|Vicky the Viking|
|Based on||Vicke Viking|
by Runer Jonsson
|Directed by||Hiroshi Saitô (eps. 1-26)|
Chikao Katsui (eps. 27-52)
Kōzō Kusuba (eps. 53-78)
|Composers||Seiichirō Uno (Japanese version)|
Karel Svoboda (German version)
|Country of origin||Austria|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||78|
|Production companies||Taurus Film|
Mushi Production (eps. 1-26)
Zuiyo Eizo (eps. 27-52)
Nippon Animation (eps. 53-78)
|Original release||January 31, 1974 –|
April 8, 1976
Vicky the Viking, known as Wickie und die starken Männer (listen (help·info)) in Germany and Austria and Chiisana Viking Bikke (小さなバイキング ビッケ) in Japan, is an animated television series which tells the adventures of Vicky, a young Viking boy who uses his wits to help his Viking fellows. It is based on the novel Vicke Viking (1963) written by the Swedish author Runer Jonsson. It premiered on the German TV channel ZDF on 31 January 1974 and aired in various countries. In 2013–2014, the series also existed in 3D animation produced by Studio 100.
The series' main character is Vicky, son of Halvar, chief of the Viking village of Flake. Unlike his village fellows - including most of the other boys of his age - Vicky has a sharp and imaginative mind which helps his fellow Vikings out of many tight situations, including rival Viking lord Sven the Terrible. Certain results of his intellectual approach shown in the series and the film adaptation include building a makeshift catapult to beat his father in a stone-ferrying contest, fitting their longship with kites to make it glide through the air, and using a small sawfish to cut an escape hole through a wooden door.
The script was developed from the children's book Vicke Viking (1963) written by the Swedish author Runer Jonsson, who won the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis (German Children's Book Award) for it in 1965. The Japanese animation studio Zuiyo Enterprise Company (from which Nippon Animation was formed) adapted the original version (1972–1974) and developed from it an 85-minute-long movie (original title: Chiisana Baikingu Bikke) as well as the series with 78 episodes, each 25 minutes long. The animation of the first episodes was commissioned by Zuiyo Eizo to Mushi Production, directed by Chikao Katsui. Following the failure of the latter, Zuiyo Eizo continued the production of the series alone hiring director Hiroshi Saitô. Later Zuiyo Eizo will split into Zuiyo Co., and Nippon Animation which will complete the rest of the episodes with director Kōzō Kusuba, while Zuiyo will maintain the rights to the series (copyright has been registered in 1972). The series' Japanese roots are clearly visible in its styling and character design - this led to the series being the first unwitting brush with Japanese animation for those who would become anime fans later in life.
Responsible for the German dubbing was Eberhard Storeck, who spoke as one of the characters (Snorre) himself. The music in the German version was composed by Christian Bruhn and Karel Svoboda. The text of the title song (Hey, hey, Wickie! Hey, Wickie, hey! ...) was written by Andrea Wagner. The German version also features new brief portions of animation. The English dubbing was largely poor, with characters talking endlessly to fit the lip movements of the characters, not pausing for a breath or using verbal punctuation. In the years that followed this was not uncommon for some voice actors who dubbed Japanese-produced series, up to the 1990s' anime boom in the West.
The series was produced for the German TV network ZDF and Austrian TV network ORF. In the United Kingdom, it was shown on ITV.
A modern television 'remake' is entitled Vic the Viking.
German director Michael "Bully" Herbig filmed a live action adaptation of the series called Wickie The Mighty Viking (aka "Wickie und die starken Männer"). It was produced by Christian Becker of Rat Pack Filmproduktion for a 2009 release. Vicky is portrayed by Jonas Hämmerle. Günther Kaufmann portrays Sven, the antagonist of the Vikings. The Vikings of Flake are portrayed by Jörg Moukkadam (Faxe), Mike Maas (Gorm), Christian Koch (Snorre), Nic Romm (Tjure), Patrick Reichel (Ulme) and Olaf Krätke (Urobe).
The film premiered on 9 September 2009, in Munich. On its opening weekend, it grossed approximately $5,595,895. On 3 October, during a show of Wetten, dass..?, Herbig was presented with the Goldene Leinwand award for the film's viewership of three million within its first 18 weeks. The film sold nearly 5 million tickets in Germany, for a total gross revenue of approximately $40,582,384.
Following the success of the first film, a sequel, Wickie auf Großer Fahrt, was released on 29 September 2011.
A CG animated film Vic the Viking: The Magic Sword was released on December 8, 2019.
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