Follow TV Tropes


Animation / Nu, Pogodi!

Go To
Nu, Pogodi! (Ну, погоди!, "Well, Just You Wait!" in English) is a Soviet (and now Russian) children's cartoon created by Soyuzmultfilm. It originally ran for sixteen episodes between 1969 and 1986, with an average of one short released every year or two. Further shorts have since been produced sporadically, including occasional commercial or PSA tie-ins.

In classic Road Runner vs. Coyote fashion, it follows the adventures of Volk, a chain-smoking, alcohol-swilling lowlife wolf, who constantly chases after the youthful, athletic and intellectual hare Zayets through an urban environment. Despite its resemblance to a certain cat and mouse cartoon, the creators swear up and down that they had never seen a single Tom and Jerry cartoon when the series was in production (they claimed that their biggest western influence was post-World War II Walt Disney films).

Most notable was the show's eclectic soundtrack, which included everything from old Russian folk songs to jazz rock to techno, which the animation is often synchronized with down to a frame.

The show's popularity also spawned several video games, notably a Game & Watch clone reverse-engineered from the Mickey Mouse game, redrawing the LCD sprites of Mickey and Minnie with Volk and Zayets respectively.

All 21 of the shorts are available on YouTube in varying capacities, including on the official Soyuzmultfilm channel. Despite its minimal dialogue, the show has an English dub by Filmexport Studios. A trailer for a 3D animated reboot, under the subtitle Kanikuly (Каникулы meaning "Holiday") was released on November 11th, 2021 from Soyuzmultfilm's YouTube channel, premiering its first episode a month later on December 17th. It features updated designs, targeting a much younger demographic. The first season will consist of 26 episodes each 7 minutes in length. It is currently in its second season.

A 2014 poll named it the single most popular cartoon in all of Russia, beating out other regional hits like Masha and the Bear and Prostokvashino by a wide margin.

Contrast Masha and the Bear, a Russian cartoon where the duo gets along very well.

Has nothing to do with nu metal.

Nu, Pogodi! provides examples of:

