The Success Story of Russian Animation

May 4, 2022
In this documentary, the Russian journalist Irina Shikhman interviewer and author of 'A pogovorit?' (Let’s Talk) YouTube channel, explores the incredible success of Russian animated programs at home and abroad.
The standard-bearer Masha and the Bear has set the record for most watched cartoon on YouTube according to Guinness World Records, hitting 100 billion views in 2021. With translation into more several languages and major audiences in Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Europe, the show has truly been global. Another success story is Smeshariki (Kikoriki in its English version), which features stylized rounded animals discussing complex, philosophical themes. Having been translated into 15 languages, it aires in 60 countries and has an everyday audience of 50 million people.

Three Cats (Kid-E-Cats in English), available worldwide on Netflix, has been a big international success. Unlike Masha and the Bear it has been a hit in English, but like Masha and the Bear it has also sold its franchise in China. Another YouTube success has been Booba, a series about a hobgoblin, created by the small Russian studio 3D Sparrow and conceived for a Western audience from the beginning.

Overall, the Russian animation industry has been rapidly growing and continues to develop. In contrast to the Russian film industry, which is largely subsidized by the state, it is mostly funded privately and geared toward profit, including through merchandizing.

Watch Irina Shikhman’s discussion with Russian animation producers, who share memories about their journey.

Digest written by the Russia.Post editorial team.
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