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It may look like Happy Tree Friends at first, but then you notice lack of violence and a huge amount of complex themes. note 

Known in its native Russia as "Смешарики" (Smeshariki, a Portmanteau that can be roughly translated as "Funballs"), KikoRiki is one of the more successful cartoon projects in The New Russia by Petersburg Animation Studio, a series of 6-minute animated shorts about nine highly-stylized, cute ball-like anthropomorphic animals living on the island of Chamomile Valley. note  The show was launched in 2003 and ended in 2012, getting Un-Canceled eight years later in 2020.

The show often boils down adult themes such as prostitution, gambling, Internet addiction, etc. to a level at which children can grasp the basic concept through metaphor, and for its reflection of the eclectic culture of post-Soviet Russia. In the end, though, it remains and is seen as a fun, friendly children's show—just with heaps of Parental Bonus.

Was first dubbed in the United States by 4Kids Entertainment as GoGoRiki, which, in its usual fashion, changed all character names and removed many of the Russian cultural references. This dub aired in 2008-2009 on The CW4Kids and covered 104 episodes, airing them together as Three Shorts to fill up a half-hour runtime. Another English dub (which also covered 104 episodes) was made by Studio 100 in 2009, under the new title of BalloonToons. It would later be renamed into the show's German name, KikoRiki note , which has stuck since then and was used by other countries. Another 75 episodes were translated by them in 2011, but with different character names (Which were composite between original Russian names, the ones used in 4Kids translation and Studio 100's ones. They would also stick and be used by later adaptations) and voice actors. Third, and the most complete dub was produced by FUN Union and 3Beep in 2017, which covered all 215 original episodes and several spin-offs.

To avoid the confusion, please refer to characters and episodes by their names from the FUN Union dub, which can be found here.

Media

  • KikoRiki (2004-2012) - The main series. Featured total of 215 episodes during its original run.
    • KikoRiki. New Season (2020-2023)
  • The ABCs of KikoRiki note  (2006-2013; 2017-) - a series of educational shorts that teach about various safety regulations. As of 2023 it is split into 15 seperate ABCs discussing such things as safety in the city and in the nature, the rights that children have, being kind and helpful to other people, advantages and proper use of the internet and the professions that kids can learn about.
  • KikoRiki Animated Films - A trilogy of animated films based on the series.
    • KikoRiki. Team Invincible (2011)
    • KikoRiki. Legend of the Golden Dragon (2016)
    • KikoRiki. Deja Vu (2018)
  • KikoRiki. New Adventures (2012-2013) - Initially advertised as the official continuation of original shots, now animated in 3D. A total of 57 episodes were made.
    • KikoRiki. Sport (2017-2018) - Additional 12 episodes based around, well, sport.
  • PinCode (2012-2018) - Another educational spin-off, focused on inventing, programming and science. Features total of 104 episodes.
  • BabyRiki (2015-) - a preschool spin-off, featuring child versions of some of the characters animated in 3D in a real-life backdrop.
  • Cinema (2022-2023) - a spinoff showcasing the KikoRiki trying to shoot a movie while trying out different genres, consisting of 7 episodes of extended length.

Tropes:

