Professor Balthazar: solving problems without inventions (plus, a full list of his many contraptions)

The image many of us have of Professor Balthazar is of him pacing up and down his study before rushing into the laboratory to start up his colorful invention machine.

His “miraculous machine” then makes “one of his famous inventions”, and funnels solutions into a flask from which he summons them at the desired location.

This is the quintessential image of the lead character from the popular 1960-70s cartoon series made in Zagreb, Croatia.

Sometimes, though, he just listens and advises people, other times he helps strangers or friends overcome arguments, and still other times fixes peoples’ cars. There are, perhaps surprisingly, around 15 episodes in which he doesn’t make any specific technological inventions.

In season 4, this becomes more common, with no technological inventions in most of the episodes. In a couple of them, Balthazar doesn’t even seem to solve any problems.

In some episodes, however, he does invent more than one thing. In The Windy Story, for example, he tackles and solves four separate problems, two of them with specific technological inventions.

Here is his full list of his inventions, by season and episode:

Pilot

“Special shoes” that do stuff, such as walk and fly on their own to help people wearing them

Professor Balthazar at his invention machine

Season 1

1 “Turbo jet sucking machine”, to get rid of the fog for his friend Hannibal

2 “Ever-lasting super suspenders”, to keep his friend Horatio’s trousers up

3 A flying streetcar, to help his friend Fabian get back his job of a street-car rider

4 “A great search” in a safari car he makes, to find the missing elephant Maestro Koko

5 A book called “How to climb to the top of success” which has empty pages for Martin to fill them in with the story of his success

6 No invention—his successful speech in London allows him to ask for a government favour which solves the housing problem of Igor the mouse

7 “The instant flowerpot” as a birthday present for Leo the painter

8 No invention—he “calculates scientifically” that an alternative world exists and tells people how to get there to indulge their “irrational urges” guilt free

9 “The Knit-O-Mobile”—a pedal-powered knitting machine to meet a sea of demand for eight-handed sweaters from trendy octopuses

10 “First, he invented a clock which worked perfectly” when all other clocks mysteriously stopped; and then he made a metal spring to fix Zizzi the alien’s clock-like space ship

11 He first solves two problems, of raining hats and umbrellas without inventions; and later invents “a windybus” that takes in the wind and then uses if to push itself forward so he can reach a storm-hit city and solve the problem of too much wind; later he invents a special “ingenious windmill” that compresses and bottles excess wind

12 “A spaceship” —a flying washing machine-like vehicle to take three musicians to space to help them play there with an alien on another planet

Professor Balthazar bottling his invention

Season 2

1 “The little robot Alfie”, to be the night watchman at a factory and help the real Alfie to rest

2 Two inventions: “A special giant vacuum cleaner”, to suck up two characters from a giant hole they fell into; and a new, modernized workshop with a “fully automated” chisel and hammer

3 “A wonderful birthday cake” filled with the “syrup of human kindness” to turn bandits into nice guys

4 “A special X-ray machine” to investigate zoo animal’s stomachs after a lion is suspected of having eaten a toddler

5 “A strange machine” that makes rainbows for a festival of beauty, which he later manually adjusts to turn it into a fabric maker to help out Phillip the dressmaker 

6 Frog-O-Mat, a noise machine to chase away loud frogs in a local pond; additionally, he turns a frog into a musical genius Figaro after three days spent working on this

7 A special locomotive with a space for a singer with loud voice to help direct the strong voice to useful purposes, such as clearing rail road tracks

8 Snow-O-Mat—a tiny machine that sucks in snow and bottles it into “ice energy” allowing for instant production of ice cubes

9 Wig-O-Mat, instant hair-making machine, to solve baldness of aliens on another planet

10 A global radar cloud detector, to locate the lost cloud Daniel which has led to droughts

11 “Skill shoes” to help a clumsy citizen get a job

12 A xylophone for Dingle the humanoid steeple feature, i.e. a musical clock for a clock tower mechanism to replace a heartless robot with one with feelings

13 A huge windmill that pumps floodwater and pots it into portable, tinned clouds

Professor Balthazar’s invention machine in the Pilot episode

Season 3

1 “The ear-water-shaker”, to allow Amadeus the weatherman to hear/locate water as there is a major drought—it later becomes a “major attraction” at the local swimming pool

2 The Smoggyex, a giant air purifier that turned pollution into free gas for cigarette lighters

3 A giant mechanical arm for resurfacing a sunken ship

4 He invents a “special fluid” that allows him to seed sun umbrellas in the desert to allow lions to get some shade

5 “A miracle ointment that makes everything grow faster”, to boost the size of shrinking fruit

6 The Pill-O-Mat which produces special pills against sea sickness coated with vanilla extract, to attract a Nessie-like dragon living in a city pond and to treat its sea sickness at the same time

7 “The Laughter-sprinkler powered by helicopter”, a flying laughter-dispenser to get rid of the black cloud of malice over the city that makes people argue unnecessarily

8 An educational slide projector to teach a stork about geographical/tourist sites on its annual migration so it’s not always delayed by them

9 “The penguin propeller cap”, to allow a zoo penguin who is sad because he cannot fly, to fly

10 “The Trail-O-Sniff”, a dog-like vehicle which can sniff out lost shoes (he later solves the problem of a dangerous rocky shore by carpeting it)

11 “The Melody-pede, which was half motor vehicle and half musical instrument”—a sort-of exercise bike that makes music to allow an overweight policeman to get fit

12 “A strange and wonderful firefighting device”; a helicopter-like firefighting machine, to allow clumsy fired firemen to keep doing the work they like but above a volcano away from the city

13 “The quick-growing underwater tree”, to allow a sawfish to saw things without damaging bridges

Season 4

1 He makes a magnet to help fix the direction of time

2 He makes a car for a just-wedded couple to drive away in

3 He makes a floral pattern for a white ghost so people are not scared of it anymore

4 No invention, he just gives the two men who mixed up their hats their right hats back

5 He produces a small screw to fix the waiter’s broken down car, and installs it for him

6 No invention, and no solution to any problems, Balthazar only features very briefly as a side role in this odd episode

7 He makes a small motor boat so he can help a magician go and rescue his rabbit who is stranded on a small desert island

8 He glues a note of money back together, symbolizing the two men becoming friends again after falling out over money

9 No invention, just arranges for a sad crocodile to fly to see his friend, a bird which flew south for the winter (though, they fly in a flying mill, which Balthazar invents in a later episode in the series)

10 No invention, just recognizes and nurtures talent of a lost musical hippo and gets him reunited with its parents

11 Makes ice skates so a penguin can deliver mail quickly in winter time while the postman is off ill

12 No invention, listens, like a therapist, to a depressed apple producer and gives him advice

13 No invention or solution as such, doesn’t even solve his own problem of having to raise birds

14 No invention, tries to talk some sense into a person who’s too strict training their cat

15 No invention, and doesn’t seem to solve anything in this episode

16 No invention, just helps a street musician make snowmen he can then sell during winter

17 No invention, but uses a special radar to find a snoring bear and then relocates it to forest so the city can sleep

18 No invention, just gets couples who’ve argued and fallen out to get back together

19 Makes the pretzel mill fly so it can deliver pretzels around town

20 A special car exhaust filter that purifies polluted air 

2019 episode

“Baltha-phone”, a sort-of video phone, and then a ‘vaccine’ to protect it from a virus, and then a science centre where children can fix the phones for others. The episode also mentions his other inventions: self—walking slippers, wind-up light that turns black-and-white into colour, and endless spaghetti.

Mićo Tatalović

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