Helpful Hints

Helpful Hints (Корисні підказки) is a contemporary Ukrainian cartoon. It premiered in 2013 and airs on PlusPlus (ПлюсПлюс), a Ukrainian children’s/family TV channel that is part of 1+1 Media, one of the main Ukrainian domestic channels. Each episode is about 10 minutes, and there are about 40 in total. The show is explicitly educational and meant to aid in children’s development and instill moral values in them.

According to the show’s website, Helpful Hints is an “encyclopedia in cartoons”: if you have questions but don’t know who to ask, “our heroes will help you find the answers.” The show’s heroes navigate their way through confusing everyday situations, making the world a little easier to understand for children. The episodes’ subjects vary widely, from how to make new friends to how to avoid getting a sunburn to how to eat healthily. Some episodes are even advertised as providing helpful advice for adults as well as children—such as how to be attentive and how to react when someone is trying to offend you.

The general producer of PlusPlus and the producer of Helpful Hints, Ivanna Naida (Іванна Найда), is a renowned journalist and TV producer, and in 2011 was named an Honored Journalist of Ukraine (Заслужений журналіст України). She also takes children’s programming very seriously: she says her company takes a “scientific approach” to cartoons to figure out exactly what is most useful for children. A child psychologist, Svitlana Roiz (Світлана Ройз), works on the show. It is directed by Sergiy Gavrilov (Сергій Гаврилов).

 

The show’s official site.

A 2015 episode of the show:

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.