  • AcCENT upon the Wrong SylLABle: In the English dub, the Wolf screams out "Hare!" in 2 syllables rather than one, due to the Russian word "Zayats" having 2 syllables, so the dubber says "Ha-re" for every instance.
  • All-CGI Cartoon: The 2021 reboot features 3D designs of all the characters.
  • 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 happens in an earlier episode, when the Wolf steals a racecar that very quickly is reduced to little more than a badly battered body and one wheel. This is because he got in the vehicle before the hedgehog underneath it finished the repairs.
  • 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. Maybe...
  • Amusement Park: Setting for Episode 2, as Wolf chases Hare around the rides in a carnival.
  • Animals Lack Attributes: In episode 6, The Wolf's pants slip off after they're caught on his own fishing hook. Despite his embarrassment, pulling his shirt down over his crotch as he looks for new pants, he... ahem, doesn't have much to hide.
  • Animation Bump:
    • Episode 4 is where the animation becomes the most consistent, both in the solidity of the animation itself and the characters staying on-model.
    • Volk performing the "Dance of the Swans" from Swan Lake in episode 15. Not only is the animation fluid and solid, but the choreography is all correct, and save for one rotoscoped shot, all of it is animated traditionally.
    • The dance sequence to "Hafanana" in episode 18.
    • The switch from cels to digital ink and paint in the episodes made in the 21st century.
    • The 2012 Christmas episode has bouncier and more "cartoony" animation, presumably thanks to improved animation technology and a greater influence from western cartoons.
  • Art Evolution: The animation in the early episodes is very crude and frequently Off-Model, especially Volk, whose design changes drastically from the first short onward. The two characters' designs would become stable and consistant by the late 70s/early 80s shorts.
  • Ash Face: In episode 2, Wolf stomps on a magician's hat and gets completely covered in ash.
  • Aside Glance: In episode 2, the Wolf spots the Hare, and starts quietly walking behind him. The Wolf then looks at the camera and points at the Hare.
  • Ass in a Lion Skin: In episode 15, 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.
  • Author Appeal: Much of the show's eclectic soundtrack reportedly came from the creative staff's personal record collections.
  • Bag of Kidnapping: The Wolf has captured the Hare with this method a few times.
  • Balloonacy: In episode 2, Wolf swallows a balloon and starts floating in mid-air with the string sticking out of his mouth.
  • Balloon Belly: A commercial for Joyta brand chocolates depicts Volk cleaning out several displays worth of candy in a store, resulting in him becoming momentarily bloated.
  • Bandage Mummy: The Wolf is this at the end of episode 10 after having to literally run through a brick wall.
  • Banister Slide: In episode 5 the Hare, cheerful as always, slides down a banister—and right into the sack that the Wolf has at the bottom of the banister. (Naturally, the Hare escapes.)
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Kind of hard to tell at first. The presence of Wolf's claws and what might be paw pads seem to imply this is the case, but everyone's drawn as if they're wearing slippers. Later episodes make it a little clearer that this is the case.
  • Beach Episode: Episodes 1 and 19 both take place at the beach.
  • Bland-Name Product: Episode 17 features a painting of Volk, now apparently very wealthy, standing next to a car with the brand name "Volkvo" on it.note 
  • Blowing Smoke Rings:
    • In the first scene of the first episode the Wolf does this, but the aura of coolness that he's trying to project is undercut when the Hare, watering flowers on an upstairs balcony, accidentally sprinkles water on his nose.
    • In Episode 13, made in 1980 to coincide with the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympics, the Wolf makes the Olympic rings with cigarette smoke.
  • Bowdlerize: The 2005 and 2006 episodes, respectively, replace the Wolf's cigarette with a lollipop.
  • British Brevity: Granted it's not a British show (in fact, it was produced on the opposite side of the continent) but it only had 21 episodes over the course of 40 years. This was largely because the shorts were each their own individual production rather than a season-based series.
  • By the Lights of Their Eyes: In episode 2, the Wolf's eyes are only seen when the Hare shuts the mirror hall's lights off. In a unique take on this gag, when the Wolf grabs what he presumes is the Hare, we see his outline being drawn in white to represent his mental image before the lights come back on and he realizes he's actually grabbed the rhino security guard's horn.
  • Call-Back:
    • In Episode 10 the Wolf has a dream that mirrors a scene in the first episode, except the roles are reversed and the Hare is pursuing him.
    • Remember that song you heard in the beginning of episode 2? Well, guess what is the song they use for the Wolf and Hare's tango near the end of the episode?
    • Episode 19 has several back to episode 1, especially at the end.
      • Both episodes are set primarily at the beach.
      • The beavers who take the Hare para-sailing in episode 19 are the same ones who took him jet-skiing in episode 1 (except that now there's a third one).
      • In episode 1, the Wolf whistles "A Song About a Friend" while climbing a rope after the Hare. In episode 19, when the Wolf starts climbing the Hare's tether, the soundtrack plays a phrase from a whistled version of the same song.
      • Finally, the Wolf's ultimate predicament (being dragged behind a speedboat on a rope) is the same in both episodes.
  • The Cameo: Episode 13 was tied to the 1980 Moscow Olympics. Misha the bear, the mascot of that Olympics, shows up at the end to hand out medals to Wolf and Hare.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Episode 17, in which the Wolf dreams of the Hare turning into a werewolf.
