Hold Up: Episode 1

Hold up... I just discovered a Russian children's cartoon that is currently broadcasted on
Universal Kids. And if you ask me, it is a lot wilder than you might think.

Children's TV has always been insane. From tall antenna-bearing television monsters to human hands with eyes, I honestly sometimes wonder how drunk the creators of these shows were when they were brainstorming ideas. "And we can put the face of a baby on the sun!"

(The Sun UK)

Anyway, of all the shows, Masha and the Bear seems to be quite normal with a passing glance, though with further investigation we reveal a few things that made me have to take a step back and say, "Hold up..."

(Masha and the Bear)

Masha and the Bear follows the life of an anthropomorphic bear and an omnipotent soviet child named Masha. Masha first seems to be a cute little Russain girl who simply lives in the woods with her farm animals. No big deal, right? Wrong. This child is terrifying.

The show is originally in Russain, meaning the English version voices do not match the mouth movements of the characters. Masha is the main character who actually speaks though, and when she talks it is like the voice of a child is echoing from the lips of this animated character.

Another thing to note about Masha are her powers to alter reality. That's right, this child has omnipotent powers to bend the world around her at her will. A prime example is in the episode, Rock-A-Bye, Baby, where Masha materializes sheep from her thought bubble.

Another example is in the following clip, where she uses her powers to magically paint entire trees with the flick of a brush after she paints a bunch of animals so that they match the animals in her painting. Later in this same episode, she goes full Elsa-Let-It-Go and ends up painting the entire forest in a matter of minutes.

She also has the ability to run at superhuman speeds. She reminds me of an insect scurrying across the ground. You can see what I mean in the following video clip, in which she sings an absolutely horrifying song about eating too many sweets and losing your teeth. At about 1:17, Masha is running at the speed of a bicycle, until she eventually jumps on the back of it.

As a reminder, this is a very creepy song:

This child is omnipotent, creepy, and fast. What else? Well, she seems to be a member of the Soviet army, or know one. This is seen in the opening theme song of every episode.

Here you see Masha running toward the camera wearing a Soviet officer hat.

(Under the Red Star)
According to my research, the closest thing I have found to Masha's Soviet hat is the above Cavalry Officer Service/Parade visor cap from between 1935 and 1950.

This brings me to a few of the real-world facts about Masha and the Bear that I found interesting.

The Russian language version of one of the episodes of Masha and the Bear, Маша плюс каша, is the fifth most viewed video on Youtube as of January 2020, with more than 4.2 billion views. That is about 800 Soviet armies worth of views. That is over half of the population of the Earth if each view was one person.

Also, the show was accused of being Russian propaganda in 2017 by activists of the Ukrainian public organization “Council of Public Security”. It was dubbed a "propaganda tool to impose a positive image of Russia on children," and it was suggested the series be banned, saying:
Russian propagandists send a clear signal to children: the bear, which is traditionally considered a symbol of the Russian Federation and is associated with this country, appears as a big strong hero who seizes other people's property, home, land with impunity.
It is worth noting that the animation company behind the show denied the accusation.

Regardless, whether or not the show is Russian propaganda, it can certainly be agreed that Masha is a terrifying child with supernatural powers who must be stopped. The poor bear deserves peace, and I deserve to be able to resist the urge to stay up until 3am on a Sunday night to write a blog post about a children's television show.

Thank you for reading! What do you think of this nightmare child? Feel free to sound off in the comments!

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