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Animation / Qumi-Qumi

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Yusi, Shumadan, and Juga

Qumi-Qumi ("Куми-Куми") is a Russian children's cartoon created by Toonbox (best known for the Cut the Rope cartoons). Based around a small comic book from 2005 that eventually made it into a small music video in 2007, and eventually into a full-fledged cartoon in 2011, Qumi-Qumi tells of three different tribes: the magic-based tribal Juma-Qumi, the science-based capitalist Yumi-Qumi, and the militaristic and communistic Schumi-Qumi. Three young outcasts of each tribe, Juga, Yusi, and Shumadan, manage to break out of their social norms and become close friends.

The speech of the characters is a gibberish language known as Tarabar (though with its own specific words) peppered with various English phrases. Many plots relate around Juga and Shumadan’s crushes on Yusi and trying to interact with their respective tribes despite their own faults.

The series is now available for viewing on the Angry Birds Toons channel found in every app game. Episodes are also freely available for online view.

Qumi-Qumi provides examples of:

  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: Fire, some vehicles turning, and some poses of Yusi's robot are modeled in CG.
  • Accidental Kiss: The major plot of "General In Love" is kicked off when Yusi accidentally kisses the General (she was aiming for Shumadan, but he got crushed by the General's crashing rocket at the last second).
  • All Animals Are Dogs: The rhino in "The Robot" snarls, licks, and even urinates, like a dog would.
  • Anthropomorphic Food: One of the show's recurring creatures is a giant monster made out of cake.
  • Art Evolution: The pilot and first official episode gave the characters thicker eye outlines than the series' proper and Yusi's design was radically different.
  • Art Shift: Thought bubbles are drawn in outline-only style to contrast the outline-free style of the actual series. Also, one of Shumadan's fantasies in "Snowman" portrays him and Yusi as still outlineless, but overly simplified in color and design. Finally, most of the title cards are drawn in a sketchy style (save for the pilot and first episode).
  • Bag of Holding: Shumadan's knapsack. He can fit a piano inside it.
  • Betty and Veronica: Shumadan is the Betty and Juga the Veronica to Yusi’s Archie.
  • Big Eater: All three of the trio can easily devour more than their body size in foods.
  • Big, Thin, Short Trio: The main characters.
  • Black Sheep: Each of the three main characters are black sheep to their respective tribes. This is how they managed to hit it off so well with each other in the first place. At the same time, Shumadan is a White Sheep against the other Schumi-Qumi.
  • Butt-Monkey: While all three of the main characters fall victim to slapstick, Juga tends to get it a bit more often.
  • Camera Fiend: Yusi is hardly anywhere without her camera for taking nature photos.
  • Chromatic Arrangement: The tribes are blue (Juma-Qumi), pink (Yumi-Qumi), and green (Schumi-Qumi), which is reflected through their tribe colors and background scenery.
  • Collector of the Strange: Shumadan's hobby. He collects anything that interests him and shoves it into his bottomless knapsack, which often comes in handy in certain situations.
  • Continuity Nod: Juga's room in the last short of "Qumi-Mix" contains tons of references to past episodes.
  • Cool Old Guy: One of the Yumi-Qumi's scientists, and the Schumi-Qumi General. The former has grey-colored prongs, while the latter keeps his prongs the normal color, but has an added grey mustache and eyebrows.
  • Cool Old Lady: The Juma-Qumi shaman, Bai-Baba. Like the Yumi-Qumi scientist, her prongs are colored grey. She's easily mistaken for male thanks to her lack of eyelashes.
  • Dance Party Ending: Each episode ends with cuts of characters dancing in the credits. The first three are random characters that have to do with the episode, while the fourth and final is always Bai-Baba with her spell drum, always poofing away just as the credits end.
  • Dirty Communists: The Schumi-Qumi are unabashedly Communist, and, with the exception of Shumadan, are portrayed as antagonists for many episodes.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: The Schumi-Qumi General, well-fitting the militaristic lifestyle.
  • Elvis Lives: And was kidnapped by cloud people to perform endlessly. Luckily Juga managed to come along and rescue him.
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: The Schumi-Qumi guns are blunderbusses with corks instead of bullets. They still pack a nasty punch, though.
  • "Fantastic Voyage" Plot: "The Small Worm" features Juga and Yusi piloting into Shumadan's stomach to rescue Yusi's new pet worm from the apple that Shumadan ate.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: All three tribes. The Juma-Qumi for Africa, Yumi-Qumi for America, and Schumi-Qumi for Russia.
  • Forced Transformation: "General In Love" has a giant red tree-growing cupcake that turns the eater into an octopus. It takes the smaller yellow ones from the opposite tree to cure them.
  • Funny Background Event: In the episode "Fishing", Shumadan manages to lose a gadget as it propels up into the air. Come the next episode, "The Cloudies", it appears in the background of the cloud kingdom.