  • 65-Episode Cartoon: A similar example. Whenever the show is separated by "seasons", each season has 52 episodes.
  • Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: Barry, Olga and Pin almost always wear their hats, Carlin has a bowtie and Chiko wears glasses. While they do have pants (Olga's pantaloons often appear on the screen as a Running Gag), they're very rarely seen wearing them.
  • Animated Actors:
    • Implied. In episodes produced for advertising milk products based on the show ("Clean Sport", "A Milky Bet", "A Six Letter Breakfast" and "Recipe for Happiness"), the characters eat and drink products with their likenesses and the show's logo on it, and in PinCode's "My Dear Chiko" and "Insomnia", the characters read an existing magazine based on the spinoff, which implies that they're famous enough in-universe to make products based on them.
    • It is also parodied in a (likely non-canon) "behind the scenes" type program which aired on Channel One's Big Difference as a means to promote Team Invincible. There, Dokko is revealed to be married to Olga, Krash (whose real name is given as "Mazay Zaytsev-Zamorkovkin") wanted to make the movie Bloodier and Gorier, and Barry refused to shoot a bed scene with Rosa (whose last name is given as "Kosher") because the shooting of the film didn't coincide with bears' mating period.
    • Cinema episode "Star Princess" also parodies this, with the scenes before credits being Animated Outtakes of characters forgetting their lines, talking to producers, etc.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song:
    • Unsurprisingly, 4Kids dub of the show got itself a completely new intro - a Theme Tune Roll Call. Interestingly, the original intro was still used as a short segment between the second and third shorts.
    • Italian and Chinese dubs featured similarly different intros, while German version played a different theme over the original intro.
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Most of the the characters have colorful fur, which such colors wouldn't be on real animals. Just to mention a blue rabbit.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: In New Season's episode "Okroshka", Krash wishes that others were more like him while Chiko catches a fish. The fish turns out to be a Benevolent Genie and grants Krash's wish for a day, making Chiko, Barry, Olga and Carlin as hyperactive and reckless as Krash is. He's overjoyed at first, but starts regretting it when picnic starts going wrong thanks to his friends newly found incompitency.
  • Bland-Name Product: Dokko uses the operating system "Okna 96", a parody of Windows 95/98 with a similar boot screen. ("Okna" is Russian for "Windows".)
  • Christianity is Catholic: Pin peppers his speech with German words quite often, but, notably, when he prays, he does so in Latin, indicating he's Catholic. When other characters show any sign of religion, however, it's Orthodox Christianity.
  • Crossover:
    • When 4Kids still held the license to the series, they collaborated with Raitendo on Doeoriki - a version of Doeo that replaces the titular creaures with characters from the show and uses its' settings.
    • Panda and Krash, a 2021 collaborative project between Riki Group, FUN Union and CCTV Animation Group, starring Krash and Panda Hoho, who also appeared in similar CCTV's collaborative projects, such as with Krtek in Panda and The Little Mole. Aside from that, the show is not related to the series, with two being joined by a new cast of Living Toys.
  • Edutainment Show: The ABC's teach kids various topics.
  • Energetic and Soft-Spoken Duo: Krash is an excitable Keet who often shouts, while Chiko is much more reserved taciturn.
  • Fantastic Naming Convention: In 4Kids version all main characters had their names changed to end with "-riki" note . Some of the minor characters also follow this theming (For example, Pin/Ottoriki's robotic son Bibi was renamed into Roboriki, and Carlin/Bigoriki mentions a magician Houdini as Merloriki the Magnificent), but some others don't seem to (Lily from the titular episode and the Masked Mintrel/Shadow Prince Lovermore). However, the characters also shorten their own names, often preferring not to use "-riki" parts when talking to each other.
  • Fingerless Hands: Zig-zagged. Chiko, Dokko, Wally, Rosa and Pin have paws, hooves and penguin wings, the type of arms the animals they were based on have, but Krash and Barry have fingers, and Carlin and Olga have Feather Fingers.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Krash-sanguine, Chiko — phlegmatic, Wally — melancholic, Rosa — choleric.
  • Free-Range Children: Some characters are very young (Krash and Chiko are kids, Wally and Rosa are teenagers), but they all live in their own houses, have no parents in sight and can freely visit some dangerous places, as shown in "Great News". Bibi takes this even further, living on the moon and only occasionally visiting his father Pin (although he can be given a pass since he's a robot and not an actual animal child).
  • Funny Animal: The entire cast comprises anthropomorphic animals.
