“Nu pogodi!” (“Ну погоди!” in Russian, which can be translated as “Well, you just wait!”) is a cult Soviet and Russian cartoon series for children. You most likely will not find a single Russian who did not watch this cartoon in their early childhood. A survey conducted in 2019 found that 65% of Russians consider this cartoon their favorite.
Today we will tell you about this animated series and, of course, will give links where so you can watch it yourself and, most importantly, show it to your children.
The first pilot serie of the cartoon was released in 1969. After this, new episodes were released almost annually for the next seventeen years. The sixteenth edition came out in 1986.
The authors of “Nu pogodi!” repeatedly told that the series was continued precisely because of the insistent requests from the audience, both children and adults. When in 1973 was announced the fourth and last episode of the cartoon, “Soyuzmultfilm” got flooded with bags of letters with requests to continue and with suggestions for the next episodes. Thus, the cartoon continued to be filmed until 1993, and in 2005 it was revived again by the “Christmas Films” studio.
The characters of “Nu pogodi!”
At the center of the plot is the never ending and always failing chase of the Wolf trying to catch the Hare. In the end of each episode, the Hare is always unharmed, and the Wolf says or shouts: “Well, you just wait!”.
The Wolf from “Nu pogodi!” is one of the most charming negative characters of Soviet cartoons. Charming so much that many viewers worry more about him and not about the Hare. Wolf is a type of petty bully who violates public order, annoys others, offends those who cannot stand up for themselves. His appearance emphasizes his asocial lifestyle: thin arms and legs, bulging tummy, often smoking a cigarette (which recently provoked a few discussions on wether it should be shown to children). He is always dressed up to the current fashion but quite tastelessly at the same time: flared wide trousers, a pink shirt, a yellow polka dot tie.
The hare is presented as a positive, kind, vulnerable and weaker character, although cunning enough as to respond adequately to the provocations of the Wolf who always arranges different tricks to catch him. Unlike the Wolf, the Hare has no bad habits. He is like a prototype of an ideal schoolboy who plays sports, leads an active life, develops his talents, basically, leads a right and healthy lifestyle.
“Nu pogodi!” as a mirror of the Soviet era
In each of the cartoon episodes, the viewers can see typical scenes and events of those times. The action takes place in a recognizable scenery of different Soviet institutions, for example, a recreation park, a shop, a subway, a museum, a city stadium, a circus, a collective farm, and so on. Often it is a place of public leisure: beach, park, sports games, cruise on the boat, a trip to the village or to the camp, etc. Together, these episodes provide a broad panorama of the life of the common people of the time of Brezhnev.
Translations to other languages
The series was translated into other languages and shown in different countries. In English it was called “Well, You Just Wait!”, “You Just Wait!”, “The Big Bad Wolf”, or “I’ll get You”. It got a name “Hase und Wolf” in German, “¡Me las pagarás! ”, “La liebre y el lobo”, or “Deja que te coja” in Spanish, “Jen počkej, zajíci!” in Chech, “Wilk i Zając” in Polish, “No počkaj!” in Slovenian, “Na, palauk!” in Lithuanian, etc.
Where to watch
The cartoon is available on YouTube and many other sites. Versions in other languages are more difficult to find but this is not particularly required. As in famous “Tom and Jerry”, there are not many dialogues in the cartoon, all the actions take place with the background of music and sounds.
We have selected several links for you below. We hope you and your children will enjoy it!
All the episodes in Russian:
Episodes 1-10 in English: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5sRTdCTViw