Ellis Kaut invented the red-haired goblin Pumuckl, he became the hero of many children. Today the author would have been 96 years old – and Google congratulates with the doodle of a very special artist.
“Hurray, Hurray, the goblin with the red hair, …” Without Ellis Kaut, innumerable children would never have known the red-haired, impudent goblin named Pumuckl.
The children’s book author invented the figure, which does not want anyone evil, but always violates regulations and conventions, questions things, names and customs, and doing all sorts of trickery.
Kaut died about 14 months ago. But this Thursday, Google reminds on his home page of the Pumuckl inventor’s birthday: She would have turned 96 today.
And so the goblin lights up a birthday candle on the Google logo. Barbara von Johnson designed the doodle – in 1963 she won the Kaut competition for the visualization of the original Pumuckl.
Perhaps the doodle is also to be seen as a kind of reconciliation: For between Johnson and Kaut it had come to the beginning of the eighties to the dispute. When “Pumuckl” came into the cinema in 1982, Kaut’s Schwiegersohn Brian Bagnall recreated the goblin figure, which resulted in a longer copyright dispute between Barbara von Johnson and Kaut.
Finally, the courts decided in August 2003 that the graphic artist also had copyrights on the revised new figure and, accordingly, had to be involved in their marketing.
Elisabeth “Ellis” Kaut was born in 1920 as the daughter of a Munich bank clerk and a Swabian peasant daughter in Stuttgart. Two years later, the family moved to Munich.
Kaut studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich from 1940 to 1944, where she studied sculpture.
In addition to sculpture, she began to write novels, radio plays, and short stories. At the Bavarian Radio, she was the spokesman for radio plays and children’s broadcasts.
She achieved a first success with the “tales of the cat”, a talking cat, before the BR went on the air in 1962 with Kaut’s real success figure Pumuckl.
From 1965 on, “Pumuckl” books, later several records, cassettes, CDs and DVDs appeared. From 1978, Pumuckl was also the star of a 52-part television series in the children’s program.
More information about Kaut and her work can be found on the official homepage of the author.
The name of the goblin, by the way, comes from Kaut’s husband: he had invented it with a teasing of the two husbands.