A USSR stamp from 1988, depicting Nu, pogodi!
The series was, for many years, hugely popular among the Soviet public, and it is popular in Russia to this day. The critical reaction of the director’s colleagues was less favourable. The director’s son Aleksey Kotyonochkin recalls how, although nobody said it to his father outright, the animators and directors of Soyuzmultfilm generally considered Nu, pogodi! to be of low class. For his part, Vyacheslav Kotyonichkin was not a follower of auteur films (many of which were being made at the studio at the time), and considered them to be examples of someone needlessly showing off.
Kotyonochkin disliked subtext and tried to create very simple, straightforward scenarios. The main idea of the series was simple and “Western”; don’t hurt the little guy or you will yourself get into a foolish situation. Because the series was so popular, however, it was often a subject for critical discussion. Soviet critics saw many different subtexts: for example that the films were supportive of the gay cause[Need quotation to verify] (because Wolf occasionally gives Hare flowers as a sign of goodwill, which, at the time, was considered as an acceptable social act among men, as much as today’s criticism of Batman’s relations with Robin in the late 1960s in America), or that they represented the struggle between the intelligentsia and the working class (with the Wolf representing the working class and the Hare the intelligentsia). Aleksey Kotyonochkin dismisses these interpretations as groundless.