The Cartooner Per Åhlin


Here in Sweden, we have all seen his figures. The round, simple and warm figures with funny hats and long potato noses. When we see Per Åhlin’s figures, we recognise the style immideately, even if the picture itself is new to us.

Per Åhlin was born in 1931 in Hofors, Sweden, and is a professional animator of several Swedish films and series. Some of them are vary nostalgic to me.

Every Christmas, it’s not only Donald Duck and his friends that every Swedish family watches on TV. The story of Karl-Bertil Jonsson is shown every Christmas eve at 19:00 in Sweden. The story of the nerdy little rich man’s son Karl-Bertil, who unlawfully steals christmas gifts from rich people and give them to the poor, has been a Swedish TV tradition every Christmas since 1975. It has become a symbol of Swedish solidarity and the true meaning of Christmas.

1974, the movie “Dunderklumpen”, or “Thunderlump” wasa released. I loved the movie when I was a kid. I even played that I was the vilain “One-Eye” and just like he did in the movie, I made fake money and threw out the window. My mother didn’t like it, as you could expect. I also love the message. Thunderlump is a movie about lonelyness. And how people forget the meaning of friendship and start worship money instead. The “Thunderlump” was considered the first Swedish cartoon feature film, but was in fact a mixture of cartoon and live action elements, as you can see in the picture below.

In 1989, one of my favorite children movies, “The Journey to Melonia” was relieased on cinemas. It’s about a the strange exotic island with bizzarre vegetation and fruits, inhabited by the old wizard Prospero and his daughter Miranda. Miranda’s voice was starred by a young Robyn, who is now known as one of the greatest Swedish artists in the world. Anyway, Melonia is the last green and beautiful places in the world. But in the horizon there is another island, Plutonia, an island completely destroyed and poisoned by mecanics, machines and poisonous gases and machines. The vilaines on the island tries to exploit Melonia’s resourses and destroy even that island with their minds of wheels and chimneys. The story is loosely based on William Shakespear’s “The Tempest”. Meet Calliba, a man completely built by vegetables and fruits. When I was a kid, I loved to play that I was him.

Some other additional works by Per Åhlin is “Hundhotellet”, or “The Dog Hotell”, “Dieselråttor och Sjömansmöss” “Diesel rats and Sea mices.” and “In the head of an old man.”

Per Åhlin will always have a special place in my heart.

Here are some snippets of the movies where Per Åhlin did the drawing. I have also added English subtitles to them all. Enjoy!


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