The film, commissioned by the Federation of German Trade Unions film service, is based on a script by Boris Borresholm, a signee of the 1962 Oberhausen Manifesto. The director Gerhard Fieber, whose career began under the Nazis, was the founder of EOS-Film, one of the largest post-war West German animation studios. Fieber later animated the ZDF-Mainzelmännchen, concieved by Wolf Gerlach. Playing on the saga of the Cologne house ghosts, the Heinzelmännchen perform the hard labour of mining and industry, earning themselves ever more outdoor leisure time. However, as their work methods are increasingly transformed by automation their form of recreation is also soon subordinated to the rapid pace of new appliances and electronic media. The film’s pointed critique of the 1960s progress craze calls for “meaningful leisure” in the guise of education, sport, and culture.