|THE RUSSIAN CARTOON series Nu Pogodi! (‘Just You Wait!’) has often been called Russia’s answer to the classic US cartoons from the 1940s, distributed into the USSR for a short period after World War II. First produced in 1969, the Nu Pogodi! series defined the art of cartoons for generations of children not only in Russia but in several countries in Eastern Europe. The series was produced in sixteen 10-minute-episodes by the studio Soyuzmultfilm between 1969 and 1986, with additional episodes produced in 1993 and 2005.
A classic “catch-me-if-you-can” story, Nu Pogodi! follows the “bad guy” wolf as he desperately tries to hunt down – and, presumably, eat – the hare hero. Although sometime brutal, the wolf is not brutish but can use several clever tricks and refined abilities to try to reach his goal – he can play the guitar, figure skate or dance Viennese Waltz, according to the circumstances.
The series also features a sturdy hippopotamus, often cast as a person in authority, and friendly bears in supporting roles.
A classic trademark of the series is the wolf’s recurring threat at the end of each episode, after having seen his nefarious schemes fail once again: Nu, zayats, nu pogodi! (‘Hare, just you wait!’) – one of the few spoken lines in the series, where the soundtrack mainly consists of non-verbal sounds and music, with well-known tunes adapted to fit the storylines.
Today, Nu Pogodi! has a great nostalgia and cult value for adults in Russia and other European countries, while the old and new episodes continue to attract new audiences among today’s children.