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Animation: Captain Pronin

Captain Pronin is a 4-episode cartoon series made in the post-Soviet Russia in the early nineties.

Created as a parody of American action movies that flooded Russia in the early nineties, it is about Captain Pronin, the grandson of Major Pronin, a character from a series of Soviet books from The Fifties (who was like a Russian James Bond).

The 4 episodes are:


Captain Pronin provides examples of:

  • Amazing Technicolor Population: Some characters have different skin colors:
    • The junkies from early in the first episode are blue.
    • Myshyakovich is green.
    • Don Carlione is pink.
  • Art Evolution: The fourth episode has much better animation than the previous ones.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Captain Pronin can, with a help of a gas mask.
  • Bill Clinton: At the second episode's credits, who happens to look like a character designed by Mike Judge.
  • Bragging Theme Tune: And how!
  • Brawn Hilda: The two female wrestlers in the second part. Apparently stated to be a Take That against American gender equality.
  • The Cameo:
    • James Bond and Major Pronin in the first episode.
    • Although probably unintentional, it is hilarious to see Princess Vespa (yes, they actually named her that!) being kidnapped and forced into marrying the Darth Vader expy.
  • Captain Ersatz:
    • A mafia boss named "Don Carlione" in the first episode.
    • A Darth Vader lookalike in the third episode.
  • Clown Car: The Mafia has a host of men packed into one car in the second episode.
  • Depraved Dentist: Dr. Myshyakovich in the first episode.
  • Deranged Animation: Any time a character's face is seen up close.
  • Disappeared Dad: Captain Pronin's father is never even mentioned. Even in the photos of his birth and youth, he's always seen with Major Pronin, his grandfather.
  • Everybody Lives: No one dies in any of the parts. Even mooks hit by hand grenades are merely knocked out.
  • Explosions in Space
  • Expy: Captain Pronin is one to Ivan Danko.
  • Gratuitous English:
    • Captain Pronin's theme song.
    • In the second episode, a shop featuring medieval weaponry has a "Guns" sign.
  • Haunted Castle: Myshyakovich's castle may not have any spooks, but it is spooky.
  • The Infiltration: One of the Myshyakovich's mooks reveals himself as James Bond.
  • I Have Your Wife: In the first episode.
  • Instant Awesome, Just Add Ninja: The villain of the first part has everything at his disposal, including ninjas.
  • My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels: In the second episode, there are lines such as "This is your money. Give me your smoking!" ("Smoking" means "tuxedo" in some languages including Russian. Likely intentional, as the Russian subtitles use "kurtka", another word for "jacket").
  • Oh, Crap: The male ballerina's face when he realizes he's going to have to catch Pronin, who is built like (and probably weighs about the same as) a T-34, is this all over.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise/Wholesome Crossdresser: In episode 4, Pronin mugs a ballet dancer for her leotard and tutu to go undercover. Even though she's a good 150 pounds or so slimmer than he is, it fits perfectly.
  • Parody Sue: Pronin himself is infallible and adored by everyone who isn't the villain. Subverted in the second episode where for most of it, the audience is watching a robot lookalike of him.
  • Red-Headed Hero: Obviously.
  • Reference Overdosed
  • Rock Beats Laser: In the third episode, Pronin beats the lightsaber-wielding viking-horned Darth Vader using a standard-issue police baton (with the word "Advertisement" even appearing on the screen afterwards).
  • Shout-Out: Mafia members, each taller than the last much like the Dalton Brothers come out of the red Mafia car in the second episode.
  • Space Is an Ocean: Literally, as Captain Pronin can swim in it just like in water.
  • Vocal Evolution: In each and every film, Pronin becomes a bit more hammy. In the first, he is quite stoic and reserved. In the second, he is a bit more hammy, acting kind of like Arnold Schwarzenegger until the very end, when... hoo boy. In the third, he is a full-blown Large Ham, who even takes time out to shill for his brand of rubber police baton while whaling on the Big Bad. In the fourth... well let's just say between Pronin's attempts at playing the accordion and dancing ballet, the scenery was well and truly chewed.
  • World of Ham: In post-Soviet Russia, ham eats you!