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The show is notable for often boiling down adult themes such as prostitution, gambling, Internet addiction, etc. to a level at which children can grasp the basic concept through metaphor, and for its reflection of the eclectic culture of post-Soviet Russia. In the end, though, it remains and is seen as a fun, friendly children's show -- just with heaps of Parental Bonus.
Was dubbed in the United States by 4Kids! Entertainment as GoGoRiki, which, in its usual fashion, changed all character names and removed many of the Russian cultural references. In this version, all names end with -riki, which doesn't make sense by the rules of Russian grammar, since "smeshariki" is supposed to be the plural form of the type of Funny Animal that the characters are.
The characters are:
- Krosh (Pogoriki; a rabbit), an energetic, adventurous, irresponsible boy.
- Yozhik (Chikoriki; a hedgehog), Krosh's quiet, introverted friend with glasses and an interest in collections.
- Nyusha (Rosariki; a pig), a girl obsessed with beauty and dreams of a handsome prince.
- Barash (Wolliriki; a ram), a poet with a crush on Nyusha and unreliable inspiration.
- Karkarych (Bigoriki; a crow), an artist with an obsession with doing things with style.
- Sovunya (Olgariki; an owl), an archetypical Russian country grandma known for her cure-all home-made medicine.
- Pin (Ottoriki; a penguin), a self-taught, unreliable inventor with a German accent.
- Losyash (Docoriki; a moose), a theoretical scientist, albeit with occasional odd interest in such unscientific things as astrology and shamanism.
- Kopatych (Boboriki; a bear), an old-school dachnik typically found tending to vegetables he grows in his garden.
The show provides examples of:
- Big Damn Movie: And how! It even comesIN GLORIOUS 3D!!! (The trailer is in Russian)
- Bungling Inventor: Pin
- Casting Gag: In the 4Kids version, Chikoriki is voiced by Jason Griffith, who is best known for voicing a certain other Hedgehog.
- Cultural Translation: The 4Kids version.
- Evil Twin: Losyash's clone.
- Funny Animal: The entire cast.
- Parental Bonus: Tons of it.
- Pluto Is Expendable: One episode is about Losyash declaring a hunger strike in protest against Pluto's demotion. Seeing it, its residents decide not to blow up Earth in revenge.
- Real After All: Implied when the real Ded Moroz apparently shows up as a shadow after the characters pretend to be him.
- Robot Buddy: Bibi
- Rousseau Was Right
- Running Gag: Lots of those, including Kopatych's caterpillar and the Black Lovelace.
- The Smurfette Principle: Only two female characters out of nine -- one for two of the three age categories, with the creators admitting that they forgot to introduce a "mother" character for the middle-aged category.
- Species Surname: Yozhik is Russian for hedgehog, and Barash and Krosh are very, very close to baran (ram) and krolik (rabbit).
- Vague Age - The main cast had unknown age. One episode shows the anniversary of Kopatych, another one Krosh and Yozhik referenced as kids (premusally in their late preteens or early teens, as according of one episode has a younger version of Krosh). In one Pin-Code episode, there's "5 years later" and the charcters are looking same.