Hedgehog in the Fog: The Hidden Meaning of the Cartoon

One of the most outstanding achievements of Soviet cinema was the rather unusual cartoon by Yuri Norshtein “Hedgehog in the Fog”. Those who could not understand the meaning of the cartoon The Hedgehog in the Fog considered the tape dull and boring, and the characters ridiculous and mediocre.

Most often these are those who have never tried to figure out what was shown by the multipliers. Perhaps a detailed analysis of the brainchild of Norshtein will help these people change their attitude towards the cult tape

Summary of the cartoon

It is advisable to start the analysis of the meaning of “Hedgehog in the Fog” with a brief retelling of the cartoon’s plot.


The main characters of the cartoon are two friends Hedgehog and Bear cub. Every evening they got together, drank tea and counted the stars.

Once the Hedgehog, as usual, went to visit a friend, taking with him a present – raspberry jam. Despite the fact that the animal walked along the same path, each time he discovered something new for himself.

Everything was interesting and curious to him. Here is a puddle on the road and the stars are reflected in it. It is interesting for the hero to look into the well, to googling and, after waiting for a response echo, to follow on.

Interesting! To create the image of the main character, several films were used, on which needles, eyes, and paws were individually drawn. This allowed them to move under glass.

The hedgehog was so carried away by the surrounding nature and his own thoughts that he did not notice the Owl following him and repeating all his movements.

Suddenly, in front of him, the animal saw a snow-white Horse, shrouded in fog. The little hero wondered if the Horse would drown if he went to bed. And he decides to turn off the path, to see what is there in the fog.


Once in the fog, the kid loses sight of the Horse. The hedgehog becomes scared alone in an unfamiliar, scary place. He is afraid even of a leaf falling from a tree. In the fog, everything seems unusual to the hero. Even a small snail seems huge, like an elephant.

In fear, the Hedgehog loses the bundle of jam. He remembers the hotel only when he is near a huge tree. The upset animal begins to rush about in search of a bundle, but on the one hand, a bat, on the other, an owl frighten the hero.

Then a huge dog runs out of the fog. Despite its size, the dog turns out to be very kind and brings a bundle to the Hedgehog.

Interesting! To create fog, the authors used ordinary tracing paper, attaching it to a glass wall. The characters were placed behind the wall, moving closer or further away as needed.

Suddenly, from afar, the voice of the Bear Cub is heard, calling for a friend. Running to the voice of the Little Bear, the Hedgehog falls into the river.

Having floundered, the hero resigns himself and lies on his back, allowing the river to carry him. Suddenly, he feels someone touching his paw and a voice is heard offering him their help. The hedgehog sits on the back of Someone and he takes him to the shore.

A worried friend is already waiting on the shore of the animal. The bear cub tells his friend how he was looking for him, kindled juniper twigs, set up a samovar. And the Hedgehog kept thinking and thinking about the Horse, how she is there in the fog.

The meaning of the cartoon hedgehog in the fog

The peculiarity of Norshtein’s picture is that in the cartoon Hedgehog in the Fog the meaning of the plot can be interpreted from different points of view.

The simplest explanation of the essence of the cartoon, which is on the surface, is a story about friendship and loyalty. In this case, the Owl is perceived as a symbol of wisdom, and the Hedgehog is a symbol of naivety.

At the same time, this is a story about the struggle with fears that arose in childhood and do not let go in adulthood.

The presence of archetypes, conveyed with the help of certain symbols, makes it possible to discern a philosophical meaning in the plot of The Hedgehog in the Fog. This is indicated by the subtlest psychological nuances.

Wandering in the fog, the Hedgehog talks about the mystery of the world around him, trying to understand the mystery of being. The forked tree is a symbol of knowledge. After passing through it, you begin to understand a lot.

This allows the audience to identify with the main character and understand his attitude.

Interesting! The basis for the cartoon “Hedgehog in the Fog” was the work of the same name by Sergei Kozlov, the processing of which radically changed the original meaning of the tale.

The fairy tale can also be interpreted from the point of view of mythology. If we assume that the hero travels between two worlds – the real and the other world, then the symbols take on a different meaning:

  • Owl and Dog personify evil and good;
  • Tree – a symbol of Life, designed to connect the three worlds – underground, earthly and heavenly;
  • white Horse – Divine revelation, the truth comprehended by the soul before entering the other world;
  • The river is a crossing, symbolizing the river Styx, along which the soul is transported to the kingdom of the dead.

Parallels with ancient mythology and the imperfection of the forms of the characters in The Hedgehog in the Fog make it possible to unravel the meaning of the plot from the author himself.

What is the essence of the ending

In the cartoon Hedgehog in the Fog, the meaning of the ending is as ambiguous as in the whole plot.

Having survived many incredible adventures, the Hedgehog gets to a friend. But the hero cannot move away from the obsession, all the time thinking about the Horse remaining in the fog.

On the one hand, such an ending to “Hedgehog in the Fog” confirms the educational and friendly meaning of the cartoon. It’s good to have friends who are worried and waiting for you. Thanks to them, it is possible to overcome all fears and escape from the fog, finding peace and joy.

But the ending of “Hedgehog in the Fog” contains a hidden meaning. Bear’s mention of juniper twigs suggests the sacred meaning of tea drinking. Juniper in mythology symbolizes immortality. No wonder the Hedgehog is seized by peace and tranquility.

This ending is reminiscent of the ending of Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita. In the novel, Yeshuya also rewards the Master and Margarita with peace, sending them to the “eternal home”.

In Norshtein’s fairy tale, everyone sees his own. And it doesn’t matter who understands the meaning of the cartoon “Hedgehog in the Fog” and which of the worlds it is talking about. The main thing is to have someone next to you with whom you can count the stars.

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