Nicky Nut


Nicky Nut (1951)

Distressed adventures of squirrel family.

Puppet film commercial for various insurance policies of the "Algemeene Verzekeringen" (A.G.)


Party in the forest: two squirrels get married. The next day, the brand-new family is hit by an accumulation of misfortune. Providence is a way to protect against risks.

Perspective of the 21st century

Seen from the perspective of the 21st century, a somewhat curious story: a squirrel couple's wedding, the husband of which goes to work as a lumberjack the next morning. Due to severe weather, the brand-new husband is crushed by a falling tree. Meanwhile, a fire breaks out in the wife's cottage. When she is then told that her husband has died, her reaction is that she is happy with her insurance policies for both contents and life.
It was probably decided to portray the figures as animals. That made the dramatic accumulation of accidents somewhat more distant for the viewer. And it was more acceptable to the public.

Nicky Nut (1951)


This film was made with great care. With today's technology, it sometimes looks a little amateurish. There is an explanation for this. In this period, people worked with very simple means. The early 1950s were important years for the Dollywood puppet film studios. The small-scale studio had an explosive growth in the number of orders. The production department was particularly busy. In this growth phase of the studio, new techniques and designs were sought. The creatives wanted to differentiate the films, despite the workload. The film process was not easy and presented practical challenges. Animator Jószef Misik was used for many productions, which made the workload high.
The opening scene, in particular, features a relatively large number of characters, all of whom had to be designed, built and animated.

Technical variations

To get an idea, the classic Kermesse Fantastique (1951) was from the same period. This film shows what was the 'state of art' within the studio at that time. Because of the costs, puppet films like Nicky Nut were made on a lower technical level, but still with a lot of colour and movement.
The limitation is reflected in, among other things, the execution of camera movement. Compare the smoots camera movements in Kermesse Fantastique with the somewhat wobbly movement in Nicky Nut. The explanation must be sought in the fact that the studio had limited suitable equipment and that, as an alternative, work was done with wooden (!) camera rails, on which a cart was placed that could be moved along the set.

Rattling sound

If you watch this video, you will hear a rattling sound. This is an unintentional recent addition. One of the enthusiastic web visitors, Roger Rietdijk, had a 16 mm copy of this film at home. He was so kind to project it from the projector and deliver it on video. Many thanks for that! The rattling in the soundtrack is the sound of the projector, which was recorded by the camera. 

Nicky Nut (1951)

Films were kept in a film container. This is a photo of the original 16 mm copy from which this scan came.

Voice commentary

The film is almost entirely without spoken text. At the end, a voice-over says:

"Poor little Mother Squirrel, what an appalling situation. The fate haunts them. And after the fire of her little house, she now learns of the fatal accident of her husband.
Bravo, Mr Mayor, you have a good heart. But this act of solidarity will not be necessary, because her husband, the wise and visionary Mr Squirrel, had thought of everything. He had insured himself with a good company. Not only against fire, but also against life and danger, as you yourself should do, by turning to the Belgian "Algemeene Verzekeringen" (A.G.) (General Insurance Company, GIC - (RED).
Fire, accidents, life insurance, pensions, mortgage loans. So turn to A.G., who will protect you against fate and offer you peace of mind and security."

Nicky Nut (1951)Nicky Nut (1951)

Unintentional humour: No one apparently wondered how a newly married couple in the 1950s came to have a baby. Unmarried parenthood was not socially accepted then. In animation, apparently it is. 

Nicky Nut (1951)Nicky Nut (1951)Nicky Nut (1951)

Presumably, this policy was romanticised and illustrated for the purposes of the film.

Nicky Nut (1951)

Animated logo of the insurance company


Title: Nicky Nut
                                                       Client:Belgische Maatschappij van Algemene Verzekeringen (A.G) (Belgian General Insurance Company)
Duration:3 minutes
Year of produton:1951
                                                      Art Director:
Unknown, probably Jan Coolen
Composer:Hugo de Groot
Story director:Unknown, probably Jószef Misik
Animator:Jószef Misik
Puppets:Harry Tolsma
Format:35 mm, Technicolor