Squirrel and Hedgehog

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Squirrel and Hedgehog
Squirrel and Hedgehog.jpg
DVD cover
Created byKim Jun-Ok (Pilot, Episode 1-4), Kim Yong-Chol (Episode 5-)
Directed byKim Jun-Ok (Episode 1~4), Kim Yong-Chol, Kim Kwang-Song, Do Chol, O Sin-Hyok, Yun Yong-Gil, Ri Sok-Hun, Ri Chol
Voices ofWon Jong-Suk Kim Thae-Ryon
Theme music composerKim Myong-Hui Pyongyang Ryulgok Secondary School
Opening theme"철벽의 동산 꾸려나가자" (Let us fortify our Hill)
Country of originNorth Korea
Original languageKorean
Production
Running time18~27
Production companies
  • SEK Studio (Animation)
  • Film and Radio Music Troupe (DPRK's Music and Audio Studio)
Release
Original networkKorean Central Television
Original release1977 (1977) –
present (present)
Korean title
Chosŏn'gŭl
다람이와 고슴도치
Revised RomanizationDalam-iwa Goseumdochi
McCune–ReischauerTaramiwa Kosŭmdoch'i

Squirrel and Hedgehog (Korean다람이와 고슴도치) is a North Korean animated series made by SEK Studio (조선4.26만화영화촬영소).[1] Squirrel and Hedgehog is one of the most popular animated series in North Korea. The show was supposedly discontinued in 2013, which was around the time North Korean state television changed its broadcasting schedule, which cut several animated programs along with it.

The first episode of the show, produced in 1977, is based on a short novel published in a North Korean children's magazine in the 1970s. The short film was so popular with the public that the crew decided to turn the show into a series.[2] In 2006, the producers said the show would be in production until episode 52, but was discontinued in 2012 for unknown reasons. [3]

Characters and Locations[edit]

Flower Hill[edit]

The main character's hometown. Squirrels, hedgehogs, ducks, rabbits and small animals live in this village.

  • Kŭmsaegi (금색이/Gold Squirrel, Code name "Pang-ul-ggot") - The main character of the series. He is agile, brave, and has a great intellect.
  • Juldarami (줄다람이/Striped Squirrel) - He is a scout from Flower Hill and a partner of Geumsaegi. He trusts and loves Geumsaegi and is willing to give everything for him. He shows strong loyalty and friendship towards Geumsaegi to the point of saying "I will give my life for him". Their relationship turned into 'twin brothers' in the international dub.
  • Pamsaegi (밤색이/Brownie, Brown Squirrel) - Younger brother of Geumsaegi. A new character of the second series. He used to be Dr. Mole's assistant, but becomes a scout following his brother.
  • Scout Kosŭmdochi (고슴도치 정찰병/Scout Hedgehog)
  • Scout Mulangae (물안개)
  • Undochi (은도치) - Younger brother of Goseumdochi. A new character of the second series. He wants to be a great scout following Geumsaegi and his older brother.
  • Gomajeossi (곰 아저씨/Uncle Bear) – A blustering friend of the village who promises but fails to protect it.

Weasel Empire[edit]

  • Captain Weasel (족제비 대장/General Commander)
  • Mulmangcho (물망초/Forget-me-not/Buttercup (in Sienduk's translation)) - He is the main villain of the series. he wears glasses. He is one of the few characters who knows that Geumsaegi is a flower hill spy.
  • One-Eared (외귀팔이) - He is a mouse following Mulmangcho. He lost one ear.
  • Black Weasel (검은 족제비)
  • One-Eyed Weasel (애꾸 특무대장, 돌산 참모장/Scout Commander)
  • Dr. White Weasel (흰 족제비 박사)

Wolves' Den[edit]

  • Captain Wolf/Keoteo (승냥이 대장) - He is the captain of the wolf army. He has blue glowing eyes.
  • Assistant Weasel (족제비 보좌관) - A younger brother of Captain Weasel.
  • Assistant Fox/Lt. Fox Vixen (여우 장교)