  • Catchphrase: Wolf's "Nu, Zayats, pogodi!" ("Well, Hare, you just wait!") In the English dubs, it's "Just! You! Wait!"
  • Chased Off into the Sunset: Episode 3 ends with the wolf getting chased off into the distance by an out-of-control steamroller.
  • Clothing Damage: The Wolf suffers quite a lot of it in Episode 3. First his motorcycle helmet is crushed by a train, then one of his gloves gets bitten and presumably ripped off by a pike, then he loses his helmet and jacket from a fish tank, then his shirt gets ripped in two while he tries to dry it frantically (leaving him shirtless for the rest of the cartoon and providing a bit of fanservice), then his other glove is destroyed when the car he stole breaks down and finally, his pants get caught in Hare's bike which is too small for him forcing him to remove his pants, leaving him in nothing but his pink underwear.
  • Convenient Slow Dance: A running gag in the series is that music will start to play, & Volk will stop whatever he's doing & dance with Zayats, usually a tango, waltz, ballet, or ice dance. When the music stops, the chase is back on. Zayats will either play along or be horribly confused.
  • Digital Destruction: Several of the remastered episodes on the Soyuzmultfilm YouTube have a notorious amount of pan-and-scan, often cutting the characters' heads entirely out of the frame.
  • Disguised in Drag: The Wolf employs this trope occasionally.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": Wolf and Hare.
  • 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. This is because the short wasn't intended as a pilot and only became a series once the studio received letters from viewers asking for more.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: The 2017 "catch the star" New Year animation, after some brief hijinks, has the duo end on amicable terms to greet the New Year rather than with Volk's Title Drop, which is a first.
  • Establishing Character Moment: When you first see the Wolf kicking a trash bin around, smoking cigarettes and making fun of police officers, you know that he is up to no good. And when you see the Hare watering his garden gleefully, you know that he is made of Incorruptible Pure Pureness.
  • Funny Animal: Chock full of them including foxes, bears, domestic dogs, and goats, with no humans in sight (except in the Russian Fairy Tale episode).
  • Funny Background Event: Jokes occasionally pop up in the more detailed backgrounds (for instance, an Egyptian mural in the museum has a pharaoh apparently packing a gun).
  • 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 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, but the show does not hinge on any sort of political propaganda, and no Soviet iconography at all is seen, making it rather subversive for its time. Volk's Establishing Character Moment in the first episode shows him making an exaggerated, sarcastic bow when a couple of policemen ride by. In another he flashes them. Such contempt for law enforcement in the Soviet Union was unheard of at the time. If not for the fact that all of the on-screen text is in Cyrillic, the show could very easily take place anywhere.
  • Good Animals, Evil Animals: Hares are good, wolves are bad.
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Wolf is smoking a crooked papirosa, holding it with just the mouth, a signature portrayal trait of lowlifes like crooked hooligans and petty thugs.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: Wolf sports a pair of pink flower print boxers.
  • Hair-Trigger Avalanche: The Wolf triggers this after chasing the Hare on a ski lift in Episode 8, merely by whispering his Catchphrase.
  • Hall of Mirrors: In episode 2, the Wolf and Hare walk through one with distorted mirrors.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: After the two of them work together to plug up a hole in the ship they're on to keep it from sinking in episode 7, Volk puts his animosity for Zayats aside and the two of them appear to become friends. When Zayats rips his pant legs off by accident, however, Volk goes right back to wanting to chase him.
  • Hollywood Drowning: Wolf in episode 1 starts flailing and screaming (even underwater) when he is drowning in the ocean.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: Both characters have their moments of this when it's funny (as other episodes depict them as perfectly competent): In the fairground episode, Wolf plays an incomprehensible folk song on his guitar and his singing is revealed to be his greatest crime. In another, Hare, while pretending to be a singer on TV, sings a horrifically off-key version of "O Sole Mio."
  • I Am Not Weasel: The smaller character is a hare, not a rabbit. Yes, there is a difference.
  • Impact Silhouette: The Wolf leaves a wolf-shaped hole in the wall when fleeing from the angry rhino in Episode 2.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: The Hare. Even when at the mercy of the Wolf, he's never malevolent. In episode 10, he even goes to visit Wolf in the hospital.
  • Instant Dogend: The cigarettes the wolf is smoking could be mistaken as such, but they're actually Papirosa.
  • Laser Blade: When the Hare and the Wolf get ahold of remote-controlled robots.
  • The Last Straw: In one episode, the Wolf had barely managed to lift a very heavy barbell, when a butterfly lands on it, with predictable results.
  • Licensed Game: A release as a title from the Elektronika IM series of handheld games. The game has since been (unofficially) adapted to other systems, including iPhone.
  • Mating Dance: Subverted in episode 2. Wolf dances the tango with Hare to convince the kids in the audience that it's All Part of the Show.
  • Motive Decay: At first Volk wanted to catch Zayets to eat him but as the series progresses his motives and gags becomes less about eating and more about messing and harassing.
  • Mickey Mousing: The action is often synchronized with the music.
  • Mime and Music-Only Cartoon: Other than the Wolf's Catchphrase, there is little dialogue, usually only squeals and giggles from the Hare or grunts and shouts from the Wolf.
