Karius and Baktus

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Karius und Baktus - based on the illustration of the children's book of the same name

Karius und Baktus ( Karius og Baktus ) is a Norwegian doll film from 1954, which aims to encourage children to brush their teeth. It is based on the children's book of the same name by Thorbjørn Egner , published in Norway in 1949 . Directed by Ivo Caprino . In the German version, Karius was dubbed by Werner Lieven , Baktus by Hans Clarin . The voice of the theater director was spoken by Erik Jelde .


The black-haired Karius and the red-haired bactus are two bacteria (roll of teeth) that live in the mouth of the child Max (in the Norwegian original the child is called Jens). There they are already at home in the molar and then spread to the canine. Since Max doesn't brush his teeth and often eats sweets ( cake ), the two of them have a good life. They cheerfully work on Max's teeth with pimples and jackhammers, who naturally gets a bad toothache from it. The mother asks Max to finally brush his teeth. When Max does this, Karius and Baktus don't like it and they have to hide in their houses (holes). But even there they are not safe for long, since Max finally goes to the dentist. He removes the buildings of Karius and Baktus and fills the holes with seals . Now the bacteria can no longer hide and are rinsed out of your mouth the next time you brush your teeth. There they end up first in the sink and finally in the sea, where they float on a raft and look for someone who doesn't brush their teeth.

radio play

In 1980 a radio play version was released on the Europa label . Karius and Baktus were spoken by Karl-Ulrich Meves and Gernot Endemann , the narrator was Horst Breiter . Several toothbrush songs that were sung by Wolfgang Kubach were incorporated into the radio play .


The book saw numerous editions in the Federal Republic and later in unified Germany. It was not moved in the GDR. The tooth devils Karius and Baktus became symbols of holes (caries) in the teeth in children. For a long time, the range of children's books on the subject of dental care was very small. It was not until around 1995 that numerous children's books on the subject of dental care appeared on the German book market.


In 1985 the radio play received a gold record , which was followed by a 3 × gold award in the Kids Award in 2015 .


  • Thorbjørn Egner: Karius and Baktus . 48th edition. cbj, Munich 2008, ISBN 3-570-01694-3 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Entry in German synchronous card index
  2. Gold / platinum database of the Federal Association of the Music Industry, accessed on November 8, 2015