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Once Upon a Time there Lived a Dog (1982)

Zhil-byl pyos (original title)
Two lonely souls met: a dog outcast by his owners, and a poor wolf living in the woods.


Eduard Nazarov (as E. Nazarov)


Eduard Nazarov (screenplay) (as E. Nazarov)
2 wins. See more awards »




Cast overview:
Georgiy Burkov ... Dog (voice) (as G. Burkov)
Armen Dzhigarkhanyan ... Wolf (voice) (as A. Dzhigarkhanyan)


The action takes place on a Ukrainian farm. The elderly guard dog is not needed by anyone, and the owners decide to drive him away from the yard. The last straw that filled their cup of patience was that dog did not raise the alarm during the theft that happened at night in the house of the hosts. To help the dog, who escaped into the forest after being kicked out of the house, and already ready to settle accounts with life, his former enemy wolf comes. He helps the dog to demonstrate to his former masters his need: skillfully mock kidnapping of the master baby, and dog depicts that wins the wolf and saves the baby. In reward for this dog with honors return to the farm. Written by Peter-Patrick76 (peter-patrick@mail.com)

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Did You Know?


Two sculptures of Wolf were put up in Russia. The first one, made of bronze, was put up in Tomsk in 2005 and the other one, made of steel, was put up in Angarsk in 2007. Both Wolves can pronounce some of Wolf's lines from the film. See more »


[first lines]
Narrator: In a small village, there once lived a dog.
[the Dog barks as the narrator speaks]
Narrator: All his life he did his job honestly, but then he grew old. His nose couldn't smell as well as it used to, his eyes were not as sharp as before, and his legs felt like they didn't even belong to him.
[the door of the house opens and a hand throws a boot at the Dog]
Narrator: His masters were kind people who put up with him anyway.
See more »


Referenced in Errors in Geography: It's December (Again Engaged) (2016) See more »

User Reviews

dog and wolf in Ukrainian lore
9 December 2016 | by lee_eisenbergSee all my reviews

Eduard Nazarov's adaptation of a Ukrainian folk tale depicts a dog and wolf who come up with creative ways to help each other (unbeknownst to the dog's owners). Seeing how the dog's owners treated him, it's no wonder that he joined up with the wolf to devise a scheme. The animation in "Zhil-byl pyos" (alternately called "Once Upon a Dog" and "Once Upon a Time there Lived a Dog" in English) isn't what we think of as advanced, but I don't care about the animation looks. I care about the plot, and there's a good one here, with some impressive voice work. A lot of these old Eastern Bloc cartoons are worth seeing. Certainly more interesting than the these animated features starring the celebrities of the moment. I recommend it.

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Soviet Union


Russian | Ukrainian

Release Date:

1982 (Soviet Union) See more »

Also Known As:

Once Upon a Time there Lived a Dog See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Soyuzmultfilm See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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