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Animation / Once Upon a Dog

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A Soviet animated short (1982) directed by Eduard Nazarov based on a Ukrainian folk tale.

A farmer's guard dog gets too old to do his job properly and gets in the way of everyday chores, so the farmer gives him the boot. Dog runs to the woods and meets the Wolf there. They become friends and the wolf decides to help his former adversary to get his job back...

Can be watched on YouTube with English subtitles here.


  • Abhorrent Admirer: The Wolf readies to sing and places his paw on one lady's knee while under the table, and the lady, thinking it's a guy sitting near her, makes doe eyes to him. The guy is not happy.
  • *Crack!* "Oh, My Back!": Happens to the Wolf while he is laughing at the dog during their first meeting.
  • Enemy Mine
  • Funny Background Event: The short is chock full of this, and they're so subtle they can be on foreground, yet you still miss them, like:
    • The suitor hopefully looking at daughter's window, gets his face badly scratched by a cat and is seen later in singing procession with bandages all over his face. During the wedding he steps on the cat's tail with visible satisfaction.
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    • The cat calmly laps spilled milk in the midst of chaos Dog causes at the beginning.
    • The way father proudly twirls his mustache implies that he took credit for the child's rescue.
    • When a baby is stolen, his adult sister is crying, screaming for help, but doesn't stop raking for a second.
  • Interrupted Suicide
  • Just Following Orders: The Wolf understands that Dog chasing him was his job, and doesn't hold a grudge.
  • Kick the Dog: After a number of accidents happening because of a dog, farmer does this
  • Old Dog
  • Realistic Diction Is Unrealistic: The Dog doesn't seem to be able to make a coherent sentence. Most of his phrases are just "eh"-s and "so"-s.
  • Shown Their Work: The director of the short, not being Ukrainian himself, did a a few years' worth of study of Ukrainian village life.
  • The Stoic: The Wolf helped dog and didn't ask for any favors back.
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  • We Are Not Going Through That Again: when Dog comes to Wolf second time, he says: "Wha?.. AGAIN?.."
  • Wedding Smashers


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