Other villages[edit]

  • Rabbit Village
  • Grey Squirrel Village

Voice cast[edit]

Squirrel and Hedgehog characters
  • Geumsaegi: Unknown (episode 1, 2~4) → Won Jong-Suk (episode 5~31) → Heo Kyong-Hui (episode 32)
  • Juldarami: Unknown (episode 4) → Kim Tae-Ryon (episode 10~13, 17) → Won Jong-Suk (episode 14, 15) → Rim Bok-Hui (episode 19~)
  • Bamsaegi: Rim Un-Yong
  • Scout Goseumdochi: Unknown (episode 1~4) → Kwon Nyong-Ju
  • Undochi: Lee Eun-Ju (episode 27) → Choe Hyon-Ha
  • Dr. Mole: Kim Tae-Hong
  • Captain Weasel: Unknown (episode 1~4) → Kim Tae-Hong
  • Mulmangcho: Unknown (episode 7~11) → Kim Thae-Ryon (episode 6, 12~26) → Won Jong-Suk (episode 27) → Rim Bok-Hui (episode 28~)
  • Oegwipali: Kwon Nyong-Ju (episode 8~26) → Lee Eun-Ju (episode 27)
  • Dr. White weasel: Kim Tae-Hong
  • Captain Wolf/Captain Keoteo: Unknown (episode 27, 28) → Kim Yong-Chol (episode 31~)
  • Assistant Weasel: Kim Tae-Hong (episode 27) → Song Yong-Chol (episode 31~)
  • Assistant Fox/Lt. Fox Vixen: Rim Un-Yong
  • Field Mouse No. 2: Won Jong-Suk
  • Other Actors: Chang Chun-Ha, Choi Soon-Bong, Song Yong-Sook, Kim Jo-Kyung, etc.

Episodes[edit]

