Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Cheburashka (Russian: Чебурашка) is a fairy tale creature from a story by a Russian writer Eduard Uspensky . He is also the hero (voiced by Klara Rumyanova) of the animated film series by Soyuzmultfilm studio.
According to the story, Cheburashka is a funny little animal, unknown to science, who lived in the tropical forest. He accidentally got into a crate of oranges, ate his fill and fell asleep. Cheburashka is not a personal name; it is a species name invented by the puzzled director of the shop, where he was found. The salesmen took the animal out and placed him to sit onto the table, but his paws have got numb after a long time spent in a crate and he tumbled down ("cheburahnulsya", a Russian colloquialism, "tumbled" in English) from the table onto the chair and from the chair, where he could not sit for the same reason, onto the floor. The director of the shop, who saw it, called him Cheburashka. The words with this root were obsolete in Russian; Uspensky gave them a new life. (The classic Explanatory Dictionary of the Live Great Russian language of Vladimir Dahl gives the meaning of "cheburashka" as another name for "Vanka-Vstanka" tumbler toy.)
Cheburashka has a bear-like body and large round ears and is about a size of a 5-year child. The gender of the creature is most likely male. In the tale he hangs around with a friendly crocodile Gena, who walks on his hind legs and plays an accordion.
Cheburashka is known to every Russian or ex-USSR person and was chosen as an official mascot for the Russian Olympic Team for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Greece. He is also one of the fiew Russian animation characters to be a subject of numerous Russian jokes.
The word "Cheburashka" is also used in a figurative sense to name objects that somehow resemble the creature (like the An-72 aircraft shown below) or are just as nice as it (e.g. it's a jargon name for a small bottle of lemonade - from brand name "Cheburashka").
Cheburashka also became known in some countries outside the former Soviet Union (and of the Soviet Bloc). He became very popular in Japan after animated film series about him were shown in 15 cinemas all over Japan and were watched by approx. 700,000 Japanese between summer 2001 and spring 2002. He is also well-known in Sweden, where he is called Drutten.
- Gena the Crocodile and His Friends (Крокодил Гена и его друзья)
- Birthday (День рождения)
- Old Witch Shapoklyak (Шапокляк)
- Cheburashka Goes to School (Чебурашка идет в школу)
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