Soviet Winnie the Pooh cartoon

Wlahti sez, "Finnish public television channel one(YLE1) broadcast a couple of Soviet Era Russian animations of Winnie the Pooh last night. I watched both episodes that they broadcast, delighted to have found a bright spot after a completely rainy Midsummers vacation." Link (Thanks, Wlahti!)


  1. Oh, that is so utterly charming. Eastern Europe had fantastic children’s animation. (The Czech stuff in particular is absolutely wonderful.)

  2. If you like this you have to check out “Nu Pogodi!”. It is the Soviet version of Itchy & Scratchy (or looney tunes, anyway).

    Youtube link

    Incidentally, the Russian Winnie the Pooh is called Vinnie Pookh in Russian. He’s more of a tragic character/sad-sack in the Soviet version … makes the American Winnie look like an idiot patsy (think Forest Gump vs. Camus’ stanger). The voice was done by the great actor Genia Leonov.

  3. Oh wow, those backgrounds are absolutely gorgeous. Shows what you can do with some crayons, vs. millions in computer-generated animations…

  4. We had new hardwood floor installed by a couple whose last name is Vinnikhan (they’re Russian, but of Tatar extraction, I believe.)

    Every time I talk with them, I have the hardest time remembering NOT to call them “Vinnipukh”…

  5. In general, it seems to me that Soviet-era cartoons were much more… I think “charming” is the right word… than their American equivalents. Sweet without (usually) being cloying. Violence is rare to non-existent; children who go off alone in the world invariably meet with helpful, friendly strangers. There are unfriendly postmen (Pervoklashina) and frustrated witches/maiden aunts (Cheburashka), but they are either frustrated in their scheming or converted into friends.

    I love the Bugs Bunny and Tom & Jerry of my childhood – but all of my Russian friends have a nostalgia for the cartoons of their childhood that’s almost painful. I’m a little jealous sometimes.

  6. This is wonderful.

    However, I really can’t resist:

    “Christopher has a secret, one that he mustn’t tell
    He’s drawn up a contract with the devil in hell
    Christopher was greedy, Christopher was bad
    He sold his soul to satan, boy will he be sad
    Christopher Robin has a familiar
    Chrisopher had a vision, into the abyss he saw
    Christopher Robin never wanted to die
    The devil promised him sweeties, but the devil lied

    Christopher Robin, his face wet with tears
    I’m praying to Jesus, I hope that he hears
    Christopher Robin, he does what he’s told
    Christopher’s a darling, his heart glistens like gold
    Christopher Robin, his soul is confused
    Good and evil start to struggle and virtue loses
    Christopher Robin, face to face with foe
    All over the world he sees evil win and so

    Christopher’s on a journey, he shall not return
    In life he liked praying, now he’s gonna burn
    Christopher Robin, he falls down the stairs
    His nightshirt ripped open, his flesh torn and bear
    Christopher Robin, he’s confined in his bed
    Locked up in the darkness, alone til he’s dead
    Satan is patient, he’s always got time
    Now Christopher’s a patient, as he in hospital lies”

    Christopher Robin, by Current 93 (Lyrics Download)

  7. #8: thanks for reminding me. I’d forgotten that it was C.R. who went “Tut, tut, it looks like rain” rather than Piglet.

    (Now if only I could figure out how to transcribe that so I can use it if I ever go to Russia and need to comment on the weather…)

    These are brilliant!

  8. #1 beat me to it. Hedgehog in the Fog is one of my all-time favorite animations. The director, Yuriy Norshteyn, brought to life an amazing tale of exploration and discovery, showing how our fears of the unknown and the excitement of discovery shape our childhood experiences.

    It’s such a pretty film. For those who’d like to know more, Wikipedia has a nice entry on it here:

  9. Hedgehog in the Fog is AMAZING! (I always thought it was Czech, so thanks for the info)

    Seriously, I studied animation, and some of the techniques in HitF still stump me, I don’t know how they did it. It’s beautiful and ingenious.

    The animation in the OP is great too, but it doesn’t have the gravitas of HitF IMO. I liked the animation and singing though :)

  10. Wow oh wow… I’m still able to read most of the Cyrillic characters, and my interpretations and pronunciations are coming out pretty accurate. The “Vinnie Poogah” is fairly close to “Vinnie Pookh,” which may be more accruate. But I’m happy I got that far. 8-)

    Ya ne zanayo………

  11. #8, thanks for the reminder. I didn’t even realize when I was watching this last night. I guess I was focusing too much on the Finnish subtitles during the YLE broadcast and not giving enough attention to the storyline.

  12. These are wonderful, and so are most of the comments here. I had no idea most of these existed! Mt. Head’s comment, in particular, makes me want to hunt these up.

    Hedgehog in the Fog! I gotta see it….

    Ah! Here it is, I think:

    There were these children’s movies produced in Russia by this director, Aleksandr Ptushko. His movie Sampo, a (not-cartoon) film adaptation from the Kalevala, was brought to the U.S., in chopped-up form, by Roger Corman as “The Day the Earth Froze” even though it had absolutely nothing to do with science fiction. It was probably one of the best movies ever shown on Mystery Science Theater 3000, goofy yes, but brilliant and imaginative. MST3K’s Kevin Murphy has expressed his admiration of Ptushko’s films. Unfortunately, it seems Sampo isn’t available at all in the U.S. except in cut-up form.

  13. We watched these in my high school Russian language course. Seeing these videos now makes me sprout fresh acne with nostalgia.

    The bear’s little rhythmic chant is something that still crops up in my head if I’m spacing out in just the right way.

  14. when i was in eighth grade russian class, we watched a few of these and thought they were hilarious. brings back memorieeeeeeeees

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