No. Original Title English Title (formal DVD title) Directed by Story Music Original air date
1 다람이가 찾은 교훈 The Lesson for Squirrel Kim Jun-Ok Kim Jun-Ok Kim Jun-Ok, Kim Myong-Hui 1977
2 족제비네 소굴에서 In the Den of Weasels Kim Jun-Ok Kim Jun-Ok Kim Myong-Hui 1978-1979
3 다람이의 복수전 The revenge battle of the Squirrel Kim Jun-Ok Kim Jun-Ok Kim Myong-Hui 1980-1981
4 정찰병 금색다람이 The Scout, Gold Squirrel Kim Jun-Ok Kim Jun-Ok Kim Myong-Hui 1982-1983
5 끝나지 않은 싸움 The Continued Battle Kim Kwang-Song Kim Hwa-Song, Ri Yong-Chun Paek In-Song February 8, 1997
6 금색이가 날린 전파 A Message sent by Gold Squirrel Kim Yong-Chol Kim Hwa-Song, Ri Yong-Chun Kim Myong-Hui, Han Sang-Chol September 29, 1997
7 독거미굴의 비밀 The Secret of the Wolf Spider Cave Kim Yong-Chol Kim Hwa-Song, Ri Yeong-Chun Kim Myong-Hui, Ham Chol December 13, 1997
8 돌산으로 날아간 특사 Envoy to Mt.Rock Kim Yong-Chol Kim Hwa-Song, Ri Yong-Chun Kim Myong-Hui, Ham Chol March 21, 1998
9 고슴도치의 위훈 The Great Service of Hedgehog Kim Yong-Chol Kim Hwa-Song, Ri Yong-Chun Kim Myong-Hui, Ham Chol June 12, 1998
10 돌산에서의 결전 A Battle at Mt.Rock Kim Yong-Chol Kim Hwa-Song, Ri Yong-Chun Kim Myong-Hui, Ham Chol September 1, 1998
11 검은 열쇠 Black Key Kim Yong-Chol Kim Hwa-Song, Ri Yong-Chun Kim Myong-Hui, Ham Chol October 30, 1998
12 위험한 적수 A Dangerous Enemy Kim Yong-Chol Kim Hwa-Song, Ri Yong-Chun Kim Myong-Hui, Ham Chol December 23, 1998
13 비밀문건 Secret Document Kim Yong-Chol Kim Hwa-Song, Ri Yong-Chun Kim Myong-Hui, Ham Chol February 2, 1999
14 적후에서의 한순간 A Moment in the Enemy Rear Kim Kwang-Song Kim Hwa-Song, Ri Yong-Chun Kim Myong-Hui, Ham Chol June 9, 1999
15 흰눈작전 White Snow Operation Kim Kwang-Song, Do Chol Kim Hwa-Song, Ri Yong-Chun Kim Myong-Hui, Ham Chol July 3, 1999
16 흰눈작전은 계속 된다 White Snow Operation Continues Kim Yong-Chol Kim Hwa-Song, Ri Yong-Chun Kim Myong-Hui, Ham Chol September 18, 1999
17 <방울꽃>은 보고한다 "Pangulggot" Reports Do Chol, Kim Yong-Chol Kim Hwa-Song, Ri Yong-Chun Kim Myong-Hui, Ham Chol September 20, 2000
18 파도를 헤치고 Through the Waves O Sin-Hyok Kim Hwa-Song Kim Myong-Hui, Ham Chol November 30, 2000
19 무서운 음모 A Hideous Plot Kim Yong-Chol, Yun Yong-Gil Ri Yong-Chun Kim Myong-Hee, Ham Chol April 1, 2001
20 밤하늘에 울린 폭음 An Explosion At Night Kim Yong-Chol, Ri Sok-Hun Kim Hwa-Song, Ri Yong-Chun Kim Myong-Hui, Ham Chol November 25, 2001
21 원수는 살아있다 The Enemies are Alive O Sin-Hyok Kim Hwa-Song, Ri Yong-Chun Kim Myong-Hui, Ham Chol June 25, 2002
22 보석목걸이를 찾아서 Searching For the Jewel Necklace Yun Yong-Gil Kim Hwa-Song, Ri Yong-Chun Kim Myong-Hui, Ham Chol December 24, 2002
23 철갑상어 기지에서 At the "Sturgeon" Base Yun Yong-Gil Kim Hwa-Song, Ri Yong-Chun Kim Myong-Hui, Ham Chol May 5, 2003
24 위험을 맞받아 Against The Danger O Sin-Hyok, Gye Hun Kim Hwa-Song, Ri Yong-Chun Kim Myong-Hui, Ham Chol July 10, 2003
25 벼락작전 "Thunder" Operation Yun Yong-Gil Kim Hwa-Song, Ri Yong-Chun Kim Myong-Hui, Ham Chol November 28, 2004
26 불길속의 방울꽃 "Pangulggot" in the Flames O Sin-Hyok Kim Hwa-Song, Ri Yong-Chun Kim Myong-Hui, Ham Chol January 2, 2005
27 <올가미> 작전 "Noose" Operation O Sin-Hyok Choe In-Song Kim Myong-Hui, Ham Chol December 27, 2006
28 두더지 박사의 비밀문건 The Secret Document of Dr. Mole O Sin-Hyok Kim Hwa-Song Kim Myong-Hui, Ham Chol January 1, 2008
29 흰 족제비 소굴에서 In the Den of White Weasel Oh Sin-Hyok Kim Hwa-Song Kim Myong-Hui, Ham Chol August 25, 2008
30 원수를 맞받아 Against the Enemies Ri Chol Choe In-Song Kim Myong-Hui, Ham Chol October 17, 2010
31 승냥이 소굴에로 To the Den of the Wolf Unit Ri Chol Choe In-Song Kim Myong-Hui, Ham Chol February 17, 2011
32 원수는 간악하다 Enemies are vicious Ri Chol Choe In-Song Kim Myong-Hui, Jong Pyong-Chol June 6, 2012

Controversy[edit]