  • Mistaken For An Impostor: An episode has the Hare scaring away the Wolf with a lion mask... followed by the Wolf trying to beat up a real Lion...
  • New Job as the Plot Demands: The recurring hippopotamus is always seen working a different job depending on the character's proximity to a place that requires employment. Case in point, he's the museum caretaker in episode 12 (which is set in a museum), then he's the manager of a supermarket in episode 18 (which is set in, well, a supermarket).
  • New Year Has Come: Episode 8. It looks like Christmas, but this was Soviet Russia (a Christmas episode was eventually produced in 2012).
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The vixen singer, whom Zayats disguises himself as, in episode 15 is based on then-popular singer Alla Pugacheva. The song he performs is one of her hits.
  • Non-Mammal Mammaries: The series uses this. Amusingly, sows are depicted as having more than one pair of breasts (since they do have multiple pairs of teats).
  • Off Bridge, onto Vehicle: Wolf attempts to pull it off, jumping off a bridge to land on his runaway motorcycle. He just barely misses.
  • The Olympics: Episode 13 was made to concide with the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympics.
  • Paper-Bag Popping: In episode 4, Wolf does this to make the runners think that the starting pistol had been fired.
  • Pie-Eyed: Both characters have pie-shaped eyes.
  • Pint-Sized 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.
  • Public Service Announcement: There was a series of public service announcements starring Volk & Zayats, mainly focusing on not wasting water and weather-stripping windows in winter. Additionally there were some longer, higher budget ones that were political commentary on shoddy business industry, such as easily shattered glassware and shoes that fall apart quickly.
  • 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.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Wolf is almost always wearing a pink shirt. He also has pink flower-printed boxers. The former, together with a bright yellow spotted tie, is actually portraying him as a stilyaga.
  • 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.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: When the Wolf accidentally turns the Robot Hare into a terrifying killbot in episode 14, its eyes turn a glowing red.
  • Road Runner vs. Coyote: The wolf constantly tries and inevitably fails to catch the hare. He even kind of runs like Wile E. Coyote (though like the similarities to Tom and Jerry, this is probably coincidental due to the show being created behind the iron curtain).
  • Robot Me: A robot Hare causes the Wolf all kinds of trouble in episode 14.
  • Rotoscoping: Used for one shot in episode 15 when Volk is doing the "Dance Of The Swans" from Swan Lake.
  • Rump Roast: In episode 12 the Wolf drops a lit cigar into his armor and there is fire on his peepee and butt. He accidentally puts it out with hot water from the kettle, gets burned twice, and finally finds a fire extinguisher for his peepee.
  • Save the Villain: Zayats isn't always a victim of a stalker. Sometimes he gets to be the hero too. Notably when Volk vets himself into dire situation & needs to be saved. In episode 14 the Hare hits the power button on the Robot Hare killbot that is chasing the Wolf, shutting it off.
  • Shoot the Television: Wild tribesmen fling spears at the TV in episode 17 after being displeased with an episode of "Nu Pogodi".
  • Sliding Scale of Realistic vs. Fantastic: More realistic. Despite being a slapstick-heavy cartoon, the physical comedy is fairly grounded and characters rarely indulge in the kind of potentially lethal amusing injuries often seen in Western cartoons.
  • The Spiny: Wolf unfortunately lands on a family of porcupines in episode 1.
  • Stealth Pun: In the circus episode, the scene on the teeter totter is scored to an instrumental cover of Blood, Sweat and Tears' "Spinning Wheel," the first line of which is "What goes up must come down."
  • Stripping the Scarecrow: The Wolf does this in episode 6 after losing his pants. Unfortunately for him, the scarecrow's clothes are covered in tin cans, resulting in Wolf making a lot of noise when he tries to sneak up on the Hare.
  • 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.
  • Tandem Parasite: Inverted, when Wolf and Hare's bikes collide and form a tandem, Wolf ends up in the hind seat, and pedals frantically trying to grab Hare. Hare doesn't pedal at all, but they still end up winning first place in an Olympic bike race. Somehow this is recognized as a victory and they get medals.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Inverted with the hare. Despite sporting long eyelashes, big blue eyes and pink cheeks, engaging in feminine activities such as watering flowers and is voiced by a female actress (Klara Rumyanova, whom the character is even designed to look like), the creators insist that the character is male.
  • The Teaser: Each of them ends with the Wolf's Catchphrase.
  • Through a Face Full of Fur: The wolf attempts to karate-chop a log, and smashes his hand. It turns crimson, and he has to run a faucet over it to cool it off.
  • Title Drop: At least twice every episode, once in the Cold Open and once to close out the short.
  • Trapped in TV Land: Episode 9, except it's a real TV studio rather than a fictional TV universe where Wolf is trapped.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Sometimes Hare saves Wolf's life. Wolf doesn't take long afterward to go right back to hunting Hare. He also makes no hesitation in stealing the motorboat that the two beavers use to save him from drowning in episode 2.
  • Villain Protagonist: While the Hare is not without his own defining characteristics, most of the cartoons are focused on the wolf trying to capture the hare while the hare mainly exists to be chased and, in some cases, defend himself. Imagine Tom and Jerry if Tom only ever antagonized Jerry and never the other way around.
  • World of Funny Animals: None of the characters are humans.