I couldn’t work out the difference between a Cartoon and an Animation so I’ve settled for a literal description – Moving Pictures. I guess that there is no difference except the target audience and that adults prefer to watch the formal ‘animations’ so they don’t sound childish…

Anyway, I’m not going to babble on about naming conventions and linguistic overlaps in the English language – this post is all about cartoons. More specifically, it’s about cartoons from the side of the Cold War which didn’t have Disney or the Warner Brothers.

Like all kids who grew up in the UK in the 70s and 80s I was heavily (and maybe unhealthily) exposed to hours and hours of Tom and Jerry, Bugs Bunny, Tweetie Pie etc and endless re-runs of older classics such as Bag Puss, King Rollo, Mr Ben and Postman Pat which was all postponed once a year for the Christmas animation cheese-fest, the Snowman. Actually, I could probably sit and type for another twenty minutes listing all the cartoons I remember, He-Man, Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds etc etc… but I think you get the picture.

However, had I been sitting 1000 miles to the east, life would have been very different. Instead of Winnie the Pooh, I would have giggled away to Vinnie Pooh and instead of Tom and Jerry, I would have fond memories of the USSR’s bad woolf in Nu Pogodi. I’m absolutely sure I would have wanted a Cheburashka toy.

Anyway, for the benefit of anyone who cares and everyone who didn’t grow up in the ex-USSR, I’ve compiled a list of the most popular animations and cartoons from the region. Yes, some are stupid and yes, some are strange but they’re all unique and offer a fascinating insight into a world which no-longer exists.

Thanks to Youtube and thanks to the people who added subtitles, we can all enjoy them. So, let’s start with the coolest… the amusingly simple Vinny Pooh

We have “Winnie the Phooh” because we have a ‘W’ and definitive articles, the Russians have the much funnier “Vinny Pooh”. Now, I’m not sure that they’re based on the same stories (presumably they are, at least loosely) but, in my opinion Vinny wins paws-down. I was never a fan of the American Winnie the Pooh cartoons but I’m a big fan of the Russian version. Here, see for yourself…

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