There is speculation among overseas critics that the squirrels and hedgehogs are the North Koreans, the mice are the South Koreans, the bear as the Soviet Union, the weasels are the Japanese, and the wolves are the Americans, which are argued to coincide with metaphorical interpretations of the country's geopolitical environment.[4] But, this allegorical interpretation is never revealed in the series, and staff at the SEK Studio claimed that this allegorical interpretation is not true. They repeatedly alleged that this animation was created to teach love, friendship, and patriotism to children.[5] However, Choi Sung-guk, a North Korean defector animator who worked at SEK Studio for several years, said that "weasels, mice, and wolves symbolize foreign invaders (imperialists)."[6]

Jajusibo, South Korea's leading far-left and pro-North Korea media outlet, ran a column criticizing Westerners' allegorical interpretations of the show. Citing interviews with SEK staff, they pointed out that such political speculation about the show was "exaggerated by Westerners". One Yanbian Korean-Chinese netizen said, "I have loved this show since I was a child, but I never thought that such an allegorical interpretation exists in the show.".[7][8]

Meanwhile, Chosun Ilbo, a conservative South Korean media outlet, criticized the show for being very violent, brutal, and blatantly allegorical propaganda.[9]

Merchandise[edit]

There are no known official records of merchandise, but brands of toothpaste and backpacks depicting the main characters have been sold in North Korean stores. There are also several statues in children's parks that are located in Pyongyang.[citation needed]

Manhwa[edit]

Alongside the television show, a North Korean manhwa was released. There were several key differences between it and the television series, such as the character "Lt. Fox Vixen" originally being depicted as male. It's unknown why this change occurred, but it could be to acknowledge that the United States Armed Forces had allowed women to fight alongside male soldiers.[citation needed]

Reception[edit]

The SEK Studio, the North Korean studios that produced this series, has also produced a number of stand-alone short cartoons with funny animal characters. Some of them are part of a large series named the Clever Raccoon Dog (령리한 너구리). Unlike Squirrel and Hedgehog, they are focused primarily on road safety education, science, sport, summer volunteer work etc.

Mondo dub[edit]

The series was released in English and Spanish by Mondo TV, titled Brave Soldier and Soldados Valientes respectively.[10][11] The series' plot was changed in the dubs, so that subtle references to North Korea or blatant propaganda would end up removed. This translation is often criticized by the show's cult following for having generic voice actors and out of place audio dubbing. The second season was never dubbed due to licensing issues, as Mondo TV only owns the rights to the first selection of episodes.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Makinen, Julie (May 4, 2016). "At a North Korean nursery school, tots get an early education in weaponry". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 18, 2017.
  2. ^ "북한의 애니메이션". m.terms.naver.com (in Korean). Retrieved 2022-12-13.
  3. ^ "통일인문학연구단 IHU". tongil-konkuk.co.kr (in Korean). Retrieved 2022-12-13.
  4. ^ "Cartoons in North Korea: The Squirrel and the Hedgehog". Visit North Korea. Retrieved 2019-05-06.
  5. ^ 北서 인기끄는 '다람이와 고슴도치'. tongilnews (in Korean). 2 February 2005. Retrieved 2018-04-29.
  6. ^ 아동영화 다람이와 고슴도치 -1977년 시작 25부 방영. unityinfo (in Korean). Retrieved 2018-10-28.
  7. ^ "[자주시보] [정문일침316] 북과 같은 고슴도치에게 치명적인 것은?". 자주시보 (in Korean). 2017-08-16. Retrieved 2022-12-17.
  8. ^ "[자주시보] 아동영화는 아동영화다". 자주시보 (in Korean). 2010-01-16. Retrieved 2022-12-17.
  9. ^ 에디터, 윤희영 편집국. "[윤희영의 News English] 북한 만화영화 승냥이와 고슴도치의 관계". n.news.naver.com (in Korean). Retrieved 2022-12-17.
  10. ^ "SOLDADOS VALIENTES / BRAVE SOLDIER - ES - YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved 2018-01-14.
  11. ^ "Mondo tv S.P.A - LIBRARY BRAVE SOLDIER". www.mondotv.it. Retrieved 2018-01-14.