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This Soviet Cartoon Was Too Much for Romania’s Communist Censors

A frame from the second episode of "Nu pogodi" not approved by Communist Romanian censors.

A scene from an episode of the Soviet cartoon “Nu Pogodi” not approved by Communist Romanian censors.

According to the documentary “Chuck Norris vs Communism,” Romania's state censorship actually deleted scenes from the classic Soviet cartoon “Nu Pogodi” before broadcasting it on state TV during the 1980s. For instance, in the first scene of the second episode, the Rabbit carries three balloons: red, blue, and yellow. Because they matched the colors of the Romanian flag, censors cut out the scene to avoid associations about Soviet dominance over Romania.

“Nu Pogodi” (“Well, Just You Wait!” or “I'll get you!”) is probably the Soviet Union's best-loved, most famous cartoon. Produced in Russia by Moscow-based Soyuzmultfilm, it featured two main characters inspired by Tom and Jerry: the ‘hooligan” Wolf and the goody two shoes Rabbit. Today and on YouTube, it remains popular across the former Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc, as well as in the former Yugoslavia.

While Romania was indeed a Soviet satellite state, the regime of Nicolae Ceaușescu tried to maintain the perception that his government was in charge, and that his brand of Communism, which included Romanian nationalism, was “the best.” Other instances spurring censorship highlighted in the “Chuck Norris” documentary included deleting scenes of abundant food (banned because of shortages in most consumer products, thanks to the shortcomings of Communism's planned economy).

Soyuzmultfilm has published all the “Nu, pogodi!” episodes online on YouTube, including a 2014 reboot. (These videos cannot be embedded outside YouTube, however.)

“Nu, pogodi!” was created in the traditions of Disney and Warner Bros. For other of cartoons made behind the Iron Curtain, check out more examples from Russia, Ukraine, and Hungary.

  • Émile

    “While Romania was indeed a Soviet satellite state, ”

    Was it?

    “his brand of Communism, which included Romanian nationalism”

    All communist regimes were nationalistic.

    • Dee

      Not really, In Hungary it wasn’t. Internacionálé!!!

  • Cute Boy Horse

    “included deleting scenes of abundant food (banned because of shortages in most consumer products, thanks to the shortcomings of Communism’s planned economy)”

    Actually in Romania food shortages were not due to “shortcomings” of the socialist economy, but because they were required to export almost everything they could produce to pay off crippling western loans. After doing this, Romania was the only eastern bloc country to pay off it’s debts in full before the collapse.

    ““Nu, pogodi!” was created in the traditions of Disney and Warner Bros. ”

    No, the creator of Nu Pogodi only saw Western equivalents in the mid 80s, when someone brought in a western VCR. This is long after the series was created.

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