  • A Lizard Named "Liz": Almost everyone, with exception of Barry (who has Meaningful Name instead) and Chiko (who is A Dog Named "Dog"), have their original names based on species' Russian name.
    • Krash - Krosh is from krolik (rabbit).
    • Rosa - Nyusha is apparently shortened from svinyusha (roughly "piggie"). Also, incidentally, it's a Russian short name for Ann.
    • Pin shortened from pingvin (penguin).
    • Olga - Sovunya comes from sova (owl).
    • Dokko - Losyash is close to Los' (moose).
    • Wally - Barash made from baran (ram).
    • Carlin - Kar-Karych, made from crow's "caw" sound.
  • Multi National Team: It's subtle and requires you to know Russian culture, but the cast of the show is actually quite diverse. Only Rosa and Krash don't have any distinct nationality: Olga is definitely Russian, Pin (and, apparently, Carlin, if his "true" surname "von Carlin" is any indication) is German, Dokko is Ambiguously Jewish (he even made a Golem in one episode), Chiko is stated at one point to be an Indochinese hedgehog (and in another episode, poses as a Georgian - as in Georgia the Caucasian country, not the US state), Barry's accent is Ukrainian, Wally's appearance and personality invoke the partially African Alexander Pushkin, while Barry's niece Pandy has a Russian full name but, being a panda bear, is implied to at least have Chinese ancestry.
  • No Antagonist: A deliberate decision by the creators, and unusual for a children's show. None of the nine characters can be considered "bad guys", and while they have conflicts, they're always temporary and simply arise from their diverse personalities. This sometimes gets subverted, and occasional new characters appear as antagonists (like Dokko's clone from "The Savage Clone" or Mole Agent 3630 from Deja Vu), but their appearances are limited to few episodes or movies.
  • No Ontological Inertia: Any catastrophe, from erupting volcano and devastating tornado to Rosa literally crying a river and the whole valley getting covered in chocolate, and up to sun getting turned off for a short time and the entire universe being erased from existence, leaves no lasting trace.
  • Real After All:
    • Implied when the real Father Frost (Santa Claus in the English dub) apparently shows up as a shadow after the characters pretend to be him.
    • The same can be said for the Masked Minstrel, a character from the episode "A Story for Rosa". Rosa becomes terrified after hearing the story about him from Krash and Chiko, but Olga tries to assure her it's not real. At the end of the episode, Rosa meets Minstrel directly and stops fearing him.
    • Chikorini, Chiko's supposed distant relative, appears on a picture in "DNA", implying that he does exist and Chiko didn't make him up.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Everyone from the main cast qualifies, especially Krash, Rosa and Barry.
  • Running Gag: Lots of those, including Krash's pink bench, which tends to be destroyed, Olga's beige trousers and Rosa's Tuzya plush.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Dynamics between Chiko (sensitive) and Krash (manly as a pre-teen can be) and sometimes between Dokko and Barry.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Between Wally and Rosa. Even more so in the 4Kids dub, where one of the songs written for this dub, "Opposites Attract" has two singing about their relationship.
    • Carlin and Olga, two eldery birds, get some teasing as well in episodes like "Oh Ye Grateful" and "The Best Valentine Card in the Universe". Also helps that they often use terms like "my dear" and "honey" to each other.
  • Studio Hop:
    • The first season's episodes were produced by the Petersburg Animation Studio in association with the Master-Film company until 2008.
    • The first ten episodes of New Adventures were animated at Atria Animation before the production was fully moved to the Petersburg Animation Studio.
  • The Hecate Sisters: Pandy is a girl, Rosa is a mother, Olga is a crone.
  • Two Girls to a Team: Only two female characters out of nine — one for two of the three age categories, with the creators admitting that they forgot to introduce a "mother" character for the middle-aged category, though Olga fits the Team Mom criteria regardless. Downplayed in New Adventures, where Pandy was introduced in 23-rd episode.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: The exact location of KikoRiki Island has been a subject of speculation for years, and there hasn't been a definitive answer since. The island got a variety of landscapes: desert with many cacti, mountains with few active volcanoes, forest, jungle and sea at the same time, making it impossible to find a place on Earth that would have all of these. Dmitry Yakovenko, one of the lead writers, thinks Chamomile Valley would be somewhere close to Kazakhstan.

Alternative Title(s): Smeshariki, Go Go Riki, Kiko Riki New Adventures

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Rosa returns the color

After the Rose restores its good mood, the world around it becomes colored.

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