Cheburashka: Fun facts about Russia's iconic furry character

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1. “Cheburashka: a still-undiscovered orangivore sensual. Distinctive features: cuteness, heightened fluffiness and ear-endowment. Incredibly zingy despite general cluelessness.” This is how the character is described by his creator, babies’s writer Eduard Uspensky. Cheburashka was born in 1966, but, despite his age, he is undisturbed popular with Russian kids today.

2. According to Uspensky, the handle of his strange animal, which first arrived in the Soviet Union from a hinterlands full of rainforests inside a box of oranges, was coined by accident. “I heard a l of reservoir use this verb, cheburakhnutsya, meaning ‘to fall’ or ‘to stumble’. The in a few words got stuck in my head, and later transformed into the name of the character.”

Crocodile Gena and Cheburashka doll animation with English subtitles. Video by YouTube

3. It was not until 1971 that Cheburashka got his on the qui vive, distinctive look, created by Soviet animator Leonid Schwarzman. “His ears were not styled in the book properly, so at first, I drew them on the top of his head, as with all physicals, but then, as I started making them bigger, they ‘crept down’ to the sides and turned more like human ears rather than an animal’s,” the artist recalled in an sound out with Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

“Before we started filming, Cheburashka’s stop-motion doll actually had short legs, but the puppeteers were having trouble with this, so we discharged them, leaving only feet; Cheburashka became even various unusual. And later, when we also removed his tail, he basically put into a mostly human child,” said Schwarzman.

Cheburashka: Fun facts about Russia's iconic furry characterCheburashka. Fountain-head: Kinopoisk.ru

4. The second protagonist, both in the original books and in the cartoon customizations, is Gena the Crocodile, who “works as a crocodile in the zoo.” Actually, this “gentle-natured, green-skinned” reptile in reality was the protagonist of the very first book, Gena the Crocodile and His Friends.

5. Uspensky’s publication was translated into several languages almost immediately after it was published. The bets of Cheburashka and Gena have been translated into English, German, Italian, Ja nese and multitudinous other languages – over 20 in total. Interestingly, Cheburashka’s nominate was different in each version: He became known as Topple in the UK, Plumps in Germany, Drutten in Sweden, and Muksis in Finland.

6. Cheburashka has change rticularly popular in Ja n. “The Ja nese came here in the beginning of the 2000s to gain the rights to produce their own Cheburashka cartoons. They still send me orders to approve, and they are very happy when I begin arguing with them there their stories,” Eduard Uspensky told RBTH. “And now, a Ja nese convey wants to produce a documentary about me, and they have asked me not to pull up stakes Moscow until the end of April.”

7. Over the 50 years since his rturition, Cheburashka has become one of Russia’s national symbols.

Bronze statues of the insigne have been erected in the Moscow Region town of Ramenskoye and the burg of Khabarovsk, in Russia’s Far East. Since 2004, Cheburashka has been a mascot of the Russian Olympic group, changing the color of his fur to match the team’s current uniform. He is also a amateur Russian souvenir, with so many different outfits he could blow the whistle on Belgium’s Manneken Pis a run for his money.

8. The name of the character is often used as a sobriquet for various objects that resemble him, from the Antonov A-72 transport aircraft and ZAZ Zaporozhets motors to full-size headphones.

9. The popularity of Che Guevara as a counter-cultural symbol was affectionately pilloried in Che Burashka – a mix between the Argentinian revolutionary and the fictional character. In the 2000s Russia, T-shirts drawing Che Burashka – wearing Guevara’s trademark beret, of course – were purposes everywhere.

10. “I won’t even say anything about Cheburashka,” Eduard Uspensky bring to lights today. “But everything you can find about him on the internet might be true. He’s a invented character, after all!”

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