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Western Animation / Princess Natasha

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Princess Natasha is a flash cartoon that was developed by Larry Schwarz for AOL Kids. The episodes were released between 2003 and 2006 and total 44 episodes overall, each running between 6 and 12 minutes apiece. The show has been featured on Cartoon Network, ABC Kids, and included products such as a game adaptation through Nintendo and a line of chapter books.

Natasha is the princess of the fictional European country of Zoravia, which is composed of two parts: an old side and a new side. The old side holds all of the country's landmarks while the new side is more technologically advanced. The country is ruled over by King Carl, but was previously ruled over by his older brother Lubek. Lubek had been crowned king after the death of their father, but was ousted due to the kingdom unanimously disliking and voting against him. Upset, Lubek moved outside of the country and launched a series of attacks against Zoravia from the United States.


In order to stop these attacks the ruling family reluctantly allows their daughter Natasha to travel to the United States in order to stop Lubek's plans. However, she must keep her status of royalty and as a spy secret. While in the States, Natasha lives with the O'Brien family. Natasha develops a crush on their son Greg, who already has a girlfriend named Kelly. She also meets Maya, a tomboyish young girl who soon becomes one of Natasha's closest friends. Natasha is assisted by Oleg, an adult Zoravian scientist who is short enough and young-looking enough to pass as a student. School life is awkward for Natasha and is made more so by her duties to the crown, as she must sneak off to combat Lubek's latest plans.


Student!-Secret Agent!-Tropes!

