Cartoons have been popular in Russia for a long time, beginning in the Soviet era. Their popularity still remains today, but now includes a wide range of both Russian and foreign cartoon programs. The United States is one of the biggest producers of popular cartoons in Russia. Pixar movies to Cartoon Network programs have traveled abroad and stand as some of Russians’ favorites.  Russia also has many cartoon classics of their own, classics such as Antoshka, and more recent popular programs such as Masha and the Bear.   This blog looks at the most popular cartoons for Russians based on research from Russia’s leading search engine, Yandex, that recently analyzed search queries on cartoons.

Cartoon Popularity in Russia

Foreign cartoons became very popular in Russia beginning in the late 80’s and early 90’s, which is most likely due to the change in regime. In the last 10 years, popularity of cartoons has steadily increased. The United States has continuously been the most popular producer of cartoons loved by Russian viewers. Notable American cartoons that have been popular in Russia in the last 10 years include Frozen, Adventure Time, and Cars. Japan is the second largest producer of popular cartoons in Russia. This is most likely linked to the increased popularity of Anime, which has become a major cartoon genre all over the world in recent years. The third largest producer is Russia. This past year, the same countries remained the top producers, but the number of cartoons released was considerably lower than years prior.

Top Cartoons Russians Watched in 2016

Russia’s top 10 most popular cartoons of 2016 included 4 Russian programs and 2 American programs. Cartoon programs from Canada, the U.K., Italy, and France also made the list. The most popular cartoon in Russia this past year was Masha and the Bear, a Russian cartoon that was released in 2009. The second most popular Russian cartoon, Barboskiny, came in 3rd place. The Russian cartoon Lutnik followed in fourth place. The final Russian cartoon to make the list was The Fixies, which came in 6th place.

The most popular American program on the list, Flash and Wonder Cars, came in 8th place. The second American program on the list followed immediately after, coming in 9th place, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. The oldest series on the list, Peppa Pig and Winx Club, were released in 2004. The newest cartoon to make it on the list, Ladybug and Supercat, is a French program released in 2015.

Popularity of Cartoons by Country of Origin

Russia produces 10.1% of the most popular cartoons in the country and also more than a quarter of the audience coverage of the most popular cartoons. The United States is the producer of the most popular cartoons when looking at number of cartoons and audience coverage. 45.5% of the most popular cartoons are produced by the United States. 38.7% of audience coverage of the most popular cartoons is produced by the United States.

Cartoons have had a loyal Russian audience that goes all the way back to the prior regime. In more recent years, the United States has produced many of the Russia’s most popular cartoons. Of course, Russian produced cartoons are an obvious favorite, and dominated the Top 10 list of the most popular cartoons in Russia this past year.