SUMMARY: The snake Udav wonders how long he is and, with the help of his friends, is able to figure it out in a rather peculiar unit of measurement.
WHY IT’S HERE: ’38 popugaev’ (aka ’38 parrots’) is the first in a series of ten short animations written by Russian children’s author Grigoriy Oster. A simple tale which introduces the series’ main characters Martyshka the marmoset, Slonionok the elephant, Popugai the parrot and Udav the snake, ’38 popugaev’ establishes the series slow, thoughtful pace. In most episodes, the characters discuss issues relating to language and meaning, teaching children about thought processes and thinking outside the box. In the case of this first episode, Udav’s quandary about how long he is is solved by measuring him in parrots (he is 38 parrots long, hence the episode’s, and subsequent series’, title). Charmingly animated with brightly coloured puppets and sets, ’38 popugaev’ is a great start to a landmark in intelligent children’s entertainment.