Nu, Pogodi! (Ну, погоди!) is a Soviet (and now Russian) children's cartoon reminiscent of Tom and Jerry. (The creators of the show claim that they've never seen Tom and Jerry, although they did admit to being inspired by post-World War IIWalt Disney films). Sixteen cartoons were produced between 1969 and 1986. Two more were made in 1994 and 1995, and two more were made in 2005 and 2006, for a total of twenty episodes.In classic Road Runner vs. Coyote fashion, it follows the adventures of an anthropomorphic wolf who constantly chases after a hare in an urban environment. The Hare is an embodiment of youth, athleticism and intellectual virtues, while the Wolf is a chain-smoking, alcohol-swilling lowlife.The series is notable for its eclectic soundtrack, from old Russian folk songs to 1980s techno. More often than not, the animation is synchronized with the music down to a frame."Nu, Pogodi!" translates roughly as "Just You Wait!", which is indeed what it was titled when aired on TV outside Soviet Russia. Yes, the show has been translated to English. However, apparently dubbing was done on a rather low budget. Cyrillic text was hastily blanked out and replaced with electronically generated English translations and only when the text is to be prominently visible, voice acting was just so-so, and the translators didn't even bother with translating any of the songs with vocals in them, leaving the songs unintelligible to non-Russophone viewers.Some of the shorts are available to watch on YouTube with English subtitles. The Internet Archive also has episodes, but without subtitles.
Also in episode 14: Million Scarlet Roses plays in the background when Wolf visits Zayats. The fact that he came over wearing fancy clothing while bringing him cider and red flowers just boosts the Ho YayUp to Eleven.
The Alleged Car: Wolf's car in episode 14 - a total junker with mismatched wheels, a coal-powered engine (complete with a chimney), an umbrella for a brake, shoebrushes for windshield wipers, a bicycle handlebar for a steering wheel and a Mercedes-Benz hood ornament. It falls apart after Wolf gets out of it, but magically comes together as he gets in it later.
It also happened in an earlier episode, when the Wolf stole a racecar, the very quickly was reduced to little more than a badly battered body and one wheel.
All Just a Dream: Episode 16, where Wolf passes out on the beach and dreams he's living in a world of Russian folk tale legends. Also Episode 9, where Wolf is Trapped in TV Land, but it's ultimately revealed as a hallucination induced by a broken TV set. Or Was It a Dream?
Ash Face: In episode 2, Wolf stomps on a magician's hat and gets completely covered in ash.
Ass in a Lion Skin: In one short, the Wolf is thrown out of a TV studio when he tries to sneak in, and keeps re-entering in attempted disguises as other animals (e.g., wearing a black-and-white striped shirt and claiming to be a zebra, or dropping on all fours with a big bowl on his back and proclaiming to be a tortoise). None of these work.
Balloonacy: In episode 2, Wolf swallows a balloon and starts floating in mid-air with the string sticking out of his mouth.
Clothing Damage: In Episode 3, the Wolf, during his usual pursuit against the Hare, gets some clothing damage during the chase. First his motorcycle helmet is crushed by a train, then one of his gloves gets bitten off and presumably ripped off by an eel, then he loses his helmet and jacket from a fish tank, then his shirt (which is green in this episode) gets ripped in two while he tries to dry it frantically (which provides a bit of Fanservice as well as a Walking Shirtless Scene for the rest of the episode), then his other glove is destroyed due to a car crash from a car breaking down (one he stole) and finally, his pants get caught in Hare's bike which is too small for him forcing him to remove his pants and leaving him in his pink underwear.
Early-Installment Weirdness: The original pilot film (roughly two-and-a-half minutes long) had vastly different character designs for the Wolf and the Hare. The wolf was also more outwardly malevolent than in the series proper, coming off as more of a creepy predator than the Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist that he became. Hare was both vastly younger and much more proactive in foiling the Wolf's attempts to eat him, acting more the Jerry to Wolf's Tom than later on.
Furry Confusion: One episode had Wolf running from an anthropomorphic lion, and another episode had him locked in a cage with a real lion.
Genie in a Bottle: In Episode 16 the Wolf is on the beach when he finds a bottle. Of course the genie is the Hare, who promptly zaps the Wolf into the bottle and off into fairy tale land.
Glorious Mother Russia: Oddly, completely and totally averted — the show does not hinge on any sort of political propaganda, and no Soviet iconography at all is seen. If not for the fact that the signs are all in Russian, the show could very easily take place anywhere. The show originated in the middle of Leonid Brezhnev's rule of the USSR, a time when there was a major propaganda resurgence and when the Cold War had definitely taken a turn for the worse, making it all the more unique.
