Masha, c’est moi

Friends, have you seen the cartoon “Masha and the Bear”? It’s on Netflix.

Masha is a total pest but her relationship with the bear is exactly like mine was with my great-grandfather who raised me. It’s uncanny.

And yes, my great-grandfather was a saint.

10 thoughts on “Masha, c’est moi

  1. Our youngest loves “Masha and the Bear,” and often refers to me as either “Bear” or “Mishka.”


      1. ” Soviet cartoons that had almost no words”

        I always assumed that was partly because they were shown in other satellite countries and minimal dialogue means minimal localization costs. Polish and Czech cartoons from the period also tended toward minimal or no dialogue I assume for the same reason.


        1. Interesting! I never thought of it this way but I’m sure you are right.

          What’s really interesting in these cartoons – and that hasn’t changed in 50 years – is the aggressive, active femininity and the completely beaten down, passive masculinity. Regimes change (well, kind of) but this message doesn’t.


          1. I have the idea (maybe wrong) that in Poland people think of it more as a child-parent dynamic with the more experienced but weary parents barely able to keep up with a child who as more energy than brains or judgement (a friend’s nephew loved the show and identified with Masha – and keeping him out of trouble was an issue).


            1. God, I’m happy my kid is not like that. I’m useless at anything that doesn’t involve a rational discussion and a nuanced dialogue.


              1. I’ll just add that to the extent that the dichotomy between female energy and male lethargy is a thing in Poland it’s more…. mental than physical. Some years ago the most popular TV series in Poland was set in a village in the east where a Polish-American woman decides to live (after inheriting her grandmother’s house) setting off a lot of events along the way.
                A recurrent theme was that the women were the ones consistently coming up with ideas on how to make things better (a big theme was bringing the countryside into the 21st century) while the men are mired in petty squabbles or inertia…


  2. When I first saw Masha and the Bear I assumed it was made in some western country (perhaps by someone with Russian speaking ancestors they’d never met). I was really surprised to find out it was made in Russia, it seemed entirely too…. cheerful, optimistic, fun (vamp till ready…). It didn’t seem much at all like Soviet era animation I’d seen which always had an undertone that was… disagreeable (when the surface wasn’t disagreeable too).


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