Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
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Russian title screen

One of the more successful cartoon projects in The New Russia, a series of 6-minute animated shorts about nine highly-stylized, ball-like anthropomorphic animals -- the show's Russian name can be approximately translated as "Funballs". It was the creators' choice not to have any villains -- unusual even by the standards of the generally-humanist Soviet animation -- while also avoiding falling into the pit of Anvilicious "moral education" that many Russian children's shows displayed in the past. All conflict in the series is derived from clashes between personalities of the generally-friendly characters. The show was launched in July, 2004.

The show is notable for often boiling down adult themes such as prostitution, gambling, Internet addiction, etc. to a level at which children can grasp the basic concept through metaphor, and for its reflection of the eclectic culture of post-Soviet Russia. In the end, though, it remains and is seen as a fun, friendly children's show -- just with heaps of Parental Bonus.

Was dubbed in the United States by 4Kids! Entertainment as GoGoRiki, which, in its usual fashion, changed all character names and removed many of the Russian cultural references. In this version, all names end with -riki, which doesn't make sense by the rules of Russian grammar, since "smeshariki" is supposed to be the plural form of the type of Funny Animal that the characters are.

The characters are:

  • Krosh (Pogoriki; a rabbit), an energetic, adventurous, irresponsible boy.
  • Yozhik (Chikoriki; a hedgehog), Krosh's quiet, introverted friend with glasses and an interest in collections.
  • Nyusha (Rosariki; a pig), a girl obsessed with beauty and dreams of a handsome prince.
  • Barash (Wolliriki; a ram), a poet with a crush on Nyusha and unreliable inspiration.
  • Karkarych (Bigoriki; a crow), an artist with an obsession with doing things with style.
  • Sovunya (Olgariki; an owl), an archetypical Russian country grandma known for her cure-all home-made medicine.
  • Pin (Ottoriki; a penguin), a self-taught, unreliable inventor with a German accent.
  • Losyash (Docoriki; a moose), a theoretical scientist, albeit with occasional odd interest in such unscientific things as astrology and shamanism.
  • Kopatych (Boboriki; a bear), an old-school dachnik typically found tending to vegetables he grows in his garden.
Tropes used in Smeshariki include: