Each episode begins with the depiction of the Morning in a Pine Forest painting that turns into the Joint Venture Filmpotrebsoyuz Pictures logo, a Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer parody with a roaring bear, which then throws a surrounding ring off, exploding the screen and revealing the episode's real title.
The series follows the adventures of a Russian detective, Captain Pronin. He was raised and trained by his grandfather, Major Pronin, and now serves in the police department (Militsiya) of post-Soviet Russia. By virtue of his office, Captain Pronin is engaged on missions to fight crime, wherein his extraordinary abilities and a fair bit of luck help him to emerge unscathed from tough battles with delinquents.Captain Pronin (voiced by Igor Vernik) is a Russian police detective, who fights crime in his homeland, and around the world. He is a tall, well-built, red-haired grandson of his famous detective grandfather, Major Pronin. He appears to be highly skilled with firearms, swordsmanship and hand-to-hand combat. His superhuman reflexes allow him to dodge high-speed projectiles like bullets, and his body is able to withstand the vacuum of space without taking damage using only a gas mask for breathing. He also shows remarkable talents in gambling, playing the accordion and ballet. He is married to a chubby-cheeked housewife, and is complete faithful to her.
Swistunov (voiced by Vsevolod Abdulov) is a blue-skinned, bald drug-dealer with a golden earring in his right ear, clad in a leather studded vest. He operates in a cooperative café, Malina ("Raspberry"), and, like all its habitués, is a heavy metal music fan and an addict of such illicit drugs as heroin, marijuana and crack. He is subordinated to the Chief, and later on also involved in precious metals smuggling operations for the American Mafia. His identity and outfit were used by Pronin to pick up the trail of the mafia in New York City. His name is a wordplay using the word "whistler" and the surname suffix -ov.
Putana (voiced by T. Sergeyevna) is a blonde assassin beauty, clad in a pink dress, whose hallmark is a gold tooth. She is skilled in seducing men and firearms, but is panicky afraid of small rodents like mice. She is subordinated to the Chief, and only known by her operation codename, which is referred to a synonym of "prostitute".
Myshyakovich (voiced by Aleksandr Pozharov) is a green-skinned, prick-eared, wrinkled, bald drug manufacturer, whose laboratory is located a medieval castle. He has armed orderlies under his command, and his hobbies is inhuman experiments on living human subjects in the field of dentistry. He is subordinated to the Chief, and is wanted by Interpol. His name is a wordplay using the word "Arsenic" and the surname suffix -ovich.
James Bond (voiced by Vsevolod Abdulov) is a pink-skinned British Secret Service agent, сlad in tuxedo and bow tie. He moved to Russia in search of an Interpol's wanted criminal, Myshyakovich. He is highly skilled in disguise, infiltration, close combat and throwing grenades. He is revealed to be
Pronin's ally.The Chief (voiced by Rogvold Sukhoverko) is the underground mafia boss, whose mandibular teeth replaced by diced implants with suit symbols. He controls drug dealing and other crimes, and has subordinates, Swistunov, Putana, Myshyakovich and ninjas, to whom he gives orders by phone. It is later revealed, that his true identity is a Pronin's corrupt superior officer, Colonel Ostap Tarasych Mentura.
Don Corleone (voiced by Vsevolod Abdulov) is the pink-skinned, prick-eared, mafia boss of Italian descent, clad in black. He is the godfather of the American Mafia, and threatens to send a cyborg assassin to U.S. President. His criminal mob equipped with handguns, bazookas, and various vehicles, up to helicopters, and he himself possess a personal computer that transforms into the cyborg assassin, Car-Man.
The Commander (voiced by Rogvold Sukhoverko) is the leader of an invasion on Earth, clad in a blue helmet with retractable horns, armored suit, and a red cape. He heads an Imperial squadron of space invaders, who seek to conquer alien planets. He armed with a blaster and a lightsaber, which he skillfully fences, and his power-suit, energized to thousands of volts, allows him to shoot energy bolts from his palms. He is interested in marrying Princess Vespa, whom he intimidates after abducting her.
Princess Vespa (voiced by Lyudmila Ilyina) is a blond beauty, clad in a white dress, who holds the title of the crown princess of Sirius, and Miss Universe. She is forcibly held on the Imperial fleet flagship and is inclined to marriage under threat by her abductor, the Commander. It is later revealed, that she lost her heart to Captain Pronin.
The Director (voiced by Aleksandr Pozharov) is the bald, moustached headmaster of the Theatre of Opera and Ballet, clad in a blue jacket and yellow bow. He is looking lyrical bel canto actors for the role of Lensky in Tchaikovsky's opera Eugene Onegin, where allegedly fatal accidents happen to them.
In 1990, Mikhail Zaitsev conceived to make an animated parody of the first perestroika-born Soviet action films that poorly tried to imitate the Western action films. A rough draft of the idea was called "Rizhsky Market Productions" by him, then he started to design the main character. Zaitsev wanted to find a "pure character of [domestic] popular culture", which was not based on real people, like Vasily Ivanovich and Petka, thus his choice fell on Major Pronin's image from anecdotes, because he was not familiar with Lev Ovalov's novels, from where the character is originally taken. A newborn character became a grandson of Major Pronin, and was named Captain Pronin or Superment (Supercop), which is a pun-response to the superheroic image, occupying the then-mass culture field of Russia. According to Zaitsev's coauthor Sergey Belorusets, Captain Pronin is a "modern Ivan the Fool", meaning by this a hero of justice, that goes unbeaten through any troubles without killing his opponents, and wittily solves the most complex cases, while remaining a simpleton and a good man.
The series' creator is Mikhail Zaitsev, that was engaged in the production process as a screenwriter, director, and artist in the first episode, with the help of art directors Rozalia Zelma and Tatyana Abalakina, and, in addition to this, as an art director and animator in the subsequent episodes with the participation of co-director Rozalia Zelma, who was also a co-screenwriter of the last episode.
The series' executive producers are L. Varentsova for the first three episodes, with co-executive producer L.Zarita in the first episode, and T. Aristova for the last episode.
Around 45 people worked together in animating and producing the Captain Pronin series at Studio Ekran in Moscow. Because of the modest budget, the series had 4-5 animators and only 8-10 artists in the first two episodes, which was reflected on the quality of its background images that were poorly drawn or even absent, becoming a kind of a recognizable "feature"; while the last two episodes had 6-5 animators, and the number of the art crew had grown to 17-16 people, significantly increasing the animation quality. The series had included various parody characters exported from the Western films, some characters designed using unnatural, bright skin colors, and the title character's visual appearance in the first two episodes were supposedly borrowed from the film actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, most notably his role in Red Heat.
The series has the main cameraman Ernst Gaman, and the different sound engineers Vitaly Azarovsky, Nelly Kudrina, Sergey Kozlov, Oleg Solomonov; and editors Ludmila Ruban, Olga Chekalina (also, a co-editor for the first episode), L. Afanasyeva, T. Ivankova for each single episode. The script editors are G. Komarova for the first two episodes, and Alice Feodoridi for the last two episodes.
The Captain Pronin series has one regular cast member, Igor Vernik, and intermediate members like Vsevolod Abdulov, Rogvold Sukhoverko, and Aleksandr Pozharov, who made significant contributions to voice acting.
Igor Vernik provided the voice of Captain Pronin in all episodes, expect Pronin's singing in Captain Pronin 4 with accordion performance of "Aria of Mr. X" from Emmerich Kalman's operetta The Circus Princess.
Vsevolod Abdulov provided the voices of Swistunov, Ninja, James Bond, Major Pronin in Captain Pronin - Major Pronin's Grandson; all characters, except Captain Pronin, in Captain Pronin 2; Navigator, Examination Committee Member, Green Space Pirate, Sirius Soldier in Captain Pronin 3.
Rogvold Sukhoverko provided the voices of the main antagonists, the Chief and the Commander, in Captain Pronin - Major Pronin's Grandson and Captain Pronin 3; and minor characters, as Examination Committee Chairman and Red Space Pirate, in Captain Pronin 3.
Aleksandr Pozharov provided the voices of Myshyakovich in Captain Pronin - Major Pronin's Grandson, and of the Director in Captain Pronin 4.
The female voices were provided by T. Sergeyevna in Captain Pronin - Major Pronin's Grandson, by Lyudmila Ilyina in Captain Pronin 3, and by an uncredited voice actress in Captain Pronin 4.
Also, V. Belov and Vladimir Nikitin (not credited) performed the voice acting for Captain Pronin 4.
The theme song "Captain Pronin - Superstar" was performed by the band Car-Man, while the lyrics to the song were written by the band's leader, Sergey Lemokh. The song is played over the credits of the whole series, sometimes featuring the voice of Igor Vernik at the end, and in the chase scenes of Captain Pronin 2 and Captain Pronin 3. Besides that, the product placement of Car-Man and Sergey Lemokh appears throughout the series, whereas Segey Lemokh made an animated cameo in Captain Pronin 2.
The series' main composer is Taras Buhevsky, except the third cartoon, Captain Pronin in Space, where the composer is Igor Yefremov.
Besides the main series, Captain Pronin segments had appeared in the last episode, "Puss in Boots", of a 1993 Yunafilm's four-part compilation cartoon, The Return of Leopold the Cat, directed by Rosalia Zelma, Anatoly Reznikov and Mikhail Zaitsev.
The Captain Pronin series was rated above average by the audience of the film review portal KinoPoisk, where the first film, Captain Pronin - Major Pronin's Grandson, holds 6.6 out of 10, Captain Pronin 2 holds 6.4 out of 10, Captain Pronin 3 holds 6.2 out of 10, and Captain Pronin 4 holds 5.7 out of 10.
On 24 May 2010, Won James Won's band member Tikhon Kubov compiled a list of 50 Soviet/Russian "weirdness and bizarreness" animated cartoons for the web magazine Сhewbakka, featured the series' second film Captain Pronin in America, that was described by him as a "real trash", and a domestic "answer to Police Academy 7: Mission to Moscow".
After the cartoon series, Mikhail Zaitsev in collaboration with Sergey Belorusets wrote a detective parody in prose, Superment - Thrillers About Captain Pronin, with the volume of 18 author's sheets. The literary version of the Captain Pronin's adventures was significantly expanded in comparison to the cartoon, and represents a diverse and multiple genre parody of all manner of detective fiction, which can be considered as three separate works: Thriller About Captain Pronin (7 stories), Kung Fu from Captain Pronin (6 stories) and Combat Tasks of Captain Pronin - Super Tutorial for Troubled Teens (13 stories). The first book of 64 pages with illustrations was published in 1996 under the title Superment - Thrillers About Captain Pronin by the publishing house Tekhnika Molodezhi. The book's introduction was written by detective fiction author Georgy Vayner. The story "Captain Pronin Against Shaolin, or Forty-Eight Hours in the Life of Captain Pronin" from Kung Fu from Captain Pronin was published in the 9th issue of the Writers' Union of Moscow's journal Koltso A in 1999. In 2013, the novel Superment, or Reminiscences About Captain Pronin, written by Zaitsev and Belorusets, was published by FTM, with the volume of 268 pages.
In 1995, Mikhail Zaitsev wrote the script for a video game about Captain Pronin and contacted a computer company, but had encountered incomprehension in the chosen company and delayed his idea. In June 1997, he took an interest in an advertising insert in the magazine Game.EXE, and contacted the company Izdatelsky Dom Domashny Kompyuter (IDDK). After his proposal was accepted by IDDK, the game was produced by Рavel Krivoruchko, the music was made with the help of composer Taras Buhevsky, the graphics was created by artist Yelena Karavaeva, and the development process took less than three months in total. In September 1997, the interactive fiction game Captain Pronin: One Against All was released for the PC, and later unofficially ported to PlayStation. The adventure quest has 400 endings and 200 animated scenes, its graphics has the similar style as the cartoon series, and the text contains humour, jokes and allusions to various foreign and domestic pop culture references. The game holds a 33% audience rating at Absolute Games.
Krupny Plan released two cartoon compilations, Cartoon Collection 47, on VHS in 1999, and, Film, Film, Film, on DVD in 2006, which featured the complete series of Captain Pronin.