Brat Bratu

Brat Bratu was a Slovenian TV series that aired from 2008-2009 and is based on the British comedy Only Fools and Horses. The main storyline follows two brothers living in a town in England with their uncle trying desperately to become millionaires and often find themselves in the strangest predicaments as their schemes always seem to fall apart. “Bratu bratu” literally translates in english to “brother to brother”.

Design Element #1: The Use of Images

I personally think that the use of images in the opening sequence most effectively depicts the genre of comedy and the characters the show focuses on. Using different cut out images in a collage-like way, the opening presents a charming stop-motion that appears almost choppy and rough-cut to the eye. The sequence begins with the brothers spray painting their self-made company logo onto what was once a circus van, further validating the comedic theme to the story. They continue down a street and drive through a town with various images popping out at them that probably reference the show in some way. It almost appears to look like a scrapbook put together with common household materials. Another thing I think was done very effectively was the heavy use of cardboard for a background which I believe gives a sense of who these characters are. They are in a sort of in-between stage in their lives, trying to make it big as millionaires but not quite achieving their goal yet. There are many small details that show the nature of the show. For example, we see that the van’s trunk is open and wobbles up and down as they drive down the road. At some points we see piles of boxes that look as though someone has just moved in but hasn’t unpacked yet, or even a garage full of junk that no one wants. I also think the use of cardboard helps to push more of a masculine atmosphere. A lot of the actual rooms and scenes created to me appear to look like the typical “man cave”, with a leather couch, old tv and random junk in boxes thrown every which way. Cardboard is also often seen as material used in demanding projects that men tend to work on. On top of this, the cardboard is shown in the background as boxes and objects that are made out of the material itself. 

Design Element #2: The Use of Movement

In the opening sequence, the images come together to form a choppy, rough-cut looking product. We can see the awkward breaks of movement that are fairly common in the stop-motion style, but even so, it still appears to be unfinished. It is characterized by quick cuts with movements that could probably be made to look much smoother by adding more frames per minute. It looks like a rough draft before the final essay is written. However, I think the rough movement of the opening is appropriate because it shows the age of the old, renovated van that they are driving in the very beginning. It also shows that these brothers are in no way upper class, but still have big ambitions, which I believe references it’s unfinished appearing style. The cardboard ties into this because we can see the rough edges shaped into different elements as the visuals move around the screen. Everything about this opening sequence is rough-looking, which also probably refers back to comedy and the type of humor that is probably used in the show. It is based of a British comedy, which tends to focus on satirical, blunt humor. Even the wheels on the van are cut so that they appear to look more like octagons rather than circles and have prominent sharp edges. The cardboard, magazine clippings and various animations come together in a chaotic way, but still create a fairly decent looking end result. 

Design Element #2: The Use of Sound

The last thing I think makes the opening sequence come together so well is the song that plays in the background. I tried to find a translation of the words, but I could not even manage to find the lyrics written in its own language, so I interpreted based on what I heard. The bulk of the song features a heavy, twangy sounding guitar that might be heard in older music from around the time of the 60s. It is an upbeat, happy sounding song with a male singing lyrics that sometimes seem like gibberish, not just because it’s in another language. It heavily mimics the nature of children’s music which further helps to push its lighthearted nature. Even in another language you can tell that the singer is just spitting out random words, that rhyme just simply because they flow together. This is easily distinguished because of the images that appear on screen pair with the words as they are sung. At one point you hear him say “banana” as a magazine clipping of a banana is shown on the screen as well as “Mickey Mouse” paired with an image of an actual mouse, which makes me assume that he’s also listing off the other random images appearing on the screen. I believe this theme song is appropriate and is meant to present the comedic value and mood of the entire show.