio Anima-Pol, which combines traditional and computer animation. In turn, the oldest exhibit is a cel from Maciej Sieński’s 1948 short film “Polka”.

“The Palace of Animated Wonders” is intended to simultaneously provide entertainment and attractively present knowledge about animated films, their creators, and production techniques. The interactive elements of the exhibition include a simplified multiplane rig, which helps understand
the process of making 
hand-drawn and stop-motion animations.

The exhibition also serves as a tribute to animation creators with historical photographs showing Janina Hartwig working on “The Adventures of Colargol the Bear,” Jadwiga Kudrzycka at a multiplane rig during the production of “The Moomins,” Marian Kiełbaszczak on the set of “Maurycy and Hawranek”
and Tadeusz Wilkosz on 
the set of “Barnaby the Dragon.”

The beginnings of Polish animation in a nutshell

Łódź, 1946. In a small room at 210 Kilińskiego Street Zenon Wasilewski and Ryszard Potocki, enthusiasts of combining film and the fine arts, created
the first short animated films, including “Exercise Is Good for You” (by the former) and “Paweł and Gaweł” 
(by the latter). Of the two artists, Zenon Wasilewski continued to pursue animation throughout his life. His 1946 film “In the Day of King Krakus” (with a theatrical release in 1947) is considered the beginning of Polish animation. In turn, Potocki contributed to developing the institutional environment for the production of animations,
being instrumental in establishing the Stop-Motion 
Animation Studio in Łódź. The studio was subsequently transformed into the Stop-Motion
Animation Unit and the Animated Film 
Unit of the Feature Film Studio in Łódź (in 1950–1955) and the Stop-Motion Animation Studio in Tuszyn
(also as a unit of the 
Feature Film Studio since 1956). In 1961, the studio was renamed the Se-Ma-For Film Studio in Łódź.
Over the many years of its existence, the studio produced a plethora of animated characters, including Colargol the Bear, Philemon the Cat, Teddy Drop
Ear, and the Moomins. Se-Ma-For also released feature animated films distributed in movie 
theaters, such as “Colargol Conquers Space” (1978, Tadeusz Wilkosz), “Colargol in the Wild West” (1979, Edward Sturlis), “The Moomin Happy Days” (1983, Lucjan Dembiński, Krystyna Kulczycka, Jadwiga
Kudrzycka, Dariusz Zawilski), “Winter in 
Moominvalley” (1986, Lucjan Dembiński, Krystyna Kulczycka, Jadwiga Kudrzycka), “The Amazing Adventures
of Teddy Bears” 
(1990, Tadeusz Wilkosz) and “Mommy, Can Chickens Talk?” (1997, Tadeusz Wilkosz). Notable creators associated with Se-Ma-For include Włodzimierz Haupe, Halina Bielińska, Teresa Badzian, Jerzy Kotowski, Lidia Hornicka, Janina Hartwig, Lucjan Dembiński, Jadwiga Kędzierzawska, Janusz Nasfeter, Lechosław Marszałek, Marian Kiełbaszczak, Stanisław Lenartowicz, Zbigniew Rybczyński, Piotr Dumała, Marek Skrobecki and Zbigniew Kotecki. The studio’s productions garnered accolades both in Poland and internationally (e.g., at festivals in Cracow, Venice, Paris and Annecy), with the most prestigious award being an Oscar for Zbigniew Rybczyński’s auteur animation “Tango” (1980, Oscar awarded in 1983).
By the decision of the Polish Cinematography Committee, Se-Ma-For was dissolved in November 1999. A group of its former employees, notably including Zbigniew Żmudzki, established a company named SE-MA-FOR Produkcja Filmowa Sp. z o.o. Its greatest success was “Peter & the Wolf” (2006, directed
by Suzie Templeton with set design by Mared Skrobecki). The stop-
motion animation, which was co-produced with Break Thru Films, received an Oscar
for best animated short film in 2007. The 
“new” SE-MA-FOR ceased operations in 2018.

Not only Se-Ma-For

Several other film studios have made significant contributions to Polish animation. The year 1947 saw the creation of the Animated Film Studio
in Katowice; it was then relocated to Wisła, and subsequently to Bielsko-Biała. It caters to younger audiences, with its two hugely popular series depicting
the adventures of Bolek and Lolek and those of Rexie the Dog, made by Władysław Nehrebecki and Lechosław Marszałek, respectively. Anima-Pol Film Studio was established in 1989, initially as a Polish-French enterprise; however, as early as 1991 it passed into the hands of Jadwiga Wendorff and Paweł Wendorff. The studio has produced dozens of series and educational programs (a total of more than 1000 episodes) for Polish Television. Animated films have also been made by the Short Film Studio in Warsaw (initially a branch of the Animated Film Studio in Bielsko-Biała, by Centra Studio Łódź, STO Films Ltd. Łódź, the Animated Film Studio in Cracow, and TV Studio Filmów Animowanych sp. z o.o. in Poznań.

Pałac pełen bajek | The Palace of Animated Wonders

Permanent exhibition as of March 22, 2024
The Film Museum in Łódź


Zuzanna Woźniak
Rafał Andrzejczak
Marzena Bomanowska
Anna Michalska


dr Ewa Ciszewska
Szymon Szul

Educational Consultation

Magdalena Kreis

Exhibition Design

Maria Kaczorowska

Key visual

Lotne Studio

Exhibition Contractor



James West


Olga Adamska, Dorota Fornalska, Łukasz Grygiel, Marzanna Gumińska, Dariusz Kalita, Piotr Knabe, Robert Konsztat, Dominik Piekarski, Agnieszka Smolarek, Michał Stanecki, Grzegorz Steć, Mikołaj Zacharow


The exhibition is co-financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage under
the Culture Promotion Fund – a state special-purpose fund, as well as by the City of

The exhibition was co-financed by the City of Łódź


The Animated Film Studio in Bielsko-Biała, Anima-Pol Film Studio, Moomin Characters,
Rights&Brands, the Museum of Bedtime Cartoons in Rzeszów, NaFilm in Prague,
the University of Łódź, the National Film Archive – Audiovisual Institute in Warsaw.

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