  • Gentle Giant: Shumadan, contrasting the bitter and cruel personalities of his shorter tribemates.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: The Schumi-Qumi general sports some nasty scars on his face and rear, with a peg leg to boot.
  • Granola Girl: Yusi loves wildlife and taking pictures of it. Unfortunately, her island is so modernized that nearly all nature has been eradicated.
  • Gross-Up Close-Up: Some close-ranged shots are overly detailed and uncanny for the series.
  • Hiccup Hijinks: The final short in "Qumi-Mix" features Shumadan accidentally swallowing Juga's alarm clock and getting a case of hiccups bad enough to shake the environment. They're only cured by Juga removing the clock, which he does eventually by flipping Shumadan upside down and forcing him to dispel it. And then a Trash Toad swallows it.
  • Inept Mage: Juga, thanks to not bothering to pay attention.
  • It's Always Spring: Each tribeland is at a permanent season. The Juma-Qumi and Yumi-Qumi lands are always warm and sunny, while the Schumi-Qumi land is always cold and snowing.
  • Killer Rabbit: The worm in the episode "The Small Worm" looks cute and adorable…but is happy to drill into Shumadan's stomach and lay eggs, wreaking havoc on his insides in the process.
  • Love Triangle: Juga and Shumadan both have crushes on Yusi. Yusi has yet to decide who she loves more, so she plays the coquette towards both of them for fun.
  • Magic Staff: Juga's weapon. He can switch between a leaf that lets him use basic spells and a color-changing crystal for more advanced ones.
  • Mess on a Plate: The common fare of the Schumi-Qumi, often a greyish-brown mess fitting of military food.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: The episode "The Zombie" features two voodoo dolls owned by Bai-Baba which, through magical joystick-like crystals, can be turned into giant zombies that do the controller's biddings. If the crystals are broken, their souls latch into their bodies, giving them free roam…and a dangerous temper.
  • Punny Name: Shumadan's name is similar in pronunciation to "chemodanom", the Russian word for "suitcase", as in his knapsack.
  • Recurring Extra: A Cyclops bird that bears a very striking resemblance to the Toonbox logo.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Everyone. They're a tiny bit off-beat, but they're adorable all the same! However, special mention goes to Oilo, the living oil blob.
  • Scenery Porn: All of the backgrounds are beautifully designed and detailed.
  • Shout-Out:
  • The Sky Is an Ocean: The episode "Trash Toad" features the group flying in a zeppelin that is treated exactly like a ship, including a giant flying worm-like creature that acts like a large whale.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Yusi is one of the only female characters in the show. As a counterpoint, many of the minor cameos of members of the Yumi-Qumi are majority female.
  • Speaking Simlish: The Qumi-Qumi language, Tarabar. It's also peppered with random English.
  • Swallowed Whole: Happens to Yusi in "Fishing" and "The Zombie".
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Played with. Yusi has the standard pink color scheme and eyelashes, with an added earring on one of her prongs. However, the obviously male Shumadan also has eyelashes to make him cuter. As well, Bai-Baba lacks eyelashes, and the only way to characterize her as female is through her frayed dress-like bottom.
  • Title Theme Tune: "Qumi-Qumi, haba-haba waka-waka! Qumi-Qumi, haba-haba jamana!"
  • Third Eye: The episode "The Third Eye" features an enchanted eye talisman that embeds into the user's forehead and allows them to turn others into mindless monsters that do their biddings.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: Juga is The Hero, Shumadan is the Fat Best Friend, and Yusi is the lone girl.
  • Vague Age: The characters are obviously young, though their personalities can range from being eight-year old children to eighteen-year old teens.
  • Villainous Crush: The General gets one in "General In Love" towards Yusi after an Accidental Kiss. Even after he gets attacked by her when turned into an octopus and thrown onto the moon, he still retains his crush. Considering that was the last time they interacted, only time will tell if it'll keep or not...
  • Weird Sun: It is mechanical and can retract to make a target for a game. The episode "Solar Energy" reveals that it is powered by one of two Solar Sheep, one that manages to gain its energy from the same sun, while the other provides the energy, draining it in the process, and the cycle continues every day.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: For all the morally risky stuff the General does, he still does it in the name of his tribe's best interests.
  • Witch Doctor: Bai-Baba, the Juma-Qumi shaman. She owns the Solar Sheep and is one of the few outside characters that shows Juga any respect.
  • Yellow Snow: In the episode "Snowman", as a prank to trip up Shumadan's uphill climb, Juga hides behind Shumadan's half-finished snowman as a yellow liquid squirts out and freezes onto the snow. Juga then walks from behind the snowman, holding a container of orange juice dripping the same contents.