Kotyhoroshko

The Adventures of Kotyhoroshko and His Friends (Пригоди Котигорошка та його друзів) is a Ukrainian animated miniseries for children. It started airing in 2014 and currently consists of four short episodes of around 15 minutes each, with more episodes in the works.

The show is based on Ukrainian national heroes and legends. The original Kotyhoroshko is a popular character in Ukrainian myth, and can also be found in Belarusian and Russian stories. He was supposedly born to a virgin who had eaten some peas (thus the name, which shares a root with the word for “pea”). He grew up to become a bogatyr (богатир; a legendary figure from Kievan Rus depicted in Slavic folklore—someone known for their strength but also their dedication to their homeland), slaying snakes and committing other impressive feats.

The Kotyhoroshko cartoon is the most recent of several iterations of the hero in popular culture. Funded in part by Ukraine’s state film agency, it premiered on Ukraine’s Independence Day in 2014. It is produced by Ukranimafilm (Укранімафільм), which has been around since 1959.

It’s a patriotic but also simply entertaining show; most of the episodes feature some sort of moral/educational message, as well. The main characters are several heroes of Ukrainian folklore, in particular several of the “Chthonic beings”—those closely connected to or personifying nature. Among them are the strong, loyal Kotyhoroshko; Krutyvus (Крутивус), another Ukrainian folk hero who can control rivers; Vernyhora (Вернигора), who can control mountains; Vernydub (Вернидуб), a sorcerer who has power over trees; and Odut the Bird (Птах Одут), the narrator. They often come across other characters in Ukrainian folklore, as well. In each episode the characters find themselves in some sort of mishap, and use their strength, skills, and goodness to find their way out.

 

Director: Yaroslava Rudenko-Shvedova (Ярослава Руденко-Шведова)
Voiceover actors: Aleksandr Pogrebnyak (Александр Погребняк), Yekaterina Butska (Екатерина Буцька), Boris Georgievskiy (Борис Георгиевский), Yevgeniy Pashin (Евгений Пашин), Vladimir Tereshchuk (Владимир Терещук), Dmitriy Zavadskiy (Дмитрий Завадский), Yekaterina Braykovskaya (Екатерина Брайковская), Mikhail Zhonin (Михаил Жонин), Olga Radchuk (Ольга Радчук), Anatoliy Pashnin (Анатолий Пашнин), Dmitriy Gavrilov (Дмитрий Гаврилов)
Studio: Ukranimafilm (Укранімафільм)
Channel: 1+1

 

The first episode of The Adventures of Kotyhoroshko and His Friends, 2014:

Julie is currently studying Russian as a Second Language in Irkutsk (and before that, Bishkek) with SRAS's Home and Abroad Scholarship program, with the goal of someday having some sort of Russia/Eurasia-related career. She recently got her master’s degree from the University of Glasgow and the University of Tartu, where she studied women’s dissent in Soviet Russia. She also has a bachelor’s degree in literature from Yale. Some of her favorite Russian authors are Sorokin, Shishkin, Il’f and Petrov, and Akhmatova. In her spare time Julie cautiously practices martial arts, reads feminist websites, and taste-tests instant coffee for her blog.