  • 0% Approval Rating: As king, Lubek was despised by the entire kingdom of Zoravia.
  • Accidental Misnaming: While introducing Kelly to Natasha, Greg calls the latter "Nathalie".
  • Adults Are Useless:
    • Downplayed. It's not that the adult spies are incompetent. Most of them simply can't go after Lubek because, prior to his brief stint as king, he was in charge of the country's spy network and personally trained their best agents. Natasha volunteers herself to undertake the mission, reasoning that since she was born after he fled the country, she'd be less recognizable.
    • Averted with Oleg Boynski. His peers at spy academy bullied him so much he left after one day and a half, allowing him to avoid being recognized by Lubek.
  • Alliterative Name: In "Zoravian Lightning", Ingo Pinto's race car is called the "Zakon Zealth".
  • Bait-and-Switch Comment: In "Princess 3", Greg is revealed to be a fan of Princess Natasha and comments on the fact the exchange student living at his home is named "Natasha" and comes from the Princess' homeland, making it seem he's finally connecting the dots. He ends up assuming the exchange student is just a less cool namesake of the Princess.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Natasha in her white shirt, as shown in the page image.
  • Big Eater: Natasha is implied to be one in "Invisible Princess". Greg orders a huge plate of burgers by himself, and judging by the number of crumpled-up wrappers next to him, only manages to eat two before hitting his limit. He then laments that when Natasha is with him, they normally finish two plates between them, which would mean Natasha normally eats one full plate and the majority of another. Alternatively, he might have still ordered two plates despite being there by himself and has already eaten one by the time we see him, but that just means that both of them are Big Eaters each able to down about a dozen burgers in one sitting.
  • Brick Joke: In "The Day the Music Cried", Natasha and Oleg break into Lubek's hideout to rescue DJ Rickski. When Oleg calls himself Rickski's number one fan, Lubek tells Oleg to change it to "number two" fan. In the epilogue, Oleg has an autograph from DJ Rickski and it's dedicated to his "number two" fan.
  • Celeb Crush: Greg has one on Princess Natasha. Somehow, he fails to realize the exchange student living with his family is the Princess in spite of his posters of her and the fact she doesn't hide her name and nationality.
  • Clark Kenting: Taken to extremes. While she at least has dark shades covering her face in her spy identity, the only significant difference between her princess and exchange student personas is that she wears her hair in a ponytail instead of a bun. Even wearing her well-known princess gown to play a princess in a school play doesn't harm the masquerade; the closest anyone comes is noting they have the same name.
  • Coincidental Broadcast: In "Superstar!", when the Evil Dictator Network announces a laser cannon Lubek can use to blast his way back into the throne, he wonders how he can get a million dollars to buy it. He is then shown an ad about a pageant where the first prize is one million dollars.
  • Cool Shades: Teen Superspy Natasha wears a cool set of wraparound shades to go with her high-tech Spy Catsuit.
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: A four-issue miniseries from DC Comics in 2005. All four issues were written by Leila Strachan and drawn by Christopher Cook and Al Nickerson. The first issue details Natasha's transfer to America to keep tabs on Lubek while engaged in her school's "Find the Flag" contest.
  • Comically Missing the Point: In "Cheaters, Tests, and Webcams", Lubek expects a gagged person to be able to answer his questions until one of his subordinates points out the problem.
  • Disappointed in You: While disguised as the ghost of King Hector, Natasha tells this to Lubek to discourage the latter from closing a park.
  • Elective Monarchy: King Lubek was voted off the throne by the citizens of Zoravia, and his brother Carl Offered the Crown instead.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: In the two-part episode "Zoravian Lightning", Lubek uses a giant magnifying glass to make Ingo Pinto's race car catch fire and eventually explode. When Baron Von X is about to cross the finish line, Ingo Pinto walks in front of him and ends up being hit. The Baron's car crashes on a fast food restaurant and explodes.
  • Evil Twin: In "Double Agent", it's initially believed Oleg became a traitor but the real traitor turns out to be one of his several identical brothers. The other brothers avert it by being on the side of good.
  • Evil Uncle: Natasha's arch nemesis is her uncle Lubek who seeks to take the throne of Zoravia for himself.
  • Foreign Exchange Student: Both Natasha and her fellow spy Oleg Boynski are undercover as exchange students. Natasha comes across as fairly normal, while Oleg falls into Funny Foreigner territory.
  • Funny Foreigner: Natasha's fellow spy and exchange student Oleg Boynski fills this role.
  • General Ripper: Downplayed. When Lubek is located in Zoravia, Illinois, the General at the war room with the Royal Family suggests sending an army after him. Fortunately, King Karl vetoes the idea on the spot.
  • Hesitation Equals Dishonesty: In "Something's Rotten in Zoravia", King Carl asks Natasha if she destroyed Lubek's weather machine. She didn't and hesitates before lying.
  • Hey, You!: In "Boynski, Oleg Boynski", Natasha allows Oleg to call her by name instead of title even if not in the presence of people not supposed to know she's the Princess of Zoravia.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Only 16 out of 44 total episodes have managed to find their way to YouTube.
  • Kick the Dog: In "Cheaters, Tests, and Webcams", it's revealed that, among other things, Kelly literally kicked a dog.
  • King Incognito: Natasha must keep her royal status a secret while living with the O'Briens.
  • Masquerade: A princess-spy fitting in as a regular student amongst humankind.
  • The Name Is Bond, James Bond: In his debut episode, Oleg introduces himself to Natasha as "Boynski, Oleg Boynski", which also happens to be the episode's title.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: At the end of "Cheaters, Tests, and Webcams", Kelly tries to steal Natasha's assignment for computer class but gets the wrong CD-Rom and accidentally reveals that she cheated off Maya's test instead of the other way around as the teacher assumed, tried to steal the answers of another test, kicked a dog, and picked her nose.note 
  • Offered the Crown: King Carl was installed on the throne after the citizens of Zoravia voted his older brother Lubek out of office.
  • Older Than They Look: Oleg is short and young-looking enough to pass as a student but he's 38 years old.
  • Opening Narration: Each episode has a minute-long segment explaining the show's premise.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise:
    • Upon learning Lubek plans to abduct Natasha and replace her with a robot, her father sends a decoy who fools everyone in spite of being taller and fatter than the real Princess and not even being a real girl. It comes to a point that even Lubek's robot copies the decoy's look. The robot has wheels instead of feet but it fools practically everyone.
    • Natasha once wore a racing uniform to pretend to be Ingo Pinto and fooled people who had recently seen the real Pinto, who's not only taller than Natasha but also too fat to fit into his race car.
  • Parodies for Dummies: In "Zoravian Lightning - Part 2", Greg reads a book titled "Moron's Guide to Driving" to study for a driving test.
  • Posthumous Character: King Hector, Carl and Lubek's father, died in 1988. His history is expanded upon in "The Play's the Thing".
  • Princess Protagonist: The main character is a princess from a fictional Ruritania who goes undercover as a spy in the United States to stop a threat to her kingdom.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: The royals of Zoravia undertake secret missions to keep the country safe.
  • Ruritania: Zoravia is a small European kingdom explicitly located "the feet of the Carpathian Mountains", that is half quaint rural tourist trap, half technological utopia.
  • Scarecrow Solution: In "The Play's the Thing", Natasha pretends to be the ghost of King Hector to scare Lubek into not closing the park the real Hector gave to the children of Zoravia.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: Oleg and his evil twin Gelo.
  • Secret Identity: Natasha has to keep her royalty and spy identities a secret to avoid great risk for her family.
  • Shaped Like Itself: In "The Play's the Thing", there's a school play titled "The Beautiful Princess and the Handsome Prince" and Natasha auditions for the Princess' role. The director rejects her, claiming a real Princess to be "more Princess-like".
  • Short-Lived Leadership: When Lubek became the King of Zoravia, he was so hated by his subjects his reign lasted little (or no) more than the time it took them to organize a nation-wide referendum to elect his brother Carl as their King.
  • Shout-Out:
    • In "From Zoravia to Zoravia", the results of the referendum are posted at The Zoravian Times and The Zoravian Post, newspapers whose names are written in the same style as The New York Times and The New York Post.
    • In "The Bald and the Beautiful", when Natasha is unpacking, one of the books she brought with her was authored by Ian Fleming.
    • "Boynski, Oleg Boynski" contains references to James Bond. Oleg introduces himself the same way Bond is known for doing; he parodies Sean Connery Is About to Shoot You by pointing his finger at the camera using the same scene style Bond uses to actually shoot; he uses Bond's "shaken, not stirred" line; when he tries to lie to impress Natasha, the lie is similar to how Bond is portrayed in movies and he's seen wearing a tux; and his code number is 007.435267893421.
    • In "Princess 3", a decoy pretending to be Princess Natasha wears glass slippers. Under the belief he danced with the Princess, Greg keeps one of the slippers as a souvenir.
    • The students auditioning for a school play in "The Play's the Thing". Most allude to William Shakespeare.
  • Sketchy Successor: 15 years before the beginning of the cartoon, King Hector died and his son Lubek became the King of Zoravia. Lubek's past actions as the head of Zoravia's Spy Agency and Secret Police made him so hated by the citizens of Zoravia they elected his younger brother Carl as their King. Lubek plots to force the citizens to accept him as their King.
  • Spit Take: The narrator's first line in the intro is "Something's rotten in the Kingdom of Zoravia", prompting a character to spit the boofer fruit he's eating but the narrator adds "No, not that". The episode "Something's Rotten in Zoravia" features a repeat of the take but this time it's because Lubek is sabotaging the crops.
  • Spoiler Opening: Oleg doesn't appear before the third episode but the intro reveals his role in the cartoon ever since the first episode.
  • Spy Catsuit: Natasha wears a high-tech black one when she goes into action.
  • Succession Crisis: When King Hector died, his son Lubek became King of Zoravia but was so hated by his subjects they made a referendum and Lubek's younger brother Carl was elected King. Unwilling to accept defeat, Lubek spends his time plotting to retake the throne.
  • Swirlie: One of the flashback scenes that explain why Oleg didn't stay in Spy Academy long enough for Lubek to be able to recognize him shows some bullies subjecting him to a toilet.
  • Technology Marches On: Natasha communicates with her dad through her "Booferberry" phone, which is an in-universe version of the Blackberry phone.
  • Teen Superspy: Natasha is a teen balancing school and secret missions to protect Zoravia. Subverted with Oleg as it's revealed that, while he looks young enough to be a seventh grader, he's an adult.
  • Tempting Fate: In "Superstar!", when Oleg invites Natasha to watch the pageant with him, she says nothing will make her go there. Cue her father calling to inform her Lubek plans to steal the cash prize.
  • Tuxedo and Martini: Oleg tries to pass himself to Natasha as this kind of spy to impress her during his debut episode. She sees through it because Lubek would've recognized him had everything he told been true.
  • Undisclosed Funds: In "Zoravian Lightning - Part 1", a magazine has a picture of race car driver Ingo Pinto receiving a check worth "lots and lots of money". In Part 2, he receives another check with "lots and lots of money" written on it as his prize for winning a race but it's a subversion because it's stated back in Part 1 the prize is five million dollars.
  • Unexplained Accent: Despite coming from a fictional Eastern European country, Natasha has an American accent and talks like an American teenager. Meanwhile, her dad has a British-sounding accent. Oleg and Lubek are the only Zoravians whose accents line-up with their home country, sounding vaguely Russian.
  • Unnamed Parent: The O'Brien parents are only known to the viewers as "Mr. O'Brien" and "Mrs. O'Brien".
  • Visible Invisibility: In "Invisible Princess", people turned invisible by Lubek's invisibility formula have silhouettes the viewers can see.
  • Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: Natasha is a secret agent posing as a high school student who must thwart Lubek's schemes without exposing her identity as a princess or a spy.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: When Natasha learns Oleg is a Zoravian spy and asks how Lubek doesn't recognize him, he says the bullying he suffered at the academy made him leave before the end of his second day and feels like a failure for it until she brings up how he helped her save the day the first time they worked together.