In the opening moments of the first cartoon, the Wolf makes an exaggerated, sarcastic bow when a couple of policemen ride by. It's a pretty startling scene for the Soviet Union in the late 1960s.
The game has since been (unofficially) adapted to other systems. And yes, there is an iPhone version.
Lost Episode: While not truly "lost", there were a couple of episodes created in 1980 for an anthology show of the best in Russian animation (the premise of these was that the Wolf and Hare would be watching TV, the Wolf would somehow enter the action, and much fourth wall Mind Screw would ensue as Hare messed with the set). There also were a number of TV or film PSAs that had the characters (or substitutes in varying amounts of Expy), mostly asking the Soviet populace to conserve energy.
Mating Dance: Subverted in episode 2 when Wolf only danced the tango with the Hare because they were on stage.
Mickey Mousing: The action is often synchronized with the music, while not shoving it in your face.
Milestone Celebration: Epodode 17 was the 25th anniversary special. Wolf and Hare come out onstage in old-age makeup and canes before changing back to their old selves.
Non-Mammal Mammaries: The series uses this. Amusingly, sows are depicted as having more than one pair of breasts.
Paper Bag Popping: In episode 4, Wolf does this to make the runners think that the starting pistol had been fired.
Petting Zoo People: Chock full of them including foxes, bears, domestic dogs, and goats, with no humans in sight.
Pintsized Powerhouse: The Olympics episode has the Wolf mistake an Asian hare for the Hare. The Asian hare is wearing a robe, has quite obviously slanted eyes, bows to the Wolf as a greeting, and then proceeds to beat him up when the Wolf attacks.
Also seen here, where the Hare's tiny remote-controlled robot cripples the Wolf's enormous one with a couple of strategic strikes on the antennae.
Product Placement: To an embarrassing degree in the 1990s revival episodes (17 and 18), made after the fall of Communism. To wit, apparently the first two episodes in the '90s were sponsored by a Russian electronics/cell phone/telecom company, and they claimed the pre-credits intro as ad space, with the Wolf and Rabbit using Nokia electronics and the AMT service while going through their usual antics.
Pull a Rabbit out of My Hat: In episode 2, a feline magician performs this trick for the audience along with the Wolf. Amusingly enough, he pulls out the Hare.
Recurring Character: The most frequent one is a hippopotamus who the Wolf always accidentally antagonizes while chasing after the Hare, much to the Wolf's eventual regret. A cat magician also pops up from time to time.
Robot Me: A robot Hare causes the Wolf all kinds of trouble in episode 14.
Shoot The Television: Wild tribesmen fling spears at the TV in episode 17 after being displeased with an episode of "Nu Pogodi".
Smoking Is Cool: Wolf was originally portrayed as more of a law-breaking rebel with a bad smoking habit. He's quit by episode 20, though, replacing his trademark crooked cigarette with a lollipop.
Super-Powered Robot Meter Maids: One episode had Wolf stumbling on a robot replacement for Hare. All it did was mutter "Hare. Wolf." over and over. Wolf hits it once, and it turns into a killing machine with Eye Beams and hands that shoot electricity.
Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Oddly, the little hare, who, despite sporting long eyelashes, big blue eyes and pink cheeks, engaging in girly activities such as watering flowers and being voiced by a woman, is (the artist insists) a male.
There's no Viewer Gender Confusion in this case, because the hare in question is called/named just the Hare, and the Russian word for "hare" ("Zayats") is masculine by default, implying that the Hare is indeed a boy. Don't ask. He is also wearing shorts. The trope is played straight with a lot of other anthropomorphic animals appearing in the series, whose genders are determined mostly through the pants vs. skirt method.
Trapped in TV Land: Episode 9, except it's a real TV studio rather than a fictional TV universe where Wolf is trapped.
Villain Protagonist: The Wolf is the center of attention more than the Hare is, and the Wolf has much more character depth than the Hare, who essentially is only something for the Wolf to chase. Imagine Tom and Jerry if Jerry did nothing but run from the Wolf.
The Wolf does it again in episode 19. This time, he steals a sow's swimsuit, and actually passes off as her until he takes his hat off. Note that female pigs in this show wear three bras and are extremely fat.
Wafer Thin Mint: In one episode, the Wolf had barely managed to lift a very heavy barbell, when a butterfly lands on it, with predictable results.
Wholesome Crossdresser: Hare does this on one occasion. Unluckily, he's dressed like a famous Russian singer and he happens to get stuck on stage in front of hundreds of fans.