Explaining Russian Cartoons: Winnie the Pooh

The animated Russian Winnie the Pooh is very different compared to its yellow Disney counterpart. He doesn’t look like a stuffed animal come to life, he’s not smiling and he constantly seems either perplexed or bewildered. But the main characteristics are there – Pooh’s driving force is the goal to find honey by any means, to eat and to go on adventures with friends. These adventures include confidently inviting himself over to said friends’ homes to achieve the aforementioned goal of eating.

Released during the late sixties – early seventies, some characters resemble the well-known Russian actors of that time voicing them, instantly making the cartoons appealing to adults watching with their offspring. Somewhat impressionistic landscape drawing accompanies Winnie and Piglet’s skipping through the forest. Comedy and dry, quotable humor springs from the dialogue and phrases like “I’m just resting” when Pooh gets stuck when exiting a hovel after eating too much or “But honey is a very strange thing” have been decade-long classics.

The donkey’s permanent ingrown depressed state is so raw that its almost inspiring, making every time someone says “good morning” (“dobroe utro” in Russian) to you a wonderful opportunity for some cackling quoting: “Good morning, Pooh bear, if it is, indeed, good.”




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