Augsburger Puppenkiste ("Augsburg Puppet Chest") is a marionette theatre based in Augsburg, Germany. Established in 1948, it produced its first television show in 1953 and has survived right up to today, having celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2008.
It is somewhat of a national treasure to Germans, many of whom under the age of 50 were raised on its puppet films and TV series. These range from traditional Grimm fairy tales to One Thousand and One Nights to Wilhelm Hauff. Many of the old productions from the 1960s are still immensely popular and have remained unchanged since their first production.
What is less known is that they also do live performance shows for young and adult audiences, traditionally featuring a cabaret program on New Year's Eve, and having staged many adaptations of classical plays and operas, such as The Little Prince, Doctor Faustus, The Threepenny Opera, Peter and the Wolf, The Magic Flute and Don Giovanni.
TV productions (list incomplete):
- The Moomin Family (1959) and Summer in Moominvalley (1960): Their first TV series (but not their first broadcast), adapted from Tove Jansson's The Moomins books.
- Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver (German: Jim Knopf und Lukas der Lokomotivführer) (1961-62): Adapted from the Jim Button novels by Michael Ende.
- The Fat Little Knight (1963)
- Splashy the Squid (1963)
- The Tomcat Mikesch (German: Kater Mikesch) (1964)
- The Lion trilogy (1965-67), their first color production.
- The Brigand Hotzenplotz (1967)
- Impy's Island (German: Urmel aus dem Eis) (1969)
- Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver (German: Jim Knopf und Lukas der Lokomotivführer) and the sequel, Jim Button and the Wild 13 (German: Jim Knopf und die Wilde 13) (1976): A remake of their own 1961-62 black-and-white series. Their most famous production, it also has been worked into an animated series on KIKA.